Renowned local restaurateur James Van Kirk (Jimmy) arrived in the Upper Valley in 2009. By 2010 he had opened his first restaurant - Melaza Bistro - in the heart of Woodstock, Vermont with partner David Diaz, a former chef from the Quechee Club. In 2013, Jimmy sold his share of Melaza Bistro to begin anew. Candela was born, nestled into a nook of the Hanover Mall and has since flourished.
In 2021, Jimmy passed the torch to Candela employee and Dartmouth alum Paul Leninger, who has taken over day-to-day operations of the restaurant.
Candela is focused on bringing the dynamic and inspired flavors of Puerto Rico to the Upper Valley. Supported by a first-class team of industry professionals, the dining experience at Candela is chic, laid-back, and authentic.