CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Adam Morton can mix you a classic, old-school, tableside Caesar salad with hand-whipped dressing should you get him as your waiter at Laury's restaurant.
But when he removes his black jacket and tie and heads home he is likely whipping up something completely different: a gourmet homemade candle business.
His Bridge View Candles feature long-burning soy candles in handcut glass wine and liquor bottles with crafted wooden lids.
"I mainly do wine and liquor bottle candles, so it's a recycling project," he says. "Everything is handmade and hand poured. We top it off with a nice wooden lid that's normally made out of barn wood."
The mix of materials allows for some creativity, including candles with multiple wicks, a host of wine and liquor bottles from Cakebread Cabernet to single-batch Blanton Bourbon, all topped with hand-hewn lids.
"We're coming out with what we're calling our 'timberline' lids. Instead of being made out of plain board, we're cutting them straight out of the tree limb. It shows the rings of the tree. The stain really picks that up, so it's pretty neat."
The "we" he refers to is not some regional conglomerate or operation outsourced to Micronesia. It's mostly just him and the folks, Charlie and Sharon Morton.
"Mainly, it's just me and Dad. Mom does a little here and there, touching up things," he said.
Well, Mom does earn props for inspiring the basic idea of former wine bottle as retrofitted high-end candle.
"It was actually her idea in the first place. She was, like, 'I'm the curator.' I said, 'Well, you're kind of the muse -- you came up with the idea, and Dad and I took it to the next level.'"
Morton had noticed his mother using a glass cutter on her empty Woodbridge wine bottles, removing the labels and putting candles inside.
"I was like, wow, that's pretty cool. Maybe we should get higher-end candles, leave on the labels and learn how to make candles?" Morton recalled. "So, one thing led to another."