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.

So glad I found this site!

This is a fantastic site and I'm so glad I found it! I am a CBI franchise owner (inactive of course, you cant stay active with CBI for very long it just doesnt pay. It's a money pit).

Anyway, CBI needs to throw in the towel and stop selling franchises. This is a scam. This should never have been allowed to be called a franchise. It isnt one. They should have just sold a license to make and sell their products and not call it a franchise. There is NO way to ever be able to support a store just selling candy bouquets. The only ones out there who have done it have had to incorporate numerous other products into their stores in order to stay a float. You do not get any of this info when you buy into this nonsense and go to training at CBI headquarters.

For all of the attorneys who have posted here backing CBI HQ, why dont you do something good and start rallying behind the actual franchisees instead. We were totally lied to, PERIOD! The owner of CBI is the most unprofessional business owner I have ever seen. Her comments on her CBI forum can prove that any day. She needs to get off of her holy high horse and step down. Perhaps giving money back to the suckers who bought into her franchise would help her be more christian like. What she does not seem to ever realize is that, if we ALL fail as franchisees, she will also fail as the franchisor. That is the way is works. We are failing, and as the captain of this sinking ship, she will also go down with us!

And one more thing, how about leaving Gina in Colorado alone. CBIs lawsuit against her is such a pathetic attempt to through weight around. You may not like what Gina was saying, but she was speaking for many of us. You got a problem with her, you got a problem with a lot of us then. Can you not see WHY she was saying what she was saying? Are you that blind? CBI is a joke. And I say that even though I enjoyed making the bouquets and my business but the bottom line is, this is not a business that can EVER stand on it's own or make a profit. Because of this, you would be a fool to buy into it. I am out about 30K because of it. Dont lose your hard earned money on this nonsense.

on August 16th, 2008

Why should lawyers rally behind anyone?

You and the rest of the CB franchisees are adults that bought into this foolish scheme and if you believe there was fraud go hire an attorney to help you.

Expecting lawyers to rally behind you is the same foolish thinking that got you where you are today.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

Not Exactly, Sweetie

but thanks for the laugh...

By the way, I like your "The Truth Shall Set You Free!" Too bad so much "Truth" was missing with CBI. There is such a thing a false advertising and that is what this is. I wouldnt exactly call myself the type who has a victim mentality but, I also know when I've been lied to, and I was..as were many others. As an adult, I did do plenty of research before purchasing which is one of the reasons I never thought of opening a store front with this...Thank god I did my research, I could have been out much more than I was.

I have always taken responsibility for buying this business however, I also know that what I bought is not exactly what I was sold. Are you a franchisee? You have me curious... If you are (or were) you would also know that once are "in" you were not exactly able to freely express your concerns with fellow franchisees without the wrath of CBI coming after you. This would be the reason for the Association that now exists and it is also the reason why Gina has a lawsuit against her. Gina was a "bad girl" for talking too much and trying to make things better. That is what that is about... nothing more. Perhaps you should get more facts before making judgments. The Truth truly does set you free...

You have a nice day my friend.

on August 16th, 2008

Re: Not Exactly, Sweetie

Well Sweetie you can hope for "karma" or a white knight attorney if you want? You can continue to congratulate yourself for being so smart as to not losing more money than you did! 

In any event knock yourself out!

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

that makes no sense...

Again, curious, are you or were you a franchisee? What is your interest in this site except slamming people and calling them stupid? If you want facts and truth, perhaps you should ask for them instead of making snide remarks. If you are what you claim to be in your profile, why are you not offering more intelligent information to people who may potentially buy a CB franchise?

Why should I not be happy that I didnt lose more money? That doesnt make any sense and is a contradiction to your posts.

There are many people out there who have it much worse than I do. Of course I feel for them. Nobody forced them to buy a franchise but they do have a right to be angry that they were flat out lied to regarding many things. The fact alone that there are so many out there who have the same experiences does not indicate that there a lot of stupid people out there. Why is that so hard to understand? The only way to change things is to rally together. I would think you would understand that. If someone sees this site who was considering buying a CB franchise and they think twice, that is a good thing. And if you are never deceived in your life, I would consider you lucky (but not the smartest person in the world).

