Candy Bouquet News Room

Franchisee News

New Years Notes from Franchisee's

January 5, 2009

Margaret: To begin our new year of 2009 I wanted to express to you my excitement concerning the coming year. Here in our county during 2008 we had an F4 tornado which destroyed a portion of our little town - happening at the time to practically destroy my Valentine season in February when the entire county was without power for a full week, two devastating floods (the worst in decades) two weeks apart, two huge snow and ice storms with again loss of power and still we preservered. Then, gas went to over $4.00 per gallon and our area is partially dependent upon some tourist traffic. And still we preservered. Our Candy Bouquet has become "the place" to go in Mountain View and in the face of all of the talk of recession, etc., at the end of 2008 when I compared it with total receipts for 2007 I was up overall 10% for the year. Who knows what it could have been absent all of our natural disasters? This was all possible due to the fantastic support from corporate, the excellent candies with new ones being introduced all te time and, of course, the fudge we purchase from Stonebrook. If there was ever anything near to recession proof, it is the wonderful comfort food aspect and the "put a smile on your face" candy bouquets. We are beginning our second decade of happy and fulfilling association with Candy Bouquet. Many thanks to all of you!

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Dear Margaret, Happy New Years! Just a short history: A few years ago I was finishing my degree in business management {more for enrichment as I am an RN} and I had to research some franchises for a class. I got online, found a few, requested information and off I went on my school work. I had remembered a few years prior, my son was hospitalized and received a candy bouquet. My initial thought was " WOW what a great concept" then "I could do that". So as I was looking for franchises for school, I remembered how that candy bouquet instantly grabbed my attention, and requested the information. After I reviewed numerous franchises, I began to realize that Candy Bouquet was a fantastic franchise for someone who wanted to get into business for themselves. The cost was minimal compared to many other franchises. There were no royalty fees, had initial and continued training available, and best of all, a product that produced that WOW factor. I was not planning on going into business for myself but I have to admit, I liked what I saw and the thought had begun to enter my head. From there, that thought sat, growing. Everyday I sat in meetings at my "real" job, getting more and more frustrated with that. Then one day I spoke with my husband and had him look at what I had found about Candy Bouquet. He agreed that it was a great opportunity for someone who wanted to get into business. I then told him that "we" are that person, and we should do this. Little did he know that I had already looked into the area, the population, the concept, if the area needed this type of business, etc. Just about everything one needs to look into when thinking of starting a business. So needless to say, before we knew it, we were driving from Pennsylvania to Arkansas for training. Talk about a road trip. Lots of time to plan our business and so much fun !!! We were provided the knowledge, the product, and the tools to start our business. So we left with a truck packed full of "our future" and some butterfly's in our stomachs. After 2 years,our business continues to grow. This year we were up 19% in the recession. We have so many resources available to us, all it takes is to call or email, and the answer is there. From Margaret, to Trixie in distribution, and even sweet Kendall who answers the phone in distribution. I was able to leave my regular job when I opened our store but I am still fortunate to continue to hold "meetings" sometimes on a daily basis, with my regular routine customers. The customers have made this business what it is today and they still smile with every purchase. I can honestly say that I love what I do :}

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Margaret, Happy 2009! I am sending you a new years story of me and my Candy Bouquet business. Sleepless nights, tossing, turning and watching the clock - filled with such a sense of dread over going to work. I had worked myself into a fast paced, high pressure sales job with a Corporate Company whose view was that success will come to those who play the 'political games' the best, regardless of sales achievements. When I realized that I had lost all joy at work and the stress of it began to spill over into my personal time - I knew I needed to take action. Sound familiar? I made the decision to take some time off work so I could devote quality time to investigating my options and my future relating to my career. Like so many, I had dreamed about owning and operating my own business - but I didn't know where to start and how I would find the answers to important questions - What kind of business? What do I want to do for the rest of my life? How do I get started? How much money would I need to start a business? What do I know of starting and running a business? How can I be sure of success? I'll never forget the first time I landed on the Candy Bouquet Incorporated website for the first time. I remember thinking "Candy Bouquets?" "This is genius" - one look a them and happiness and joy are defined. I thought they were the most unique thing I had seen and in some way they seemed to 'fit my personality'. My excitement kept building as I furthered my investigation with Candy Bouquet. For example - No Royalties? Too good to be true! I can start at home? What - you're kidding? Territories that are affordable? Best of all and most comforting - I don't have to do it alone - the entire Candy Bouquet family is not only available but eager to help every step of the way. Every Candy Bouquet contact has been remarkable and noteworthy. I call to share my successes and I call to ask for help - they are always there going above and beyond. The training department comes through with ideas and suggestions for custom bouquet recipes, the Distribution centre keeps us advised of sale items and every order placed has come in lightning speed and in perfect condition. Marketing is always there to help with suggestions and initiatives that have already been tried and tested. Fellow Franchisees help by sharing successes, recipes. With every contact - I truly feel special and it reinforces that joining CBI is the best decision I have ever made regarding my career. I My first Corporate deal went through and I called the CBI trainer to share my good news - 20 minutes later - Margaret McEntire - Founder and CEO called personally to share her excitement. Who else would do that? This continues with each and every success story. Now I am celebrating my first year and I can honestly say that I still have sleepless nights but for a very different reason. I can't wait to get out of bed and get to work. I love my Candy Bouquet business because it's fun, it makes people really happy. I am my own boss and I have all the flexibility to make decisions that best fit my personal vision, yet I am comforted by the fact that I have the support of the CBI family behind me. We have exceeded our financial expectations for our first year in business and I am pumped as I look forward to 2009. Since Candy Bouquets appeal to everyone in every market, I feel well positioned to ride the recession. Thanks to Margaret and the entire team at CBI - I love what I do now and I look forward to the possibilities each and every day.

