Nothing is Sweet about Candy Bouquet!

From an alleged former franchisee: If Candy Bouquet International has been around since 1989, why don't they have a standardized POS (point of sale) system for their franchisees?

They claim to spend millions on building their brand - but did you know that the name "Candy Bouquet" can be used by anyone! The trademark office denied their claim to the name  - not once but twice! The only trademarks they own are their logo and a few slogans! The millions they spend is on selling more franchises seeing how the average life of a franchise is only estimated at 2.5 years! The attrition rate is also estimated at 60-70%! So many of the franchisees listed on the candybouquet.com locator are homebased businesses for which they work a real job because the Candy Bouquets do NOT support themselves!

The franchisees of Candy Bouquet are so despondent with the franchisor that they set up an independent association through the AAFD early last year! (Congrats on the AAFD awards!)The franchisees I've talked to complained of carpal tunnel and numerous other physical issues from making the bouquets due to repetive motion. The equipment referred to in the offering circular does less than 2% of the work and the rest is manual labor - hence the issues previously mentioned.

The only franchisees surviving the failing trend are those who have so diversified their stores as to NOT be dependent on the actual candy bouquets they were led to believe would carry their stores! Speaking of stores, did you know that there is no fixed model for a candy bouquet store? Go into any store, none are the same - so much for branding!

Candy Bouquet collects a monthly association fee which is a guaranteed revenue stream. Since so many franchisees struggle, a royalty wouldn't be profitable, so they offer a fixed fee. And not such a low cost franchise, none of the stores I spoke with were ever able to operate within the expenses indicated on the site. In fact, most owners are unable to pay themselves a salary or are able to afford employees! 

Oh lets not forget the noncompete clause - no candy stores, floral shops and gifts stores. The franchisees claim they were never taught ANYTHING as to how to operate a floral shop or gift store. As far as candy stores are concerned, you don't need to buy a franchise for that - you can do it on your own. As for Candy Bouquet, my advice? Buy a video! 


From the CEO of the franchisor:  Everything is Sweet about Candy Bouquet

Ms. Margaret McEntire, the chief executive officer of Candy Bouquet, Inc., contacted me and asked that I help her post a comment. It can be read in its entirety below. - Mr. Blue MauMau, moderator

I would like to thank all of you for your comments, negative and positive with regards to  Candy Bouquet.  The extraordinary thing about our country is that is that we do have freedom of speech.  On the internet, though, it can go unmonitored and can get out of hand and there is no delete button for statements put in an incorrect light. Candy Bouquet’s  independent franchisee association has a channel to mediate disputes with individuals and groups of franchisees and so does the International Franchise Association , which I am a board member.

I do think of the terrible example on youtube.com with the worker of a franchise company, that snorts some lettuce and then places it in the customer’s food.  What a terrible thing that made the entire  franchise company suffer because of the actions of a few.

I will promise to always try my best and have our employees do their best for you as well.  We have fulfilled all of the list of things that were asked of us here at Candy Bouquet International.  We have a good relationship with Bob Purvin and the AAFD.  If any franchisee has a problem with CBI or any issues,  I would hope that they would call CBI  and also make the Advisory Council aware of them.  We only work for you.

As a board member of the International Franchise Association, I have also learned from other franchisors that if there are ever any problems with the system, you embrace your franchisees and get them fixed as soon as possible.

I appreciate the opportunity to have this note put up. Thank you Mr. Blue Mau Mau!

Margaret McEntire
[Founder of] Candy Bouquet International, Inc.

Nothing is Sweet about Candy Bouquet!

So True.

I remember in training being told by the owner of the franchise that she made $250,000 her first year. She claimed to have done it by herself. It is impossible for that much manual labor to be performed by one person in a year. I have yet to hear of a franchise that has grossed over $100,000 on candy bouquets. It has been other gift and candy items that have put them over that amount.

After Valentine's Day I thought I had made money, but by the time I paid labor I didn't even break even. And that was selling approximately $10,000 on that day. People who invest cannot afford to pay people to work for them.

This is one person's dream that turned out to be my nightmare.

My advise - run the other direction.

The Unhappy and Broke Candy Lady

on May 8th, 2008

Don't you know by now

bad zors razzle dazzle you. They will tell you anything that sounds too good to be true to reel you into their scams. Verify, investicate, verify, investicate all their oral disclosures. If you read your UFOC you will find things they say may be opposite from their verbal disclosures.

on May 9th, 2008

Oh, in this franchise, they

Oh, in this franchise, they have done that all too well.  Lots of promises never delivered! 