I sincerely hope you offer some good insight on this forum and refrain from more sarcasm. You should be above that.

on August 16th, 2008

Re: that makes no sense...

Wasn't it obvious that Candy Bouquets might be a crappy franchise to buy?

And until people like you take personal responsibility for their choices and when buying franchises people perform proper franchise investigation then franchises like CB will cease to have buyers.

If you read my profile and search my posts you can learn more about me.

 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

I've read many of your posts here

that's why I know you can do better than the sarcasm...

As I stated, I do take responsibility for buying it. And I did research it quite a bit before doing so. I would have loved to read this type of info before I bought it and also it would have been nice if the association existed before I bought it but that was not the case. And because that was not the case, many franchisees were not free to voice their true opinions about it for fear of CBI finding out. Case in point, Gina.

You must be aware of a lot of these details that went on before the association was formed, right?

Did I think it was a crappy franchise?... hmm.. I thought it would be a crappy franchise to open as a store front..not as home based which mine was. My issues with the experience are the deceit and the restrictions placed on us to allow our business to grow. These restrictions were not made public until once you were "in". Many came in the form of the website which was highly restrictive. I enjoyed my business while it lasted and a gave it a good go and tried to make it work.. Luckily I always kept my day job. I personally feel that many of the franchisees would not be so bitter if they were offered more support and help from HQ. There was very much a "once you bought it you were on your own to struggle" feel to this and when we would try to talk to each other and make suggestions as to how to make things better there was such hostility from HQ is was unreal. It was almost as if they wanted us to fail. A lot of things have gotten better since the association was formed but that did not happen until we rallied together...

Personally, I enjoyed making the bouquets and enjoyed the business, I'm sad it didnt work out. In order to make it work, you have to incorporate tons of other products and you cant market them on the website you buy from CBI and you also cant market CBI logo items on your own website. It's just very difficult to even attempt to succeed at this and these are the things I wasnt aware of at the time of purchase. Since this is basically a "franchise mill", once we spend the money and buy, I think HQ should just butt out and let us try to succeed any way we can. Until recently (the association), that was very difficult to do.

on August 16th, 2008

Re: I've read many of your posts here

Fair enough. However you have to admit that pre-purchase investigation may have avoided this failure for you. There is little you can do now. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

I agree with you

you just cant get over that point that I didnt investigate well enough can you :) I will let you win. Hindsite is 20/20 and now I know what things I could have done to find out that info before buying..

I am TOTALLY all for thorough investigation before buying any franchise. This is a loss for me and again, I take full responsibility for buying it. Nobody put a gun to my head or any of the others... I am extremely honest about my experience and will answer any questions about it without placing full blame on CBI. It isnt totally their fault because, after all, you dont HAVE to buy it!

on August 16th, 2008

Okay You Two

Yes, there are many misrepresentations when buying into Candy Bouquet. When doing your "due diligence" into this franchise, you are provided a list of "hand selected" franchisees to call/email and a script of questions to ask. It really is a joke! Unfortuntately, the prospects follow those directions. Also, the franchisor has put fear into most franchisees that if they say anything she feels is negative towards CBI that she can yank their franchise and slap them with a slander suit. After signing the dotted line it feels as though she has taken away your constitutional right - freedom of speech. The good thing is that there are actually franchisees that could care less and inform prospects of their true experience on being a candy bouquet franchisee. Can't be sued for speaking the truth nor can she yank your franchise.

The whole issue with the "junk candy" was a total outright lie on how it was presented to the franchisees and that is another story best saved for a lawyer. In reality, to call Hershey's and M&M Mars junk -is slanderous. They are Americas favorite. Those who create those bouquets (we refer to as fun candy) have managed to stay in business and learned how to work around the franchisor when offering them to customers. Many have asked, why give that business to the copycats and her lame response is it's junk and fetches a low price. I'm proud to say junk keeps me in business and have sold bouquets $150 and higher with those types of candy bars. My response to the franchisor, do you pay my bills and it is not in my contract that we can not use those candies?

As far as the misrepresentations, they need to be proved and again, unfortunately verbal talk (not a lawyer here) is just that verbal,(aka hearsey?) more then likely will not hold up in a court of law. Bottom line, the franchisees need to really unify, compare notes and prove that we were all set up for failure.

