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.

I give you a lot of credit......

for sticking it out for the 5 years...I really do. I would be one of the statistics that gave up after 2 years and I did not have a store front either.

I feel that what you just wrote paints a very real picture of what you will go through if you chose to purchase a franchise and open a CB store. I have not spoken to anyone who failed at this that did NOT give it a valiant effort to make it work. The "lazy" comment is purely ridiculous and clearly made by someone who does not own one. Dont take it personally. The sad thing is, that is the reality of the opinion of corporate. If you fail it is your fault and you are lazy etc. If you make a suggestion to improve things you are being difficult and negative. If you express your concerns and issues with your fellow franchisees, you are slamming the company and trying to start trouble. There is that wonderful "support" they offer, eh?

on August 23rd, 2008

Do you know something I don't know?

You commented about two employees being fired by CBI. According to the franchisor herself, only one person was fired. Everyone else left on their own. Either you are mistaken above, or the franchisor has mislead the franchise population. Which one is it?

on August 25th, 2008

RE: CANDY BOUQUET WORKS PERFECT IF YOUR NOT LAZY

not according to Inc. 500 ** This Years Fastest Growing Private Companies! Edible Arrangements is kicking butt!

No additional fees, no royalties and no watching the books - well you can't take from nothing. For lots of freedom.....maybe a little but then again we need the freedom to add other products to our business to survive because you can not survive on bouquets alone. But, where we don't have freedom is in having voices heard. Understand you tore down the CB forum and now the franchisees have to have permission to post and if you don't like what they say or ask, you delete it. That is the worse kind of freedom anyone can take away. Taking away one's constitutional right is such a disservice to those that are fighting everyday for our rights.

By the way, there is not a Candy Bouquet system in place to tear down.

on August 25th, 2008

Re: CANDY BOUQUET WORKS PERFECT IF YOUR (sic) NOT LAZY

"I think there are some serious alocations here and it needs to be stopped."

WTF huh?

on August 28th, 2008

Serious allegations needs to be stopped

If you speak the truth there are no allegations. The sweet truth is hard to acknowledge if perhaps you live in a narcistic world.

on August 28th, 2008

Alocations?

Perhaps you need to get a better understanding of the English language before you post a question! It would seem that you are on some very very strong KOOL-AID. Try some fact finding first and detox before you post again for your own credibility. Thank You

on August 28th, 2008

Success

For the Candy Bouquet franchisee that seems to be making it, I have a few questions.
1. What percentage of your sales are bouquets?
2. What have you done that the rest of us have not done that makes you such a success?
3. How long have you owned your franchise?

Some franchisees have held their head above water by making fudge and selling Webkinz. Two things CBI doesn't not promote. They promote Stonebrook Fudge, but don't tell you it is cheaper to do it yourself. Also, at one time CBI owned a portion of Stonebrook. Of course, this was not disclosed.

So what have you done that you are so successful? Please share because I am sure that the remaining franchisees would like to be able to recoup their losses before they close their doors. We know that CBI promotes helping each other. So please do help!

Let the truth set you free!

on August 27th, 2008

Success of a Candy Bouquet Franchisee

While these are all good questions for any candy bouquet franchisee to ask; if you are an active cbi franchisee consider joining the Association of Candy Bouquet Franchisees. Contact Stacie Powers with the AAFD for further information. Her email is: [email protected]

on August 27th, 2008

Success

With this being a free society and a franchisor that promotes sharing ideas then sharing information that could make a franchisee profitable should not be contigent on joining the franchise association. Personally, I loath CBI, but I don't let it rule my life. I do not know if the association has really done anything for the franchisee, but growing an association does take time.

But then again, CBI doesn't want us to be successful. If we give up our franchise, they can then resale it for the going rate. With the life expectency of a franchisee 2.5 years, CBI can double their money. If you survive, then they only get the monthly association fee. It is small, but let's say your territory requires a $200 fee. Doesn't seem like much, but if you were to pay a 5% fee you would need to gross $4000 per month. If you sell $2000, and you paid by percentage of 5% then the fee would be $100. Now that $200 that you pay every month, based on sales of $2000 would amount to 10%. So which is better a flat fee or a percentage?

To those making it, give those of us who are not an idea of where to get started. Since CBI is of no help.

Let the truth set you free.

on August 28th, 2008

Success

First the best advice I can give any candy bouquet franchisee is to join the ACBF. There you can network with fellow franchisees concerning real business issues both good and bad. Unfortunately, the candy bouquet forum is moderated by our franchisor. Since she fired the COO, trust, truth and honesty has been thrown out the door as well as open communications. The door has been closed on many franchisees. The attrition rate overall is pathetic and getting worse. But, let's not get started on those numbers, that is for another blog.

