By Dennis Seid/NEMS Daily Journal
MOOREVILLE – The future of Wicks n’ More remains uncertain a month after a devastating fire at its Mooreville factory.
In an email sent over the weekend, company founder and President Beckey Neal said she was reviewing her options.
“Thus far, it seems that our insurance will be insufficient to restart our manufacturing,” she said. “We are researching other ways to possibly distribute our products in a different manner.”
Wicks n’ More, founded in 1999, makes hand-poured designer candles. Its Mooreville factory was gutted in a mid-September fire that destroyed its equipment and inventory.
The company also has a retail store inside The Mall at Barnes Crossing at Tupelo, and Neal said she hopes to keep it open.
“We are discussing with mall management possibilities to continue having some type of gift retail,” she said in her email.
“This is a difficult time in our lives and our employees’ lives,” Neal said. “Thank you for those in this community who have reached out to try to help us. If things look up for Wicks n’ More, I will let you know.”
On Monday, Neal said setting up a temporary manufacturing facility was unlikely for now.
“A manufacturing process takes months of adequate setup and equipment even if we had a building,” she said. “I can see us possibly doing something in several months but not this fast. It will definitely take some time.”
The fire started early Sept. 18, as Mooreville firefighters, along with help from other volunteer departments, fought a blaze from around 2 a.m. until 9 a.m. Mooreville Fire Chief Ron White at the time said the building was half-burned by the time they arrived on the scene and was fully consumed by later in the morning.
After the fire, Neal said the factory was a total loss.
“These (12) employees have been with us for many years, and Wicks n’ More is more than just a business to all of us. It is our family,” Neal said.