Now for the you don't have to buy it part. That is correct. However, the pretty picture that is painted, the promises (verbal) the yes you can do this and that (not in writing), the have fun and make money too, the it's a proven system (yes have it in writing - lucky me!) and I can go on and on. The WOW, I actually can own my own business and the system is there as well as the model and it is proven to be a great store front and-or home based one at that! The bouquets are easy to make, anyone can make them (But you better have three working hands!), they have products exclusively made for them and again, can go on and on. All a farce! The sales staff is trained to just be bobble heads and say yes you can. What is your credit card number and you can buy this franchise? No credit check necessary, we have all the products in the warehouse that you will need for your candy bouquet business. Also you will save money by buying at the CBI distribution center because they have volume buying power which gives you the lowest prices on products (you find out later at a much higher price then retail)and that their so called private labeled candy is unknown and so forth. But, let's not get into the shipping costs. They even gouge the franchisees in AR on those costs. In my humble opinion, this whole candy bouquet business might be better called a Ponzi Scheme!

Yes, this franchise is not what it is cracked up to be. And time will tell. The good old famous saying on what comes around goes around. The pendulum does swing both ways. My only concern is the franchisees who purchased this franchise in the last year and have no clue on how to protect themselves when the sweetness becomes bittersweet. Right now believe there are major financial issues at the corporate office and let's all pray she falls hard. Doesn't lighting strike in strange ways at times?

Okay, think I have said enough. Not a scorned franchisee, just one who smartened up quickly and quite happy.

on August 16th, 2008

She will fall

It is only a matter of time for her to fall...Everything she does makes things worse for her in my opinion however, I do disagree about the hearsay. Many of these are documented. Heck, I have a lot of them myself. Since she puts so much of her nonsense in print, it isnt difficult to keep a record of what has gone on. Her lawsuit against Gina is a joke too. So many people will side with Gina its not even funny and if you remember (or knew) what actually started that whole thing, it was CBI yet again who started that nonsense. Gina just refused to be bullied or back down. That isnt hearsay, it's a fact.

I am glad you are not scorned. I dont consider myself scorned either. It was a learning experience but it didnt break me. Having said that, I see nothing wrong with trying to change things and make them better. Doing so does not mean I am scorned. If I didnt try, I would feel very much like a victim and that is not what I am nor have I ever been.

Good luck to you

on August 16th, 2008

Re: Re: that makes no sense...

Your profile? Are you some kind of an idiot, tiffy? (Well, that's rather obvious). You have no profile or purpose here other than to troll and be an a-hole. On that count, you succeed wildly. Don't bother engaging this troll, folks. He's a moron, contributes nothing and cries like a little girl over posts like this one. He can't even come up with his own come-backs. He just repeats whatever you decipher he is.

We've already learned all we want to know about you. You're a very little, unimportant man that tries to raise himself up by tearing others down. Can you dispute that, tiffy? tiffy has mental short-man syndrome and is the ultimate mental-masturbator. Check your palms for proof, tiffy. God, I hate to use tiffy and the word man in the same sentence, because there is no connection. The main thing obvious here is that tiffy is a poor excuse for a human being. I'm not even sure if he's that. Go at it tiffy. Let's see your lame comeback as usual.

on August 26th, 2008

Eloquent Cowardly Guest Troll

You have demostrated your brilliance once again Cowardly Guest Troll.

Congratulations!  

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 26th, 2008

RE: EloquentCowardly Guest Troll

Well thank you, tiffy. I'm glad you see the truth, finally. You don't really have much to say this go-round. Getting too difficult to defend your boorish, bullying, rude and ignorant behaviour? Admitting this and changing your demeanor to a normal human being's is the truth that will set YOU free.

on August 26th, 2008

Profile

Guest writes: "Your profile?"

Guest and others, when you register, the you will have a profile that others can click on to reveal more about you. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on August 26th, 2008

RE: Profile

Counselor, have you ever seen tiffy's "profile?" It's pure garbage and he remains as anonymous as any guest poster. Putting some nebulous trash into your "profile," does not a profile make.

on August 26th, 2008

Cowardly Guest Troll..You Too Can Have a Profile

Dear Cowardly Guest Troll - A profile requires registration, once you are registered people can identify you as the poster and attempt to have an intelligent conversation with you.  