Unfortunately, there is NOT a candy bouquet franchisee who is successful on candy bouquets alone. If you are an existing struggling candy bouquet franchisee, start divesting the candy bouquet part of your business now. If you are brand new, you have my deepest sympathy. Diversify by adding gourmet foods (mostly local), gourmet chocolates, balloons, ceramics, gift items, plush (WEBKINZ RULE!) and make your own fudge if possible. Take a good look at your store and create it the way you would want it to be ** don't follow CBI's lack of model; their so called lack of a model has never been tested outside of their own backyard and they have not shared the before and after stats either. Do your own thing and if you are unsure, visit other shops around you to see their store designs or invest in a consultant. Go to the gourmet food and gift markets, attend the seminars ** so much free information from the professionals at those events. Work diligently with your vendors, they will happily provide you with point of sale and free displays for in store marketing. CBI doesn't have a clue about that stuff.

As far as royalties go, THANK GOD, I don't pay them! Unfortunately, it is true that many franchisees struggle and only gross from $500 to $2000 per month. There is no way a store front can survive on that and my heart goes out to them. My business grosses over $15,000 per month. That would be a lot more in royalties for me. Lets be real here, this franchisor would make sure we pay royalties on every little thing that went out that front door, not just on bouquets. Also, I'm sure she would have the same clause as other franchisors have, if you make below a certain amount of sales, you pay a flat fee. She would have you pay one way or another.

In the end, does CBI want their franchisees to be successful. NO! They make money by selling franchises not by keeping them. Churn and burn is their MoJo!

Do what is best for you not what they tell you to do.

Hope this helps.

on August 28th, 2008

Congrats!

It sounds like you have a nice little business plan working. What I surmise from your post is that you don't need your CBI franchise. You basically have a gift shop with local flavor and a cross section of main stream products that work in your area. (Webkinz have never been big here) Candy bouquets can be made from a video or just take one apart and figure out how labor intensive they are.
The Association is an important resource that offers support and ideas to existing franchises that are lacking from the franchisor. However, if you are not a CBI franchise....keep it that way. Until CBI and its founder can come up with ways of making candy bouquets with less labor there is no reason to consider buying a useless franchise and locking yourself into a 5 year contract that will just result in you throwing $$$$$$ at Corp. There are NO trade secrets to making the bouquets. You don't need a franchise to make them as a quick internet search will show you. I might not be able to recoup all I have lost because of my CBI franchise, but I can do my best to help save anyone else from losing their savings, homes and financial stability. Not only are you not making money with this product you are wasting your time when you can be putting your efforts into a better system and product and be successful with a company that knows that the success of the franchisees means success for the franchisor.

on August 28th, 2008

Success

It's sounds like you have made it without CBI. And that is the word I think everyone is trying to convey here. My advise...do not invest in CBI. If you have...quickly get out anyway you can. Do not use the CBI logo or any of their marketing materials. Rename your business. Divest in CBI and look at other items you can carry that are missing in your market if you truly want to stay in business. Remember this all take money and lots of it.

To the person making $15K a month, it is clear that you have done it without CBI. But what truly can the association provide a franchisee that makes significantly less than your store. By the time they come to the association they can barely, if they are keep their head above water. I was not impressed with some of the board members because they do not put out minutes of the meetings, they sometimes act like MM and try to clean up the messages on the blog, and talk with CBI without the members input. There is a lack of trust with a few of the board members. What is the goal of this association? We all know this is a loosing proposition, so maybe the goal of the association needs to change to the majority and not the minority. And really what has the association done for the members. It looks like they just are a group with no say.

We can whine to one another, but when it comes down to it...we can control what happens in our own lives. Stand up and make a decision. Take a good hard look at your numbers. Every CBI franchisee I have know works their butt off. They take their business very seriously. So far only a handful have made it in the 20 years since CBI has been formed. And did MM ever run a profitable CB? She had made the concept into a franchise and that is how she has made her money. Not by owning several CBs before franchising. So what it her main concern? A franchisee success or failure?

Let the truth set you free.

on August 30th, 2008

ACBF Board

Although I was not the one who posted about grossing $15K/month, my store is averaging more than that per month. We sell candy bouquets and gift baskets as well as divesting our store into many gift and other food products. We make our own fudge, sell Sweet Shop truffles, bulk candy, gourmet foods and other fun kids type candy.

