GLEN BURNIE -- U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin toured the Chesapeake Bay Candle plant Friday as part of his "Made in Maryland" tour.
Cardin, D-Baltimore, planned to tour the production facility, meet with co-founder David Wang and speak with employees to highlight diverse businesses that provide local manufacturing jobs.
Wang and his wife, Mei Xu, started the company in 1994 by making candles in empty soup cans in the basement of their Annapolis home. They moved their company, Pacific Trade International, to Rockville and opened two factories in Asia to make Chesapeake Bay Candle, a popular home fragrance brand, and Blissliving Home.
They opened a 125,000-square-foot factory, warehouse and distribution center off Ordnance Road in 2011. The facility employs 100 people.
Chesapeake Bay Candle has been named twice by Inc. Magazine as one of America's fastest growing privately owned companies, according to the company's website.
As part of his jobs tour, Cardin has also visited Atlas Container Corp., a Severn company that manufactures cardboard products.
More than 114,000 people in Maryland work in manufacturing, according to Cardin's office. In 2010, 90 percent of Maryland's exports were manufactured goods.