Now, I know it will put a damper on your troll like behaviour, and you do enjoy being a troll. Why don't you give it a try and see how it goes?

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 26th, 2008

RE: You too can have a profile

When did you ever have an intelligent conversation? Badgering, berating, ridiculing and baiting are not. How can you possibly call someone else a troll, when your behaviour brands you as the Grand Poobah of trolldom? Badgering, berating, baiting and ridiculing are classic earmarks of trolling, things that you have perfected to a high art-form and that have become your trademark. A non-troll doesn't attack everyone here that shows a human weakness or suffered an unfortunate loss. To pounce on them the way that you do is being the ultimate, cowardly troll and less of a man.

A lot of posters here have lost their homes, relationships and retirement, whether through being fleeced or not doing their homework. Does it really matter how? Most are deeply depressed and desperate. What do you offer them? Sick attempts to make them feel even worse is what.....quite a mean-spirited personality you have there. tiffy.

on August 27th, 2008

Re: RE: You too can have a profile

Now, what did you decide about geting your own Cowardly Guest Troll profile?

And by-the-way your characterizations of me are wholly untrue. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 27th, 2008

RE: Re: RE: You too can have a profile

"And by-the-way your characterizations of me are wholly untrue."

No they're not. You have bared your character here innumerable times. You've acted rude, cruel, demeaning, crass, boorish, debasing and insulting toward people that don't really need that at particular times in their lives. Many come here in quiet, depressing desperation, maybe just needing some place to vent a little and get a little encouragement to help them proceed with their financially and emotionally ruined lives that they have bared to all.

Most decent people would have some human compassion instead of grinding them down further with insults. But it appears that this is a foreign concept to you. Have you ever comforted anyone in your life? Have you ever given anyone a kind word? Have you ever supported someone that needs support? Not from what I see here.

on August 27th, 2008

Re: RE: Re: RE: You too can have a profile

Cowardly Guest Troll - You and I disagree.

Futhermore, we could go back to all your posts and review all the innumerable contributions you've made to the BMM forum. Oh we can't, since you can't even be bothered to set up an anonymous profile!

Finally, the discussions here are about franchising and while it is unfortunate that people fail at business I am not here to provide a shoulder to cry on. I am here to promote best practices in franchising and proper pre-purchase due diligence and if you don't like it is too bad!

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 27th, 2008

RE: Re: RE: Re: RE: You too can have a profile

"I am here to promote best practices in franchising and proper pre-purchase due diligence and if you don't like it (sic) is too bad!"

Just how I knew you'd reply, tiffy. The reasons you just posted are so much B.S. and self-delusional. You are here to make up for your inferiority feelings about yourself. You're here in a feeble attempt to raise your whale-crap, low self-esteem. A first year psych major would have you figured out in the first week of their first semester. You're a simple, open book. The only way in your sick mind to raise yourself up is by tearing others down. This should be obvious, even to you. It's Psych 101. You're a sorry-ass loser and always will be. By loser, I don't necessarily mean wealth. I mean as a human being.

on August 28th, 2008

You are just as anonymous.

Dearest TIF-

    You've been posting here in excess of a year but nobody knows who you are other than the fact that you are self proclaimed successful 'franchisor'.  There is zero difference between yourself and any anonymous poster except for the fact that you are easier to identify with respec to your posts (as opposed to your actual identity).

You're 'troll' argument is a weak straw-man at best.  Time to give it a rest. 

Folks - if TIF gets under your skin, simply ignore him.  His MO has been the same for at least the last 14 months.

The real question is why registered posters with gravitas here: Solomon, Webster, Steinberg, etc... continue to give this guy any respect.  My guess is he's always the loser that picks up the tab at some annual convention they all attend.   There has to be a reason.

Posted by Sleep Tight on August 28th, 2008

RE: You are just as anonymous.

Sleep Tight writes - There is zero difference between yourself and any anonymous poster except for the fact that you are easier to identify with respec to your posts (as opposed to your actual identity).

