It all began when Liam Foldi was 12 years old and he started reading… and reading. When Liam was 14 years old, after a school trip to FareShare (a charity kitchen in Melbourne) he decided that something needed to be done about the growing problem of hunger and food insecurity in Australia. And Kenshi Candles was born.
The first year was a slow start for Kenshi, but eventually word began to spread and demand slowly grew. Candle production moved from Liam’s bedroom to the very first hand pour at the kitchen bench. From there the operation quickly moved out to production lines in the family garage.
Throughout school holidays and weekends, Liam’s mates would come over to make candles to keep up with demand. But before long they outgrew the garage and that’s when Kenshi Candles became even more life changing!
In 2019, Liam began a partnership with the Chin refugee community from Myanmar who live in St Albans, Melbourne. After fleeing from civil war in Myanmar, the Chin people spent several years on the run before eventually being granted refugee status and moving to Melbourne. However some members of the Chin community do not speak English and have struggled to get conventional jobs. Since 2019, Kenshi Candles have been made by members of the Chin refugee community here in Melbourne providing them with a vital and much needed income.
From April 2019, the Chin refugee community made the candles in Jacob’s garage until September 2021.
After 2.5 years and around 20,000, Kenshi Candles finally grew large enough to have a proper home! Kenshi moved from Jacob’s garage to our own candle-making facility in Sunshine North that has the capacity to make 500 candles a day!
Liam decided he will solely focus on eradicating hunger in Australia and use Kenshi Life Changing Candles and Diffusers to feed thousands of people every year. Together with other members of Make A Difference Community, we have now funded over 170 tonnes of pasta and rice for homeless people and families in need.
Liam was offered a full scholarship to Princeton University in USA. The “Candle Boy’s Father” Michael, stepped in to fulfil Liam’s vision of funding massive volumes of food for Australians doing it tough and ultimately working towards the greater goal of eradicating hunger in Australia.
The Independent Hardware Group (Mitre 10, Home Timber and Hardware, Thrifty Link, True Value Hardware) begin supporting Kenshi and now have more than 100 stores across Australia stocking candles and diffusers.
Kenshi Diffusers are officially launched and the Kenshi “Life Changing” range is expanded beyond candles.