Short-timer

Posted by Running on May 18th, 2008

I can tell you this, for certain.

The AAFD will never be of any hlp to any CandyBouquet franchisee.

Where the real issue if fraud in the inducement - and the nature if the misrepresentation is its earnings potential, the only remedy if for all of you to hire an experienced franchise litigator and leave the system. At least in doing that you can stop the bleeding at once.

The likelihood is that the franchisor doesn't have deep poockets to pay damages for all the lying, cheating and stealing, and that the real purpose oif the litigation is to get out of the franchise and the covenant not to compete and any liability claims they may assert against you for breach of contract.

Talking/negotiating with Candy Bouquet is a complete waste of time. --

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 18th, 2008

Mr. Soloman, You say.......

Talking/negotiating with Candy Bouquet is a complete waste of time. 

 Can you expand upon that comment.

 Short-timer

Posted by Running on May 18th, 2008

Gladly - Based on my experience and that of others of my

acquaintances, people like the CB franchisor never write checks. In most instances, if the franchisor is only a few years old - about five years or so - they don't have the money to back up check writing to refund what failing franchisees have paid them. In the other cases, franchisors like this are simply crooks who wouldn't write checks even if the money were there to do so.

What you have is a claim for money - which is not likely to be collectible; and a claim that you have the right to rescind/terminate the franchise agreement for fraud.

A crooked franchisor like CB will assert/threaten breach of franchise agreement claims against you - unreasonable/unlawful termination of your franchise - failure to continue making royalty and other payments - injury to the value of their service mark through your ineptitude (among other things).

They will not let you walk, because Alvin and the Chipmunks try to talk them into it. The AAFD is absoilutely worthless in this kind of situation. If you deal witih the AAFD, you will continue to waste money paying royalties because AAFD doesn't want you to do confrontational things while it is "negotiating: - utter crapola.

What you need is to get a tiger shark lawyer who will represent all/most of you collectively. You can share the expense of the lawyer. You will immediately stop paying royalties. You will try to find someone to take your leased store off your hands (if you have a store). 

A litigator with credibility is worth everything. A bunch of California Chatters Club people will only make your situation more costly and get you nothing. The AAFD is a laughing stock - a toothless tiger. When it's arse kicking time - and it is arse kicking time for CB - you need to kick it and not talk to it.

--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 18th, 2008

Attending the AAFD Conference

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 18th, 2008

Attending the AAFD Conference

See Richard, if you were at the AAFD conference you could have made this pitch in person --like I did.

See you in San Antonio. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 18th, 2008

Candy Bouquet

Richard, you are not well informed about Canada and its franchise laws.  Candy Bouquet has a lot of Canadian franchisees in jurisdicitions with concurrent tort and contract liability - there is a cause of action for pure economic loss based on negligent performance under the contract.  Unlike the US.

And guess what the relevant duty of care might be?  Un, can you spell "standard"? 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 18th, 2008

If I'm right about there not being a good shot at collectibility

all your theories about liability and duty and standards are just so much hot air.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 18th, 2008

Summary Judgment Defence

In Canada, we have this little procedure called "summary judgment". Happens when you stop paying royalties en mass.

Be good to have a triable issue to beat the summary judgment motion. 

And that hot air about concurrent liability just allowed my clients a defence on a summary judgment motion brought on a promissory note.  Apparently, I have changed the law of set-off.

You could look it up. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 18th, 2008

What has Canuck law to do with Candy Bouquet disputes with

USA franchisees?--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 18th, 2008

No Summary Judgment in the US?

So, I take it that there is no summary judgment available to the franchisor against franchisees who "stop paying royalties'? 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 18th, 2008

Nope - SJ is available only if there is no question about there

being defenses to having to pay royalties. Fraud in the inducement is such a defense, as it goes to the validity of the formation of the contract to pay royalties.

You can bring a SJ motion if you have the "stuff" to enable you to bring it. But if the franchisees come back with sworn affidavits and/or other information showing that there is a justiciable question about the enforcement of the contract - NO SJ IS AVAILABLE.-- There are also other procedural barriers to SJ motions. If  the SJ motion is brought before there is an opportunity for discovery, the moltion is not ripe and will fail.

I have a hard time believing that Canadian law is different, as our legal systems are so close.