Reply - I agree and the unidentified guest posters regular ambush registered posters and they disrupt convesrational threads.

Sleep Tight writes - The real question is why registered posters with gravitas here: Solomon, Webster, Steinberg, etc... continue to give this guy any respect. 

Reply - They have the good sense to realize that my positions are well reasoned and logical even if they disagree.

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 28th, 2008

RE: RE: You are just as anonymous

tif, in all seriousness, babbles: "They have the good sense to realize that my positions are well reasoned and logical even if they disagree."

I'm entering this in the Burlington Liar's Club annual competition. You are in a dream-world tif, and need serious, professional help to overcome your delusional tendencies. ".....well reasoned and logical...." You poor Bozo. If you really think that your positions are "well reasoned and logical," get help quickly. There is no time to waste. How old are you, tif? Does your mom know that you spend all this time wasting other people's time on the computer? What a little insignificant jerk-off!

on August 28th, 2008

Why is this thread being

Why is this thread being allowed to continue on this topic?

It has nothing to do with the Candy franchise.

Anybody else would have been banished to the blog that was made for this.

It looks like a thread that is made to cause troubles.

Posted by H20Man on August 28th, 2008

yikes

I started this thread "I'm so glad I found this site" but can assure you that my intention was not to start a war of words.

I'm just getting caught up with the new posts here as I haven't been on here in a week or so. I would like to comment on one thing though, TIF's response to me was pretty harsh and lacking in empathy but, I'm a big girl with a thick skin and can take it. I've been in a professional environment for a loooong time and harsh responses dont effect me much.
Although I did state in my original post that it would be nice if lawyers would rally behind us, I know the reality is, that ain't gonna happen. (At least, it ain't gonna happen for free anyway.) I'm not that delusional to think that. :)

TIF - although I could live without the sarcasm, your posts do offer a harsh opposing viewpoint in many instances and I have found them interesting. I try to look at both sides of an argument and be fair. You dont come across as very empathetic/sympathetic nor should you have to. Since finding this site, I've read a lot of the content and have learned a lot and so, for that, I thank all of the contributors. I only wish I had this info pre-CB purchase. I would have loved for someone to come down with some harsh reality on me then.

Thanks all!
Heather

on September 1st, 2008

Profile

Guest writes: "Have you seen TIF's profile?"

Yes, and this is what he writes:

"Franchise development executive with a growing and successful company.

My posts made on this website are my personal opinions." 

Ok, I am inclined to believe that.  It is mildly informative - and much more useful than a guest post. 

So ask him about franchise development instead of getting into this troll exchange.

You might not like the answers, and I probably wouldn't either, but isn't that better than acting like we are all in grade 8?

Jest wondering. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on August 26th, 2008

Re: Profile

Michael you probably would like my opinions if Canadian law schools would cease the long standing practice of sucking out half the brain of each student in their second year of study. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIFecond year

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 26th, 2008

Crappy Candy

TIF writes:  "Wasn't it obvious that Candy Bouquets might be a crappy franchise to buy?

And until people like you take personal responsibility for their choices and when buying franchises people perform proper franchise investigation then franchises like CB will cease to have buyers."

TIF is both right and wrong.

He is right that this is a crappy franchise.

His is wrong to think however that the market for franchises is driven primarily by individual decision makers reflecting rationally on the franchise offerings.

Franchisors need individuals to be over committed, starting and running a small business requires an insane amount of dedication and ungrounded optimism.

It would not be reasonable to expect, in the current environment, people to decided otherwise.

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on August 26th, 2008

Actually,

Rumor has it the ACBF is retaining one of the top notch franchise attorneys there is. Candy bouquet may soon become a thing of the past.

on August 16th, 2008

Re: Actually,

Did everyone pitch in a couple of bucks? 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on August 16th, 2008

Have you seen the latest....

Propaganda? Check out the Candy Bouquet website under franchising and the list of support that is supposedly offered is literally sickening! If they provided all of what they say they do in those very long lists, then the failure rates wouldn't be topping 70%! I'm wondering who will be providing all that wonderful training with no inhouse trainer at this time? And the article about the 24 year old COO - who is now a thing of the past - no good press at all!

