A Visit to Two Different Banks and Revising the Production of Macaroni and Cheese Candles

“How may we help you today?” The banker in Bullhead City, AZ waved me to a seat in his office.

“I’m launching a start-up and need to open a business account.”

“We’ll be happy to help. Could I see your ID and your DBA (doing business as) certificate?”

I passed over my driver’s license, the DBA certificate, and a copy of my state business license.

The banker frowned. “These forms are for a DBA in Nevada.”

I nodded. “That’s right. I live and work in Nevada.”

“But this branch is in Arizona. I need to see an Arizona DBA.”

I shook my head. “I’m not doing business in Arizona. I’m doing business in Nevada.”

“Then you’ll need to go to a Nevada bank.”

I raised an eyebrow. “Are you serious? This branch is part of a national bank that has branches in every single state in this country. If I have to go to a Nevada branch, the nearest bank would be in Las Vegas. Are you really going to make me take a 3 hour roundtrip drive to Las Vegas?”

The answer turned out to be yes.

Two weeks passed. At a bank in Nevada the banker waved me to a seat in her office.

“How may we serve you?”

I explained that I was launching a start-up and that I needed to open a business account.

“What sort of business are you opening?”

I pulled a cinnamon roll candle out of my briefcase.

The banker’s eyes widened. “Are you opening a bakery? Wait … is THAT A CANDLE?”

I nodded.

“Oh my God! I’ve never seen anything like it! Could I touch it?”

I nodded.

The banker picked it up, held it before her face, and momentarily pulled her ask to one side so she could take a deep breath. The candle smelled just like a freshly baked cinnamon roll.

“And you’re going to sell these?”

I nodded.

“Where could I buy one?

I explained that all sales would be on-line.

“You should really consider selling these through a store,” observed another banker who had overheard us and was now smelling the candle.

“If I did this, I would either have to split my profits with the store or sell them at a reduced cost. If I sell on-line, I have access to a national market and can keep all of my profits.”

“But having a store would give you a local presence.”

“Having an e-store will give me a national presence.”

“But if you don’t carry these in a store, how am I supposed to buy one?”

“Since this will be an e-business, there will be a virtual store.”

The visiting woman from the adjacent office sighed and took a last lingering look at the cinnamon roll candle before returning to her desk.

It took an hour and a half for the banker to create my account. She left me sitting by myself in her office for about 40 minutes while she completed the account with the bank’s manager in another room.

“I’m sorry for the delay,” she explained after having left some twenty minutes earlier to print out the paperwork. “I made a typo and the manager is helping to fix it.”

A glance into the manager’s office showed four bank employees leaning around a desktop computer. I don’t know why it took so long to sort out a mistake.

When the banker finally returned to her office, she had me sign some forms before giving me a folder with all of my account information.

“Is there anything else I could help you with?”

“Credit cards.”

“I’m very sorry but we don’t issue credit cards at this time.”

“No, I meant do you process on-line credit card payments?”

“Absolutely.” The banker wrote some numbers on a sheet of paper. “This is our routing number for all electronic deposits.”

I sighed. The answer to my question should have been no, the bank did not process credit cards. To do this, I’d have to find a third party processor like PayPal, Helcim, or Stripe.

At home I used the bank documents to access my account on-line. I now need to set up a PayPal account, to create a virtual store, and to link sales at the store through PayPal so that purchases are directly deposited into the bank account for Tasty-Candles.

With less than one month left until Tasty-Candles is launched, I have now standardized the production of my macaroni and cheese candles. Having created a silicone mold for a mound of macaroni and cheese, I was disappointed that the top of the candle looked indistinct without any sharply defined features.

Production test model for a macaroni and cheese container candle

Since my first effort to make macaroni and cheese (pictured above) involved the production of individual macaroni noodles that I laboriously assembled in a glass container; the solution was to cover the top of the candle with additional macaroni that were made from the silicone mold that was created for the original project. After brushing the top of the candle with melted wax, I added the extra pasta prior to coating them with a “cheese sauce.” Brushing the candle with cheese scented yellow candle gel added a moist appearance. I finished the candle by dusting it with paprika.

I now have five of these candles completed and am making more. While all of these candles were partially formed using a mold, each one is unique because the top layer has to be finished with the individual placement of macaroni and hot wax.

These candles look and smell like the sort of instant mac and cheese that my mother typically made using a boxed mix. To better simulate the appearance of this cheese sauce, the melted candle gel “sauce” was dyed a slightly orange-yellow to contrast it with the yellow that was used to form the macaroni and cheese base. I think the new candle product is much more realistic than the production test model that was laboriously assembled in a glass container. The color is better when compared to the pasta from a boxed mix. Since these candles were made using a silicone mold, the entire candle looks like a mound of macaroni and cheese as opposed to the container candle which only included pasta at the very top.

Real Kraft Macaroni and Cheese dusted with cayenne pepper

P.S. Banking issues: As of the date of today’s posting of this blog article, my new business bank account has been frozen and I’ve received two urgent voice mails from the banker asking me to call her. Since I have not yet spoken with the banker, I surmise that the issues that caused me to wait for 90 minutes to get my business account opened were not properly resolved.

Since I have now lost access to this bank account, I have had to delay setting up a credit card processing service. Without the ability to process payments, I have also had to delay setting up the virtual store.

Tasty-Candles could still launch on October 23, 2021 if the account issue is quickly resolved.

If worse comes to worse, the launch date could be pushed back to November. So long as I’m able to launch this business before the end of the calendar year, I’ll still be able to deduct all business expenses on my 2021 tax return.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s