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CBI In Little Rock Reaches To The Caribbean To Help

CBI In Little Rock Reaches To The Caribbean to Help


The following is a conversation between franchisee Ingrid James (#5070) in the Caribbean (some portions have been deleted for privacy) and CBI Headquarters' Creativity Officer Jacquie Bolin and with Creative Director Emily Galusha. She contacted Dr. Jim Wheeler, President & CEO, with several struggles she was experiencing. Ingrid agreed to share her story with the public and is eager to use her newly inspired motivation towards growth for her Candy Bouquet company. Thank you, Ingrid!


April 2, 2012


Email from Ingrid James, Franchisee:


Hi Jim,


I was nice hearing from you and much thanks.

The discounts are great (I'm not able to take advantage of them most times)

I have a few comments:


Firstly, concerning my payments....CBI products in our country is seasonal and I also had to reduce my prices in order to make sales. Also, I do not have a storefront. I work from the internet and via flyers, postcards, networking etc. The conversion rate is TTD1=USD6.43, on some days it is higher.  The most someone orders a bouquet for is TTD200.00 which is just over USD31.00 and this is rare.


Secondly,  The new bouquets for the various holidays comes out too late.  There is not enough time for the order and shipment for me to prepare for the holiday. 


Thirdly, Can the containers used for Bouquets which is supplied by Burton & Burton be available at the warehouse?  As you know the minimum spend at B&B is $200US.  That's a lot for me, especially if I just have 2 orders for that particular bouquet.  I do offer it in another container, but the customers love the containers also ...


Every year I look at where I am and where I want to be, but I don't know how to get over the seasonal problem, since I don't have a store.


I hope my comments are well received and look forward to hearing from you or the CBI family again.


Sweetest Regards


"Life is like a box of chocolate - you never know what you are going to get".

Ingrid James


Candy Bouquet Intl. Franchise (5070)




Response from Creativity Officer, Jacquie:


Good Morning Ingrid, 
I hope you are doing well today. I wanted to share some of our smaller gifting items with you to help spark some ideas. Candy Bouquets are your top seller, but there are endless opportunities to sell your ganache and other candies. I have attached a picture of some various ganache samplers that you can view. We carry all but two of the boxes. If you are interested in them I can get you in touch with the vendor. Below is a list of items & numbers for you to find on the distribution center.
1. Logo Matte Gold Box Sm: L136
2. Logo Matte Gold Box LG: L137
3. Logo Squibbles & Stars: L138
4. Pillow Shaped Cardboard box: PBOX
5. Small gold surprise box: SBOX

Please check out the following recipes on the franchisee center: 
1. Orange Cream Soda
2. Root Beer Float
3. Cupcakes for Mom

1. Sweet Cups
2. Chocolate Tea Cup
3. Pocket full of treats mini bouquet
4. Posh Ganache
5. Rainbow Sweetness 

We carry most of the items that are used in these recipes. We purchased the large "beer" mug (Root beer Float & Orange Cream Soda) and sweet cups from Walmart and the muffin tin (cupcakes for mom) from a local grocery store. If you are unable to purchase these items locally I would be happy to shop for some here and we can ship them to  you.  

Another fun product is the soda can with candy. I will send you a picture after this email. To make this item you will need the following items: 
1. Soda Can of your choice
2. Small styrofoam ball ( item # S150) cut in half
3. Small amount of foil to wrap the styrofoam
4. straw
5. curly ribbon
6. hot glue and glue gun 

First, cut the styrofoam ball in half. Then, cover it in foil. Hot glue the flat side to the top of the soda can. Next, glue candy to the ball using the same method you use for a soda fountain. Leave a small opening at the top to add a straw ( cut off a little more than half of it). Lastly, use a rim pick to make a curly ribbon bow to attach to the very top. 

Ingrid, I hope that these ideas will help you spark some interest. Please let me know if you need any other ideas of recipes. 

Sweet Regards, 






Response from Creative Director, Emily:


Hey there, Ingrid!


Thanks for contacting us. I hope we can help you with your needs. 


We have just recently implemented a Zee-Newsletter that announces the new bouquet recipes approximately three months before the holiday. This coming Wednesday the Father's Day and Independence Day Zee-News will be sent to franchisees only, so that they may visit the Franchisee Center to download the recipes. They can also, at this time, add the item to the Network Solutions page if they are using this web presence. We feel the Zee-News will be a great asset and communication tool exclusively for the franchisees. 