Oh by the way, just to be clear, the trademark is ONLY the ones designed by/for Candy Bouquet and it is not recognized as a trademarkable business name!

And that guy with the "miliary contract" overseas? He was marking up the bouquets to our servicemen/servicewoman to pad his bottomline!

CBI goes green? They should really consider the greatest contribution, knocking down the corporate offices and making a park!

on August 19th, 2008

I Was a Franchisee Too

for five years. When doing research, calling the people on "the list", I asked, among other questions, if in training you learned how to run a business and if there was a great support system. These topics were important to me since I had very little business training. I was told yes. I purchased my franchise and went to training. When I left training all I came home with was blisters.

As soon as I returned home I went to the local SBA office and took business classes and got a SCORE advisor. After three months he advised me that the only way the business would succeed was to diversify. Thank goodness I did so.

I followed CBI's marketing program. I purchased all the items they told me were necessary. I did all their extra training courses. I worked over sixty hours a week. I could not afford to hire any employees and I continued to go into debt.

When I had one year left on my franchise, I stopped purchasing any items from their distribution center. Six months before expiration I discontinued all bouquets and CBI products. The very first month I was no longer a franchisee, I made a profit. Coincidence? It is now four years later. Not only do I make a profit, but I have four employees.

I have talked to dozens of franchisees over the years who lost their homes, their spouses (my wife nearly divorced me), and their money. They were all hard working people that put their heart and soul into their franchise. Is Candy Bouquet a viable franchise? NO! It is a nice little addition to a store, but, because of the labor involved for one, it can never be a stand alone product.

on August 19th, 2008

Waisted time by Franchisees

Wow I own my own Candy Bouquet store and it is very succesful, it seems to me that if you spent more time working on your goals instead of blaming others for your failure, that there would not be a failure. I belive that Candy Bouquet gave my self and every one apart of its team a wonderful oppertunity and becuase some people are lazy and give up. Those people tend to blame every one but them selfs. How about working for a change instead of claiming some one is scamming you when really u are just a failure

on August 21st, 2008

Wasted Time

So tell me: are you following the CBI model of just selling candy bouquets and distribution items? Do you only purchase product from their preferred vendors?

Interested to know the secret of your success.

on August 22nd, 2008

Considering the fact that....

90% of us have the same issues, it isnt wasting time to take action. I am pretty positive that if you are indeed a franchisee (and not someone from CBI HQ), you are not only selling candy bouquets in your store. It has been a proven fact that candy bouquets alone will not carry a store front.

If you are doing so fantastic just selling candy bouquets, more power to you! You are in the 1% that is!!! Good for you!!

on August 22nd, 2008

The Anology of

a successful Candy Bouquet franchisee - have a credit card, sure you can buy a franchise - go to training, how about buying more territory - sure you can put it on a credit card. You will need more inventory to make all those bouquets that all those 75,000 (being a little reasonable) people in your two territories you just purchased on your credit will come running for - sure put the inventory on your credit card too! Well, you open up shop, have 100 bouquets and WOW - what a successful opening. Things are going fine for a while - in the back making bouquet after bouquet for the first 30 days. The credit card bill comes in - OUCH!!! $30,000 in charges just from Candy Bouquet International! You did not really budget for extra territory and additional inventory - so you just pay a little bit of the bill - well, need to reorder, new bouquets going up on the EM site that you had to also purchase and you don't have any of those containers and products to produce them. This goes on for the next 3 months. In the meantime, you are trying to get help from the corporate office because none of their "mandatory bouquets" that they keep putting on the EM sites are selling - you are sitting on $$$ of inventory and had to throw away lots of candies and chocolates and are just praying none of your customers got the bad sh*t! But hey, according to CBI you are successful because you have been buying a lot of product from them on a monthly basis! You buy more then franchisees who have been in business for more then 2 years - maybe you should add other products we carry in the warehouse - let's do an analysis.

Well, another 6 months goes by and two major holidays - you are in the backroom tearing apart bouquet after bouquet because the 350 bouquets you were verbally told to make did not sell! You ask, where were the lines that were supposed to be at the door when I opened, where were the lines at the door for Christmas and Valentines?