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My husband and I decided to open our franchise after for the second time in 5 years I had lost my job due to downsizing. We have two small boys, Zach (4) and Mason (2), so we wanted to find something that would allow me to be available to my family and still provide a descent income. We started the franchise as a home based business in November of 2007 and while sales were respectable and steadily increasing at home we were never going to be able to grow to the level that we desired. It has always been our dream to have our own business and we want to grow and expand our business to other areas so it was necessary for us to open a store front location. We found a very small 300 square foot store right in the main part of our town with great parking, good traffic flow and minimal rent and decided that this may be the best way to see how much better we could do. So in June of 2008 we opened our doors in our new storefront and have been amazed at our growth. Our sales, even during the slow summer months, have increased 400% versus our home based sales. Although our shop is small, we took the great advice of some of the staff at Candy Bouquet and are keeping our back stock, equipment and supplies at our home. While operating with minimal back room inventory at the store location we are able to maximize our sales space and still have the ability to prepare special orders. We have taken advantage of every inch of space in this store and are able to offer our customers a great variety and excellent customer service. We were extremely fortunate to have had a wonderful man have the franchise in our area a number of years ago as well. His excellent customer service and great design skills have helped us a great deal. He has left an amazing legacy and a number of his customers have come back to us and are extremely happy to see us back in the area. Many of the other small businesses in the area and even some of the larger ones have done a great deal to help us as well. One of the major banks in the area displays our bouquets with some of our brochures, all three of the local hospitals in our territory are working with us through consignment work and a local hair salon is also keeping one of our bouquets with brochures on display. Although we are still fairly young in the franchise family, things are going extremely well for us and I see us expanding to other locations in the future. Thank you to the Candy Bouquet family for providing my husband, my family and I with an excellent opportunity to start a brand new life for ourselves and to make our dreams come true.

We have had some recent successes as well. A major grocery retailer with floral shops inside recently started offering Candy Blossoms in their store which was direct competition for us. We had 3 of these retailers in the territory that we owned with 11 more just outside the territory area. They only had the Candy Blossoms in the store for 3 months because they were a huge failure - they used the Boxco boxes or the mugs like we do and snack size candy bars - they were selling bouquets for anywhere from 9.95 - 29.95 with very limited product in them- they were a disgrace to look at. The best part of the whole thing is that my husband is a Manager with this retailer and he had florists from the stores that sold this product calling him telling him that our bouquets blew these away completely!!!!! Well, apparantly the customers felt the same way as they have now removed the Candy Blossoms from the shelves at these stores and are looking at moving to Cookie Bouquets or something else to offer an alternative to their customers. I think this was a big win for our store and for the Candy Bouquet Franchise because we stand behind the quality of our products and put tons of love and dedication into every item that we make. Thank you for helping us to find a business that we can be proud of, that is a good quality product that allows us to stand strong when major retailers bring in imposters. I am very proud to be a Candy Bouquet Franchisee!!!!!!

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Hey Margaret! Happy New Year to ya! This is the first chance I've had to wish you all good things in 2009. Our sales were up by about 12% this Christmas....which we were quite happy with all things considered. This year started great for us! We've doubled our sales from last year at this time. Two weeks into 2009 and doin' just fine. Anyway, just thought I'd send best wishes to you before this week starts and I get too busy again. ; )