As for marketing tips, I'm happy to list some stimulating suggestions for you. We understand that working as a home-based business can be challenging as you do not have a physical space for walk-by traffic. Social media is a HUGE tool used to get your product and your positive attitude out there. We are currently revamping our web presence by giving our Facebook page and twitter and facelift and a jolt of sugar. We are also now using Pinterest (take a look here) and Google + (here). I am happy to help you set these up. Take some time to pick through and peruse. Once you become familiar with these, they are less intimidating and, honestly, are really fun. You can let the public know info such as:

       new seasonal bouquets

       coupons and sales

       images of custom bouquets to show your creative options

       hold contests to keep people interacting with your page

       clippings of press and advertising

       announcements about candy

       fun facts about candy

       fun holidays to keep things interesting on the "off" days


Below is a list of marketing suggestions you can do on your own. Each franchisee has a different demographic they target; Each has a different goal; Each has unique sales techniques. So, please use these how you can and if you have any questions, I am happy to help. 

1.   Pair up with a favorable gift store or restaurant where you could display and/or sell bouquets. Where can your chocolates be emphasized by a complimentary product? A coffee shop? Classic toy store? 

2.   Push getting a Corporate account. The training manual has information, as well as sample letters. Options for who to pursue are hotels, hospitals, schools, department stores, churches, etc. When you present to larger companies, bring a suggested pricing sheet, a portfolio of a range of your bouquets and a few actual samples for them to see in person. Make sure they have your contact info. Always follow up. Your goal is to get a second meeting!

3.   Join your Chamber of Commerce to network and learn more about events in your area.

4.   Partner with wedding vendors or shops and sell the candy buffet idea.

5.   Make sure you have either a Network Solutions site or other website. Having a web presence is important anymore. Even if you do not have a site where people can order from, it acts as a viable way to prove you are legit and professional. It also helps customers see what, exactly, a candy bouquet is. 

6.   Meet with other small businesses and see what their sales tactics are.

7.   Research marketing techniques online. Sales, Marketing & Advertising change with the times. It is important to keep up with what is working. You can discover free or inexpensive promotional ideas this way, as well.

8.   Pair up with a neighboring territory and split radio or television time. Make sure you broadcast at a time of day you feel will get lots of ears' and eyes' attention. Or drop off a bouquet at the local radio station in the morning so that they nibble on your ganache and talk about how tasty it is all day. Basically free advertising!

9.   Do you have a Whole Foods or natural grocery in your territory? See if they will display an organic bouquet or gift basket created by you.

10.                      For Valentine's Day or Anniversaries, offer specials. On the Franchisee Center under Marketing, you will find Valentine's Day Enclosure Cards. They are fun and can be used with any arrangement. Offer a deal for the week of Valentine's Day. The holiday is on a Tuesday. Offer to deliver a small gift the Wednesday before, one on Friday, then one on Valentine's Day. Each gift gets bigger/nicer each time. For example. The first could be a set of ganache or our cupcake arrangement. The second, a soda glass bouquet in Valentine's colors. The third, on Tuesday, could be the new Love Bug bouquet. Your possibilities are endless. The fee is a set price and includes delivery each of the days so make sure your costs are covered. 

11.                      For storefronts or partnering with a store, hang tons of balloons outside of your store for holidays or events. The Dollar Store sells the least expensive helium balloons I have found so if you have one in your area, that may be a good place to look. Leave small fliers on cars in the parking lot the day before and day of the event. Really get in front of the public's eye. You can reel in a lot of foot traffic this way.

12.                      Team up with a restaurant for a gift combo, which is great for Valentine's Day or Anniversaries. A customer could purchase a bouquet from you with a gift certificate or a dinner for two at a restaurant close by. Choose a romantic venue.

13.                      Why are you better than the other candy shops? Let them know ... uniqueness, brand strength, quality, taste, variety. Let them taste what you have to offer. 

14.                      Speaking of taste, have a taste-testing party. Having a "tasting bee" offering a contest where participants taste the ganache and have to name the flavor. Make it fun!


Please let me know if you have any further questions on any of these. We want you to succeed because, after all, YOU guys keep us going. Thank you for your feedback and patience. 


~ emily