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 18th, 2008

Summary Judgment on Royalties

Richard writes: "Fraud in the inducement is such a defense, as it goes to the validity of the formation of the contract to pay royalties."

Hmm, I don't know of single royalty strike that has worked in Canada. 

But, is the lay of the land that different in the US?  Can you really pull off a royalty strike? 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on May 19th, 2008

I didn't advocate a royalty strike.

I advocated termination of the franchise contract and the immediate filing of suit alleging fraud and brreach of contract by the franchisor. You can't refuse to pay royalties and keep on using the franchisor's identity.  I am talking about leaving the system, not staying in and instigating a royalty strike.

Maybe your not understanding that difference is what is causing this confusion between us.

You can't have it both ways. If you stop paying, you have to leave the system and sue immediately. In the instance of Chocolate Bouquet, if what the franchisees are telling us in here is true, then what I recommend is the correct strategy. Even with the Service Mark ownership issues, you have to stop using the franchisor's identity.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on May 19th, 2008

Thank You

All of you - thank you.

 Mr. Webster, one of the CB franchisees who attended the AAFD conference had nice things to say about you.  Lucky Canada to have you! 

Posted by Running on May 19th, 2008

RE: I can tell you this, for certain

This is still the best advice on this entire blog for existing franchisees! I for 1 am ready!!!!!

Posted by Guest on February 28th, 2009

Candy Bouquet Franchise misrepresentation

The comments previously reported are absolutely correct. Having been a franchise owner for over 3 years, I never took a salary and had to continue with my other business for REAL income, hoping that eventually it would catch on and more business would come. At that point, My goal was to go forward from operating out of home to a storefront once business was established.

Candy Bouquet Corporate provides its franchisees with suggestions on how to obtain more business, for example, give bouquets away. I followed through with this guerrilla marketing technique, only to have many non-profit business requests for more free bouquets. They are time consuming, and no Candy Bouquet is ever the same because they are hand made by the poor sucker who purchased one of these franchisees. It is only a win win for the owner. The operating manual we received in class was unprofessional and inadequate. The technique is to lure unsuspecting new franchisees in, and keep selling supplies for the bouquet making. The owner also suggests that the franchisees keep 100+ bouquets on their shelves. This is an highly exaggerated figure which turns into wasted merchandise. We, as a group, asked for advertising provided by Corporate into a woman's magazine. We were told by the owner that magazine advertising does not work. The only magazine you will see this company advertise in is Entrepreneur Magazine where it is advertised as a fast growing, low cost franchise. They reel in more creative, talented individuals and keep collecting the initial investment fee. The few franchisees who have continued past five years have done so to allow themselves the opportunity to "get out from under" by selling their business.

The bottom line is that this franchise is a hoax and continues to thrive on new franchise openings, while giving no support to existing ones.

One other item which I believe should be mentioned is that the owner refers to merchandise not carried in their warehouse as "junk candy". This includes many high quality chocolate companies which in my opinion, is slandering their reputation.

on May 9th, 2008

Zors thriving on opening new zees is running

rampant. The bad zors have found a way to make money on the backs of hard working people. Who and when will someone stop this? Can't anyone see this going on in the world of franchising? The bad zors ruin it for the good zors who want their zees to make it. If I were a good zor I would want to stop the bad ones so my business would thrive. Doesn't that make sense?

on May 9th, 2008

Sense doesn't equal cents for greedy franchisors!

Do Diligence:

You couldn't be more correct - a GOOD, and I stress GOOD franchisor would consider the fact that closed stores directly impact sales of future franchises. The only problem is, by the time the information is public knowledge, so many zees have fallen victims of the zor! I guess it's easier to keep selling something then try to really make it work - especially when the franchisees are kept from communicating with one another to discuss their issues.

on May 12th, 2008

It is too late after you start talking to other zees

If and when you do talk to the other zees in your franchise you discover the truth. They are experiencing the hell you are. Then you loose all your trust in your zor and all hell breaks loose. Hurting people in the name of greed. It doesn't make sense.

on May 12th, 2008

Yes, unfortunately too late!