But hey, you are just successful because you sunk over $100,000 in junk that you had to throw away! Included in that junk is your franchise. But the pilot said, they will come running!

on August 22nd, 2008

Thank you!

I didnt feel like typing out all of the nonsense with the EM website so thank you for doing it! That is why I gave up on the website which for a home based, you kinda need. If I could not add my own bouquets to it which I KNEW sold, and was forced to only have their creations on there which I KNEW did not sell, what good is it? I liked the adds they would send out with the new bouquet creations they would come up with but, unfortunately, it is not possible for me to buy all of the inventory to make them all. I needed to be able to put on my website what I KNEW would sell in my area. Most of these were my own creations. Mine were better than CBIs and they sold better..... The website was a joke. Thank god, I didnt pay for that too... MM picked up the tab on that one and shortly after I realized it was a joke, I canceled it so I wouldnt have to pay 30 bucks a month for it.

on August 23rd, 2008

Hey

Oh really? Well, if you are so successful, then how come you can't even spell? With an attrition rate of 70% and 222 closures just last year and this year is not far behind, who do you blame? In this franchise there is not one franchisee who is truly successful on Candy Bouquets alone. If you work all day, 7 days a week, do your own deliveries and so forth - that is not success. Success is when you can afford a well staffed store, have delivery people and can actually manage your business from behind the scenes.

By the way, are you the guy (who can't spell) that can not afford to to go to convention because you have a street fair during that time and can't afford to lose out on a $1,000 day? So, now how successful are you really?

on August 22nd, 2008

Spelling not criteria

Now, be nice.

Spelling is not a criteria for success, and even F. Scott Fitzgerald was notoriously bad in this area.

Of course, buying a Candy Boquet franchise does not seem conducive to success either, but that's another story. 

Paul SteinbergFranchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

on August 22nd, 2008

Well.........

I'll try my best. Those brown nosers just don't get it.

You are absolutely correct that buying a Candy Bouquet franchise is not conducive for success. Too labor intense, too long to make and just too much shrinkage/waste in the product.

Thought you should know, this franchisor worships the subway guy.

on August 25th, 2008

Re: Nothing is Sweet about Candy Bouquet!

I agree on taking action, so why dont you people start working and quit your complaining. I promise you will probably start making money.

on August 22nd, 2008

That is a promise you cant keep...

unfortunately.... if it were true, I would have made my money back already...

on August 23rd, 2008

ACTION?

Lazy? How insulting! I know many former/current franchisees who have worked themselves to the point of carpal tunnel and tendonitis from making these ridiculous bouquets that we were told there was "equipment" to help make!

Oh, let me guess, we are bored housewived too as the CEO claims all the failed franchisees are! I heard it straight from the cows mouth when asked why there was an excessively high failure rate and she literally claimed that many women buy the franchise thinking that it would be fun buy when they realized how much work was involved, they just quit!

Lazy? The franchisees I know work in excess of 60 hours weekly in their stores because they can't afford to pay anyone to do for them - but God knows, they wish they could! We depend on family members and friends to "donate" their time to our "little hobby" in an effort to pay the never ending bills.

Lazy? Candy Bouquet hadn't produced a new video for over a decade until an honest hard working franchisee attempted to do something collaborative with other franchisees and was literally attacked by the corporate office! They still haven't produced the infamous Christmas video to this date!

Lazy? Is the person that turns a deaf ear to the problems being openly discussed by deleting posts or shutting down websites. Lazy is someone who knows the truth but does nothing to fix it!

on August 23rd, 2008

Probably - Promise?

Is something wrong with you? You promise a "probably"? Now that sounds like the sales jargon to me! And when exactly will we start making money - you didn't probably promise that to us?

on August 23rd, 2008

CANDY BOUQUET WORKS PERFECT IF YOUR NOT LAZY

This blog is so obvious. Two employees of CBI were fired and the next day, this started. I think there are some serious alocations here and it needs to be stopped.

Candy Bouquet is one of the best franchise opportunities in the world. We have no additional fees like so many others. There are no royalties, no watching your books and lots of freedom. Most all franchisees love and support the system as do I.

