When Broadsheet spoke to Nonna’s Grocer founder Madeline Hoy recently about her collaboration with Sydney glassware designer Maison Balzac, she gave us one clue: “[Think] something that is more French.”

It sent the Broadsheet office into a guessing frenzy. “It could it be some kind of snail to match the Monsieur Escargot,” one team member suggested. Another said, “Maybe it’s a cheese, or a baguette to go with Nonna’s Grocer’s butter-shaped candle.”

The creation is far more beautiful than we could have guessed: a candle shaped like a bunch of grapes. Launching this week, it combines the French influences Maison Balzac is known for with Nonna’s Grocer’s knack for creating realistic wax replicas of food.

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Madeline and her sister and Nonna’s Grocer co-owner, Isabel Hoy, have been working with Maison Balzac founder Elise Pioch on the new product for the past few months.

“We have been such a big fan of Maison for a long time,” says Madeline. “I was so thrilled the day I checked my inbox with an email from them saying they loved our product and wanted to meet up – obviously I lunged at the opportunity.”

During their first meeting, they brainstormed fruits that evoke the south of France. A bunch of grapes felt like the perfect piece of produce to settle on.

“Who doesn’t love wine and the aesthetic of vineyards?” says Madeline. “I also knew it was going to be a design challenge to make grapes work in candle form, so I was keen to sink my teeth into a tricky project.”

The end result comes in two different colourways: a deep, Bordeaux red and an ivory that brings to mind classical statues. Despite the wick emerging from the top and the waxy texture, they look very much like a bunch of plump grapes you might pluck from a vineyard. Every candle is hand-poured by Nonna’s Grocer using natural soy wax.

While the candle is very much a collaborative piece, it also hints at themes we can expect to see in Maison Balzac’s upcoming collection.

“Everything that I do, every collection, ties into one another,” Pioch tells Broadsheet.

The candle is available to shop now online and in-store at Maison Balzac, and from April 6 at Nonna’s Grocer in-store and online.

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