Recorder/ Beth Reynolds
The Yankee Candle Village Store celebrates 30 years of being an active part of the Franklin County community. Santa and Mrs. Claus were on hand helping children paint pumpkins. Sophia Dervishian, 6, paints while discussing Christmas with Santa. Her sister Natalie, 10, (not pictured) was next to her working on her own pumpkin. The family came from Worcester to spend the day.
Yankee Candle Co. CEO Harlan Kent stands between Deerfield Selectmen David Wolfram and Mark Gilmore, with Wade Bassett, director of the Deerfield store's sales and operations, at right. Saturday was the company's 30th anniversary, and it held a customer appreciation day.
The Yankee Candle Village Store celebrates 30 years of being an active part of the Franklin County community. Santa and Mrs Claus were on hand helping children paint pumpkins and wagon rides around the property were just a few of the activities.
DEERFIELD — Yankee Candle celebrated its 30th anniversary Saturday, marking a three-decade partnership with Deerfield.
“I’m very happy to see the company celebrate 30 years in town, and to know that they’re sticking around,” said Mark Gilmore, chairman of the Deerfield Board of Selectmen.
Since the now world-wide company set up shop in 1983 along Routes 5 and 10, it’s drawn people from far and wide, helped foster business development, and worked closely with the community as it’s grown its retail and manufacturing operations.
Gilmore said Yankee tries to read the need in the community, helping with funds for emergency vehicles, presenting annual scholarships to area students, and giving grants to the town’s Recreation and Police Departments.
Yankee Candle is also the biggest employer in Deerfield, and its staff have grown along with the company.
“Some of the people that work here have been here since the first shovel broke ground,” said Mark Gilmore, chairman of the Deerfield Board of Selectmen. “People have been able to stay, grow, learn and make their careers here. It’s that kind of company.”
Wade Bassett of Ashfield has been with the company for more than half its time in town. He started as part of the maintenance crew in 1991, and worked his way up to director of retail sales and operations.
Saturday, Bassett stood alongside Yankee’s Chief Executive Officer Harlan Kent, and Deerfield selectmen, as Kent addressed the crowd and cut the company’s birthday cake.
Though the company was sold to Jarden Corp. earlier this month, the new owner said the company, its employees and executives will stay in place.