I guess there are always negative people out there that will tear down any system. Especially if they have been fired?

on August 23rd, 2008

Yeah

and clearly you work for corporate and do not actually own one. Mine is for sale. Perhaps you would like to buy it? It will be the best investment you could ever make according to you. I also have a nice bridge for sale too by the way...

Question: So were the two employees fired because they were spreading the truth? We know MM does not like that.. Unless you agree with everything, you are on the sh*t list. We are all aware of that...

on August 23rd, 2008

Obvious?

Obviously you are an idiot! The two people "fired" didn't start this blog! But, what would be wonderful was if the recently fired employees came out and spoke against CBI and went to the FTC about the illegal activities that go on there!

Best franchises in the world? According to who? Entrepreneur? Seeing how CBI advertises heavily in that magazine, I'm sure that influences their "secret formula" for rating franchises - they admit that they too, don't interview franchisees! You NEVER see candy bouquet listed in legitmate magazines like Franchise Times and you never will unless they are being exposed for fraud!

Royalties? CBI makes TONS OF MONEY OFF INACTIVE FRANCHISES that they would not otherwise collect if they were paying royalties! Zero from zero is zero! Whether they are selling or not, they are OBLIGATED to the ridiculous "association" fees! When asked where our money was going, we were given assorted BS answers and never the truth!

Another reason CBI claims they are not "watching your books" is because if they watch YOUR books, they must disclose THEIR books! Now who is so smart?

Love and Support? Are you KIDDING ME? An independent association was formed by the franchisees because in NO WAY do they LOVE and SUPPORT the system - they feel betrayed and misled by it! I've had 13 year old kids come in my store and tell me they make candy bouquets! I had a lady tell me the other day she was making the ice cream sodas over 20 years ago! There are videos and books to teach you this task, yet you are led to believe that it is an exclusive item?

I love the fact that CBI is having financial difficulties and hopefully the decreased sales will somehow jeopardize the Hilton they bankrolled off the failed franchises. I hope CBI is like humpty dumpty, it can never be put back together again!

on August 23rd, 2008

I sure would like facts to back up your assumptions

This blog was started in May so there goes your first point down the drain! You are right about being one of the best franchisees in the world, however you never said what they are best at. I will fill in your blank....
They are best at total misrepresentation of their "system. By definition a franchise is an entire business model or system. Some work better then others, but CBI doesn't work at all and has no model or system.

Lazy? How dare you!!!
I have worked almost 24/7 for 5 years as a storefront and barely eeked out a profit. Why? Not because I didn't have plenty of customers, not because I couldn't make the bouquets very fast, not because I didn't get the best possible price on all of my inventory.
Basically because there is no profit to be had in a Candy Bouquet. AFter being encouraged by my franchise rep to go with a very expensive location, saying that is what all the franchises pay. How many of you CB's out there can handle a $3300 a month overhead for 5 years? No matter how many employees I had (more overhead) and how many orders and corporate accounts I had- I just worked harder and harder to pay everyone else except me. Oh, and I acquired carpal tunnel in both hands because of it. It is not a product that can support a storefront. Bringing in other items helps but also costs more and other then the few "preferred vendors' that give a kick back to CBI it takes a lot of time researching new products and testing the market to bring them in. I was lead to believe I would operate a Candy Bouquet store not a gift shop when I was in Little Rock for my initial and only training.
And I can't help but laugh at the above comment that most franchisees love and support the system. What kind of KoolAid are inhaling?????
WE all know that the franchise count is totally inflated for marketing purposes. Another deceptive practice on the part of CBI. Go to the store locator and count the actual number of locations not the number of CBI franchises. IN the case of a franchisee buying more territory then they thought they needed....CBI will issue a new contract for that territory and call it another franchisee. There is only about 1/3 of the 800+ plus franchises that are listed. And there were over 200 out of business franchisees just last year. I wish there had been an Association of Candy Bouquet FRanchises when I did my research 5 years ago. I would have gotten the real picture and probably run in the other direction. Our contract does not allow for us to be honest when we get sucked up into this system for fear of be terminated. That wouldnt be so bad except for the fact that most of us have leases we still have to honor and pay the rent for. I am so glad that I am done. I only wish I was done with the debt this business put me in.

on August 23rd, 2008