The success of ‘Fruit Flowers’, a United States novelty gift shop selling flower baskets created from fruit, is pushing new limits for what started as a cottage industry. And although he’d envisioned opening a restaurant, franchisee, Talbott, couldn’t resist the franchise‘s appeal of turning strawberries into tulips and pineapples into daisies.
‘It’s so different, and so original,’ he told Sharyl Covey, ‘It’s healthy – and it appeals to men, women and children.’ Before their grand opening in Port Warwick, in May, Talbott and his wife, Rachel, spent weeks going door-to-door, hanging flyers on doorknobs throughout neighbourhoods in Hampton Roads.
The Talbotts’ perseverance seems to be working – they have sold 300 baskets in a month.
‘It’s been a huge response,’ said William Talbott. ‘I love seeing people writing down our name as I’m driving around in the van, making deliveries.’
Fruit Flowers’ parent company, Incredibly Edible Delights, began as a cottage industry in Philadelphia two decades ago and now has 40 franchises across the nation. The Port Warwick store is Virginia’s first and only Fruit Flowers.
Although Fruit Flowers might be one of the earliest companies to make flowers edible, it is not the only company to do so. Edible Arrangements opened its doors in 1999, and has 500 franchises internationally. The company‘s nearest locations are in Williamsburg and Virginia Beach, and their arrangements are similar to Fruit Flowers in style and price.
Internet companies such as Flowers to Eat deliver similar fruit baskets in Florida. Clever Cookie, based in New York, is an Internet company that delivers flower baskets created out of cookies nationwide.
Fruit Flowers, which has 50 stores across the country, delights in its most popular product – the Grand Floral Fruit Design, a basket overflowing with honeydew, cantaloupe, pineapple, kiwi, grapes, and strawberries with marshmallow centres. Pineapple Paradise, a basket with smaller portions of pineapple daisies with melon centres, is another popular choice.
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