Do Diligence,

 You got that one right!  Unfortunately, when you talk to a struggling zee, you find they are thousands of $$ in debt.  Many have claimed bankruptcy, lost their homes or have their homes for sale to get out of this franchise, etc.  This is supposed to be a low cost franchise to buy, but to keep it going until (and if) the idea catches on, it takes thousands of dollars.  It is not a nationally known product, it is only known by what the franchisees have done in their own areas.  The franchisor is not product driven, only franchise sales driven.   They keep selling the territories over and over again.  Don't they call that burn and churn / churn and burn franchise mill?  Worse, they prey on the "bored housewives".  What goes on in this franchise is unreal and very upsetting to us existing franchisees.   Many of the older ones try their best to be mentors to the newbies but they can only do so much.  Thank god for the ones who started the association (ACBF) they are the only support one has!  There is no true franchisor support.  All so sad.  There are only a few success stories, but it is not what the franchisor did to help them, it is because of what they did on their own to survive this so called madness. 

Short-timer! 

Posted by Running on May 18th, 2008

It is called turn and churn!

The problem with bad franchise systems people find out when it too late. I have to believe not all franchises are bad otherwise there wouldn't be any. It is my opinion that many zors are realizing there is more profit in selling franchises instead of helping their zees become successful. The good zors that are smart should jump on the campaign to stop these unethical zors. In the long run it will hurt the franchise industry because people who have been hurt will talk to many people. The sad part the bad zors will have made their fortune on the backs of the hard working people of our country. They do not care, they have made their money and destroyed many people's lives in the process.

If a franchise is price low at the sales table this is when the buyer should investicate and hire professional help. If it sounds too good it is. Once you sign the franchise agreement it is a lisence to fleece you. At the sales table they can tell you one thing, the build out will be no more than $50,000 and before you even start your business or open your business that number can jump to over $100,000. I am convinced that future zee wannabees should skip sales person and zor. Investicate the franchise of your choice and be realistic. By skipping the zor and sales person you are going to skip the razzle dazzle pitch they use to get you to sign an agreement that will make you an indentured servent for many years.

on May 18th, 2008

DoDil and build-out costs

The UFOC/FDD has an Item 7 estimate of investment which is typically a range usually based on historical projects or prototypical specifications. You the franchisee has the ultimate responsibility for managing your franchise project.   

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 18th, 2008

Maybe you do things like that

But our zor has a history of jacking up the cost. I am not the only zee who got screwed by the build out. The other person who was going to open I have conversed with had their build out cost jacked up $50,000 after the bid went through the company. Fortunately that zee listened to our nightmare and decided not to go through with it.

If someone never had experience opening a business they have to have trust in their zor. That is why I believe anyone going into business or opening a franchise should get a professional to oversee the build out for you. There are so many ways a person can get ripped off because they were not informed of what to do.

When are you going to understand that many zees do not understand the process. Item 7 says our buildout and equipment should not be more than $150,000. We calulated our numbers to open the business with their numbers they gave us in the UFOC and orally. And yes we have evidence besides the UFOC.

on May 18th, 2008

DoDil you should stop...

You may have chosen a crappy franchise with 123Fit but your postings demonstrate that you were knowledgeable of what you were doing and you performed poorly. You let your project cost go over budget. 

Item 7 is not a budget it is an estimate only.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 18th, 2008

I sound knowledgeable because

the lawyers and people on BMM. The message I am trying to tell people is study before they get into a franchise. Then they will fully understand and spot the misleading things on the FDD.

I know of at least 2 people who have listened to me. I have accomplished what I set out to do. For your information many people after they sign the agreement and lease are again not informed of what to do after they have signed. That is another issue people need to know they can get out. The fact they will loose alot of money is just something they have to live with. The sooner they divest the better off they will be.

on May 18th, 2008

DoDil your advice is a poor rehash of other people's opinions

It is in fact worthless and annoying. You didn't know what you were doing when you bought your franchise and you don't know what you are doing and saying now.

Please work on getting your post 123Fit life together and do not invest in another franchise.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 18th, 2008

I have never done business with crooks

My opinion matters because I have lived a nightmare of dealing with smooth talking crooks. It makes me sick to see good people hurt in this world of franchising. And if you were good it would make you sick also.

on May 18th, 2008

I have news for you TIF

Everyone in the world their knowledge comes from someone else's knowledge. You are not born with knowledge. And you are insulting the many people here on BMM that have studied for years the world of franchising. The men like Paul, Richard, Michael, Howard are men that studied for years to become franchise lawyers. It is not opinions it is good solid knowledge.

on May 18th, 2008

Re: I have news for you TIF

DoDil writes - "The men like Paul, Richard, Michael, Howard are men that studied for years to become franchise lawyers. It is not opinions it is good solid knowledge."

