Adam started making STOKES as holiday gifts when he was eleven years old. Initially using the rudimentary materials of saved egg cartons, lint from the dryer and melted candle stubs, Adam perfected his approach by substituting unscented food-grade paraffin for old candles and lint with sustainably harvested sawdust (sourced from Pompanoosuc Mills in East Thetford, Vermont). These three natural materials, sourced in the USA, remain all that are in a box of STOKES today.
Adam's “egg-nighters”, as the family called them, were a huge hit among family and friends who soon offered to purchase them. With some seed money from his parents, Adam launched an assembly line in his basement and soon added marketing and packaging with help from relatives and friends. The first STOKES shipment in 2013 went to a local farmer's market. Soon, local and nationwide businesses caught wind of the young entrepreneur's work and production processes continued to become higher volume and more streamlined. In 2016, Adam was a finalist at MassChallenge, a premier Boston-based accelerator.
Today, STOKES are sold in over 500 stores in the US and Canada. Find a retailer near you or order online through The Grommet, Amazon and the Vermont Country Store. While the scale on which STOKES are produced is now many times what Adam could have imagined when he began this venture, his product has stayed true to its core values of lighting quickly, burning longer, and remaining healthy for you and the environment.
Adam is currently a sophomore at the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business. Prior to starting at UVM, he spent a semester training to be a Wilderness EMT with National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). On most days, you can find Adam working hard at school and STOKES while enjoying skiing, skateboarding, and hanging out with friends in his free time. Follow along with Adam on Facebook and Instagram or sign up for updates!