Dave Baka - Willow + Maple


Dave Baka


Willow + Maple Candle Co.


Candle maker - owner of Willow + Maple

What’s your product passion?

I’m Dave, on the right and my husband Steve is on the left! I started Willow + Maple in 2021 in the midst of the pandemic. Crazy right? It started as a result of our love for candles. And when I say love, I actually mean obsession. I remember traveling to the USA each year and buying bags full of our “then”, favourite large retail brand candles. I won’t name them. We were amazed at their large selection of scents, melts, and diffusers. We couldn’t get enough. Most times, it was part of our coming home ritual. Go and buy our favourite candles and then get on the plane and come home! Romantic hey! But what we didn’t know back them was that all of their candles were full of paraffin wax. Nasty, toxic paraffin wax derived from petroleum, coal or oil shale and their wicks were full of lead. That’s not what you want to burn it in your home around family or pets. So I wanted to create beautiful rich smelling candles that were both non toxic and natural. 

When we pour our candles, we create a story. A story that has a unique scent and smell. One that takes us back to places we have visited or spent time at, with friends and family. Or simply, beautiful and unforgotten places around our amazing state. They say that what you love will grow. Fast forward to today and we’ve managed to create a love and a brand that’s both eco friendly and non toxic! All our candles use 100% natural soy wax and don’t contain any nasty products. We use natural braided cotton wicks that leave a clean burn and are lead free! We were also recently accredited as “Australian Made and owned” and we’re so proud of that. We’re family run and owned!

What does the Mornington Peninsula mean to you? 

It means the world to us. We live and work on the Peninsula and share our love for the coastline with our son. We love supporting local and going for weekend getaways to places we haven’t yet discovered in and around the Peninsula. Whether it's food or wine, or simply a walking track, we love finding hidden treasures to enjoy. 

Favourite place to eat?

Oh there’s many, too many too chose from. From the vast wineries to the Portsea pub, we love all of them.  

Favourite place to drink?

Definitely Shop Ate in Mt Eliza. We simply love our coffee and the guys at Shop Ate know exactly how to brew the perfect one!

Favourite place to go?

Point Nepean. The walk along the coastline and shores is so amazing and good for the soul. It’s a great day out for the family and kids. With so many awesome stops along the way, including the old military look outs and famous Harold Holt beach!