TIF Replies - DoDil you pervert the knowledge and opinions of the people you claim to admire. Please stop insulting them by your perversion and inaccurate interpretations.

he Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 18th, 2008

You are hopeless

You do not care that people are getting hurt. All you care is your wallet is made full by the hard working people of our country.

You are insulting the men I respect who tore me apart so I could learn. I must hit a nerve with you because if people learned what they need to, to protect themselves it might hurt your wallet.

To inform people what they need to do to not get in a bad franchise deal is and should be disclosed to people before they sign an agreement. Franchising is the only business I know of that zors can misrepresent and puff material facts to their hearts delight. When the zee gets hurt all they can say is it is always the zees fault. When I believe before God that it is defrauding people and enducing people to sign an agreement that in many cases will harm them. Now would people in their right mind sign an agreement if they thought it would cost them their house, their children's inheritance, their retiremnent, their good name and life style? I don't think anyone if given the truth of the risk would sign anything that would cause them to go bankrupt. While the fat cats fill their wallets with their blood sweat and tears of building and building for their retirement and family's well being.

on May 18th, 2008

Re: You are hopeless

DoDil you must be kidding when you state "Franchising is the only business I know of that zors can misrepresent and puff material facts to their hearts delight." Your statement is so naive and foolish; you must have never heard of business opportunities, multi-level marketing and indepenent business transactions where plenty of people lose money.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 18th, 2008

Still misrepresentation and puffing material facts

is wrong to entice people to sign an agreement. In any business that involves lots of money there should be serious consequenses of misleading people. I don't care if it is selling houses, multi-level marketing or selling franchises.

on May 18th, 2008

When people buy a franchise

They are not only buying a brand. They are buying something that will give them encouragement, direction and a good solid business plan that has been proven. Unfortunately the unethical zors use the money of the zees to build their brand and they are not there to give any support or give business advice. Why pay a franchise fee if they are suppose to be on their own? Before the signing of the agreement they never tell you this factor. Because I doubt if anyone would buy into a franchise. They might as well do it themselves.

on May 18th, 2008

I sound knowledgeable because

the lawyers and people on BMM. The message I am trying to tell people is study before they get into a franchise. Then they will fully understand and spot the misleading things on the FDD.

I know of at least 2 people who have listened to me. I have accomplished what I set out to do. For your information many people after they sign the agreement and lease are again not informed of what to do after they have signed. That is another issue people need to know they can get out. The fact they will loose alot of money is just something they have to live with. The sooner they divest the better off they will be.

on May 18th, 2008

I sound knowledgeable because

the lawyers and people on BMM. The message I am trying to tell people is study before they get into a franchise. Then they will fully understand and spot the misleading things on the FDD.

I know of at least 2 people who have listened to me. I have accomplished what I set out to do. For your information many people after they sign the agreement and lease are again not informed of what to do after they have signed. That is another issue people need to know they can get out. The fact they will loose alot of money is just something they have to live with. The sooner they divest the better off they will be.

on May 18th, 2008

TIF

Stop using words that mislead people like the FDD. Like MAY, SHall that can be interperted different ways. TIF you are a walking FDD.

on May 18th, 2008

Thank You

Do Diligence.  You are right, those who have been burned by bad franchisors should inform the public.  Buyer beware.  

TIF - have you ever owned a franchise? 

Mr. Soloman, the AAFD has already done good work for the franchisees of Candy Bouquet.  They taught us the value in having a unified voice. 

Short-timer!

Posted by Running on May 18th, 2008

TIF is a Zor

He attacks anyone who writes their true life story with experiencing doing business with unethical zors. He has alot of knowledge that will help people to protect themselves from unethical zors. But he has of yet shared it with us. Zors always insist it is always the zee's fault. It they admit to any fault on their part they may be slapped with many lawsuits. I have news for you the unethical zors are already getting slapped with lawsuits. The numbers are growing with many ripped off zees. And I have heard of lawsuits where zees win. The problem is when defrauded zees experience this nightmare they will not talk. The reason being many are depressed and devasted. Many have had break downs and go away in quiet desperation and die. If all the ripped off zees stood up and fought and united there would be more options to stop these very bad people from robbing from the upper middle class and middle class. There is strength in numbers. I have many ideas but burned zees find it easier to stay in a state of self pity. Until all defrauded zees unite more people will be razzle dazzled hurt and live a life in poverty and depression. I believe in God and I know He hates defrauders of the innocent. He is a God of truth and we are meant to be warriors.

