EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS OFFERS BASKETS OF FUN
Why look when you can eat?
Why not select a holiday table arrangement that doesn’t just dazzle the eyes but can be eaten? That’s the thinking behind Edible Arrangements, an amazingly popular service offering fresh fruit bouquets, gift baskets and other fruit presentations dipped in chocolate. It’s the same idea as a flower arrangement, only the purchaser can munch on the yummy petals.
“An experience rather than a transaction,” says John Kubicek, vice president for sales at four Southwest Florida Edible Arrangements owned by Jennifer Palma. She was recently named the corporation’s best multi-unit owner. There are more than 1,200 Edible franchises.
Edible Arrangements evolved from an East Haven, Connecticut, store that opened in 1999. Within a decade the concept had grown to nearly 1,000 stores in the United States and other parts of the world. The idea was to turn the tradition of
flowers as gifts upside down. Its immediate acceptance by purchasers seeking to give something different is easy to understand: a basket of fruit shaped to resemble daisies, for example, or pieces of fruit dipped in chocolate, arranged on sticks to resemble flowers or animals or hearts.
The company’s fruit goodies go out now for a multitude of occasions, from birthdays to get-well wishes to congratulatory events. The triple crown in the business is Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Mother’s Day. Car dealerships, in particular, love them, presenting Edible Arrangements gift cards to those purchasing a new vehicle, says Kubicek. “A really great business and personal solution.”
Jim Burt has visited the Edible Arrangements on South Tamiami in Fort Myers for a couple of years. A retiree, he especially enjoys a new line of smoothies made to order at the shop. There are also fruit salads, fruit parfaits, meals on the go, fresh-squeezed drinks, fruit mocktails and dipped strawberries, pineapples, oranges,
bananas and apple bites. “It’s a good product at a good price,” Burt says.
Joe Tartaglia, an Edible Arrangements manager in North Fort Myers, says the logistics of operating the business can be overwhelming, especially as each of the triplecrown events rolls around. The store accepts large produce deliveries, screens the goods for quality and sets about the process of cutting and shaping hundreds of fruit bouquets and other goodies, often thousands over Mother’s or Valentine’s days. “All we get are compliments,” he says. “It is a
It’s the same idea as a flower arrangement, only the purchaser can munch on the yummy petals.
great feeling to make [people] so happy.” Lisa Dolan is visiting the Fort Myers store with her daughter, Mallorie. The pair are regulars, today sampling and debating which treat to purchase. They’re considering a yogurt smoothie. Lisa Dolan has purchased a number of Edible Arrangements gifts for friends and family, confident her choices will play well. “It makes the perfect gift,” she says.
Edible Arrangements has grown to more than 1,200 franchises. Fruit dipped in chocolate is one secret to its success.
Joe Tartaglia ( left) and John Kubicek help run Edible Arrangements in Southwest Florida.