Signed, sealed, delivered: Nikki Marlowe
gets ready to send off an Edible Arrangement, a non-trite choice to
express well-wishes for any celebratory situation. Michael Davis photo.
Special-occasion shoppers can visit one
of three local Edible Arrangements shops where ripe and succulent
fruit, decoratively packaged with a variety of whimsical accessories
and attractive keepsakes, make unique and tasteful gifts. Camillus,
Cicero and Baldwinsville are home to local franchises of the 818 stores
now operating in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United
Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates. A fourth, local, store is planned
to open soon in DeWitt.
Edible Arrangements staff is currently
gearing up to deliver their sweet combinations of delicious and
beautiful gifts for moms throughout the Syracuse area, including a
special watering can container designed just for the woman of the hour.
“Mother’s Day is one of our biggest holidays,” says Kelli Worden, who
owns the Camillus and Cicero franchises in partnership with her husband
and another couple. “Many people send them out Friday when their moms
are at work and could share the arrangements with their co-workers.”
Display racks loaded with pop-up cards
and a wide array of pots, baskets, Mylar balloons and stuffed animals
fill the cozy confines of the Camillus store, packing a lot of juicy
temptation into a small space. Such pop culture icons as SpongeBob
SquarePants and the Sesame Street gang are featured and sports-themed
combinations are very popular as well. Two large refrigerators contain
a few ready-made baskets wrapped in cellophane.
“We always have a few arrangements and
some fruit cups on hand for walk-in customers,” store manager Patti
Walker notes. “We have quite a following of people who come in to buy a
fruit cup for lunch.”
Customers can order a fresh fruit
bouquet in any of hundreds of combinations by calling or visiting their
local shop or by logging onto www.ediblearrangements.com.
Chocolate-dipped fruit is available and all-natural fudge, either
traditional or sugar-free, can be added to any order.
“Our customer service staff is trained
to take calls from people who call and have no idea what they need and
walk them through what would be what they’re looking for,” Worden
assures. “We can steer customers through the arrangements so they get
what they want.” Prices for arrangements start at $38 and top out at
more than $200. Charges are based upon the number of pieces of fruit
and the size of the container.
While showing Mom some affection, or any
type of celebration, is always a good reason to send some fruit,
customers have discovered an endless variety of occasions for sending
an Edible Arrangement. Sales representative Linda Mirizio has found the
fruity artworks a gracious way to show appreciation and build
relationships with clients.
“I send them as thank yous,” the
Baldwinsville resident explains. “They’re something unique and
different that people haven’t seen before. People love it and they eat
it right up. And they remember it.”
Unlike traditional fruit baskets, Edible
Arrangements products come ready to eat without peeling, washing or
cutting. The melons, grapes, berries and citrus fruits are artistically
presented, already segmented and skewered, easy to pluck and munch.
“Oh my gosh, business is great, it
really is,” Worden says. “Everybody is more health-conscious, which is
great. A gift basket of fruit is the perfect alternative for birthdays
or get-well. Really it’s for any occasion—I’m sorry, welcome home or
for people buying a new home. We just had Passover and our Camillus
store is kosher-certified, so people were able to call and get gifts
for Passover. We have such a variety that there isn’t one biggest
While festive events are obvious
choices, the ingenious products also show up in less expected places.
“We sell a lot of sympathy arrangements,” Walker explains. “Instead of
making a casserole for a funeral, people can send one of our arrangements so the family can eat some fruit whenever they want.”
Prompt service, made even more essential
by the freshness of the treats, gets extra attention. “You can place
your order up to 4 p.m. and we can get that order out that day and
delivered for you,” Worden says. “There’s a $12 delivery charge
anywhere in the Syracuse area and we go all around.” Refrigerated vans
preserve the fruit in transit to customers and recipients.
Edible Arrangements staff has to be
particular to face the challenge of providing a product that tastes as
good as it looks. The company assures that all products are natural,
with no preservatives or artificial sweeteners and local produce
suppliers send their best daily. “We’re very picky,” Worden insists.
“Our fruit is delivered fresh every morning. One of the owners is
always there in the morning to test the fruit. If we think it’s not up
to par, we send it back and get more fruit.”
The Edible Arrangements concept was born
in East Haven, Conn., in 1999. The first franchises opened in
Massachusetts before spreading around the nation and internationally.
Worden’s team has owned their two local links for about 18 months,
having been impressed early on with the company’s products and system.
They are preparing for the DeWitt opening soon. “The founder of the
business really stepped into something ingenious,” she says. “When we
saw it we knew it was something we wanted to be associated with.”
Choices are virtually unlimited when all
the possible combinations of fruit are partnered with sweet treats,
containers, gifts and decorative touches to fit the preferences of the
customer. Seasonal special packages lend themselves to any holiday or
event, but most importantly to the tastes and desires of the client.
The “Kids and Kids at Heart” collection
caters to the younger set with cartoon characters as centerpieces for
the bouquets. “With our kids’ line,” Worden notes, “people are taking
the character arrangements like SpongeBob and ordering them instead of
a birthday cake or to complement the cake. Or if a child is sick,
they’re sending them.”
Since Edible Arrangements bouquets
appeal to all ages, after Mom is impressed with the presentation, she
can enjoy sharing the flavors with the whole family.
Edible Arrangements has locations at
Aspen Dental Plaza, 5384 W. Genesee St., Camillus (484-4438); Cicero
Commons, 7985 Brewerton Road, Cicero (699-4438); and Kimbrook Village
Square, 8395 Oswego Road (Route 57), Baldwinsville (652-5985).