Not all zors are bad. The zors we need to attack are the bad ones. Then and only then will people feel safe in buying a franchise.

on May 18th, 2008

History repeats itself at Candy Bouquet!

Historical? When as reported by the Candy Lady 2.5 years is the life of the franchise - there is NO history. Moreover, the cost breakdown analysis is absent from the UFOC. Equipment that is mandatory for a functional candy store is considered "optional", therefore, how the range is developed is not qualified. Without a fixed store model, a best guess estimate of what is being given? Nothing. It is always easy to say the responsibility lies with the franchisee, however, we can only make decisions based on the information provided and if that information is not complete, is misleading and does not represent fair dealing, then our decisions can only be mediocre at best.

on May 20th, 2008

Finally the truth is coming out about Candy Bouquet!

I read the post by the Candy Lady and was overjoyed that the truth about Candy Bouquet is finally coming out! After nearly two decades, it is great that this site exists to stop other unsuspecting potential franchisees from wasting their hard earned money on what I also found to be a gravely overrated franchise opportunity. I wish I would have known about buying  a video to teach me how to make the bouquets. Check out candyflorist.com their bouquet methods are the same as candy bouquet - with out all the headaches. I discovered so much about just how little protection I had as a franchisee when I walked into a local flower shop and saw "candy bouquets" - wrapped stems the same way as I had been taught. I felt defeated, misled and cheated. It wasn't until I started chatting with other franchisees that I discovered my struggles were not my own, but those of the majority of franchisees! We were all trying to figure out the magic formula to make this business work, all the while sinking deeper into debt. I racked up over six figures times two - with NOTHING to show from it except the loan payment I continue to make along with the lease on a vacant store that I am obligated to for a few more years. There are so many franchises listed as closed in the offering and when the CEO was asked why so many, her explanation was "bored housewife syndrome"! Which was explained as  women who buy this franchise who have  nothing to do and when they find it to be lots of work, they quit! It's not wonder when the average bouquet takes over an hour to make - not hardworking enough? How insulting! Many of the franchisees I know are well educated, experienced business professional who worked in excess of 60-80 hours a week trying to make their businesses work.  The problem isn't the franchisees, it's the system - it is broken and it unrepairable. When anyone can make a candy bouquet, call it a candy bouquet and even open a store and call it candy bouquet - the system can NEVER be fixed. I pray these blogs help stop potential franchisees from buying in. We are not disgruntled as the franchisor would have you believe, we are realistic, honest, hard working people with families who have been robbed of the American dream of business ownership - instead it is a living nightmare with Candy Bouquet and something I would NEVER recommend to my worst enemy. NOT EVER!

Candy Bouquet EX-Franchisee 

Free at Last, Free at Last

Thank God Almighty I'm free at last!

Posted by Candy Bouquet EX-Franchisee on May 9th, 2008

Association of Candy Bouquet Franchisees

Being a candy bouquet franchisee, I have listened to many franchisee stories. If any of you are a “current candy bouquet franchisee” my advice to you is put on your “running shoes” and head over to the Association of Candy Bouquet Franchisees. There you will find a group of franchisees working under the guidance of the AAFD to develop a better relationship with the franchisor. We offer a “member only” forum where you may ask other franchisees “real questions” and receive “real responses” to your questions. Many members have already benefited and have diversified their product offerings no longer trying to be profitable only on bouquets. To become a member of the ACBF you must be a candy bouquet franchisee. Don’t hesitate to contact me or any ACBF member for further information about becoming a member.

Gerry Jo Mann - CBI 1285

www.cucandybouquet.com

Champaign IL

217-352-4602

Posted by gjmann on May 10th, 2008

Association doesn't benefit EX Franchisees

 Ms. Mann:

 Thanks for the association plug, but It's already too late for me - I'm out and thankful that I am. The key thing I noticed in your blog is the fact that the franchisees MUST DIVERSIFY AWAY from what they paid so much money for - the candy bouquets. I remember being told to have hundreds of bouquets and not to sell "junk" candy and I didn't - much to my demise. I agree that associations can benefit the organization, however, without trademark protection, I really think franchisees are throwing their hard earned money down the drain while they continue to look for the next great "webkinz" type item to carry their stores and make a few dollars while the iron is hot. I thnk the Candy Lady did her homework, and I'm glad she wasn't suckered into spending money just as so many other failed franchisees. I agree wholeheartedly, Candy Bouquet is not so sweet and I would never recommend it to anyone!

 

Candy Bouquet EX-Franchisee 

Free at Last, Free at Last

Thank God Almighty I'm free at last!

Posted by Candy Bouquet EX-Franchisee on May 12th, 2008

on the subject of "junk" candy

I am a current franchisee and I have to say that I was never more shocked when I saw the Today show with that CandyBouquet filled with JUNK candy!

This to me was totally hypocritical and made me lose total respect for CBI. When I went to training, Margaret was so firm about NEVER using junk candy in any of the bouquets and going so far as not letting us put photos on our OWN websites (evermist) of candy bouquets that had junk candy in them and then to turn around and let one be shown on the TODAY show filled with junk is totally amazing to me.

Margaret is joke. She stands for nothing rules her operation with a crazy Christian iron fist and acts as all business women should NOT act which is like she has PMS 24/7.

I believe in Karma, and there is no way she will be standing when the rest of us have lost so much money on this nonsense. It is only a matter of time....

on August 16th, 2008

Re: on the subject of "junk" candy

Yes "karma" is the way to fix CB. I used the "karma" retribution method with a bad plumber once and he got crap.  

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

"Junk" Candy

I am sure that many of CBI franchisees have as I do, emails/blogs etc from the CEO Margaret McIntire slanderously calling Hershey and other reputable candy companies "junk".

Now this may only be considered her opinion but when she uses her position of authority and directly impacts the buying habits of franchisees whereby it discourages sales of Hershey's products, I can't help but think that Hershey's would be interested in learning about all the potential lost revenues they suffered as a result of the comments of CEO Margaret McIntire.

I for one did NOT buy any Hershey products for several years as instructed by CBI for bouquet designing. Once I learned from other franchisees that these are the bouquets that sold most often, I too start buying the "junk" and watched my bouquet sales climb.

We should all contact the various candy companies and show them the proof and maybe they'll SUE MARGARET PERSONALLY for her comments as they are her opinions and hopefully it will bankrupt her as she has bankrupted so many other franchisees!

on August 17th, 2008

Candy Bouquet Franchise

I am sooooo glad I read this post! I was dying to buy a Candy Bouquet so that I could learn how to make these bouquets. I was wondering if there was a book out there that I could buy to perfect my making them woth out having to pay someone to learn....I almost had my husband buy me a Franchise, BOY howdy am I glad I didn't! I am a mother of three boy and all are under the age of 6. I am trying to make a good life for them, I don't want them to suffer for my stupid mistake...Thank you for all of this, Thank you!

on May 22nd, 2008

Count your lucky Starz - or dollars you didn't!

That's the beauty of this site - I almost spent money on one of these franchises. I called several franchisees around the country and very few were willing to talk for fear of retribution from the franchisor. THANK GOD a few that really were truly honest with me. From that point, whenever I spoke with other franchisees, I asked them about the concerns previously listed - (I wanted to make sure I didn't get a few angry ones) and then and only then would they agree with the statements I advised had been provided by other franchisees!  I dug into the circular and advertising information and was able to find everything I was told. One thing that really bothers me is the fact that I am older and have some limitiations with my hands, the circular mentions NOTHING about issues related from using my hands so much. I honestly thought there was "equipment" as the circular mentions that did the work for me! As it turns out I would do the labor of a third world country in making these bouquets - and the franchisees were honest about how time consuming they are to make. So many steps, so much product purchase. UGH! One thing a franchisee told me was inventory bloat among franchise owner was very common due to the introduction of new bouquets by the franchisor whereby they change one thing and franchisees need to purchase it to make what is being called mandatory bouquets? No website control either. This was a hot point with many franchisees who complained about having to diversify in an attempt to keep their doors open - but the franchisor website would NOT allow these products to appear on individual sites. Many franchises I spoke to said that candy bouquets were just another product in their store and if they had to do it again - they wouldn't! Now, that was all I needed to hear! I'll hold on to my money - times are tough and I don't need a struggling businees to eat up my income when the price of gas and food already does enough damage!

Sorry to be long winded, but I too am thankful for honest franchisees who saved me from probable financial destruction!

 The Candy Lady

Posted by The Candy Lady on May 22nd, 2008