We have networked with other businesses to obtain corporate accounts, research new products, attend trade shows and market and give God his well deserved piece. I am not saying it is easy. It is not. I am not saying it will happen overnight, it most likely will not.

I would also like to respond to the comments about the ACBF Board. There was one informal meeting between CBI and the ACBF since the ACBF was started. This meeting was not planned, it just happened. As a matter of fact there were non Board members present. A decision was made to meet with representatives of CBI. The other option was to pass on the meeting.

There is another meeting planned with MM at convention. A survey was sent to all the franchisees for their input, and the input will be used. To all that participated, thank you!!!

As far as minutes not being distributed to the members at large, that is normal business practice. Minutes are given to Board members, which again is normal business practice. As you may or may not know, the a new Board is forming. If you are a member, I encourage you to run for a position if you feel the Board is not acting in your best interest. If you are not a member, then I encourage you to join and again, run for a Board seat. All input is wanted and welcomed.

You ask what is the goal of the association. We would like to work with CBI for the betterment of both the franchisees and CBI. As you know, there are many issues facing franchisees. We would like to address them with CBI, and will address some in our meeting with MM. We would like to be a unified voice for the franchisees, and be able to present franchisee concerns to CBI management and get positive resolution out of it.

Lastly, you mention about posts be cleaned up. I personally am not aware of posts being cleaned up by anyone other than the original poster. If someone is having their posts changed, then I want to know and will get to the bottom of it.

Andy Lax
Treasurer ACBF

on August 30th, 2008

No one will answer the question posted by another poster

The question being.....how much of your +$15,000 a month is Candy Bouquets. The point being here is that CBI is selling franchises to make Candy Bouquets. Not fudge (health dept codes and build outs need to be followed here), plush, other lines of chocolates or gourmet lines of food. Sure they have a few preferred vendors we can use, but they are very limited and aren't unique enough to pay the bills. I bought a low cost franchise becasue I had little money to invest. No I didnt expect to take a profit in the beginning, but also didnt expect not to have a profit after 4 years. You seem to be insinuating that those of us who aren't as successful as you don't work as hard. Perhaps you are being a little too self righteous. A Candy Bouquet franchise can NOT support itself unless it is homebased. An then it is meager. This was/is not disclosed when buying a franchise. Good for you that you had the $$$$$ to invest in the kind of equipment and inventory that you are talking about. If CBI would have told me I need to do that then I would not have been able to afford a franchise and their honesty would have cost them one poor franchise, but would have saved me all that I had.
Now if your association can get CBI to be truthful and let people know that they need a LOT more $$$$ then just the territory amount...then we would have moral company. Being undercapitalized was not my fault and after working my a.. for all those years in a storefront I refuse to take the blame for its failure!!
I challenge you and the other poster to offer up the actual bouquet revenue from your CANDY BOUQUET store.

on August 30th, 2008

Nobody will answer that question.....

because the answer will just prove the point that a store front cannot survive on candy bouquets alone. It's a proven fact. If the figure of 15K is even accurate, I would be willing to bet that less than a thousand of that is from bouquets.

on August 31st, 2008

Nobody will answer that question.....

It is not a proven fact that a store front cannot survive on candy bouquets alone. Many franchisees treat candy bouquets as what they really are; just another product offering within their store. Don't need nor have Webkins in my store.

Why waste your energy fighting with other franchisees over their success? They are not the problem but you contribute to exactly what corporate would like to see. Don't be the problem instead put your energy towards helping find a solution to the problem. MM is most likely enjoying these posts as they are pitting franchisee to franchisee. Do you really think Jason kept forums like this from her?

Of course why would one expect anyone to change overnight? Instead you will again counter at franchisees for their success, the ACBF for not doing enough, or anyone else you choose to blame. Go ahead make MM's day!! Your posts just are so laughable please add more.

Thanks for the laughs.

on August 31st, 2008

Wow!! you are really off the mark here

The only one attacking other franchisees is you!
There have merely been CBI franchises on here that would like to know what percentage of their business is from Candy Bouquets. Now any good business person knows that breakdown if they are keeping any kind of records. The reason that is being asked again is to back up the assertion....no,not assertion, but definite fact.....that CBI and MM have misrepresented what a Candy Bouquet franchise can be. The point is it is not a store front franchise or even biggest seller for those that are still hanging in there after the 2 1/2 year closure point. There was no fighting except maybe in your head! What kind of attitude you must have. I can only guess it is because you are angry at how hard you are working for very little monetary reward. Calm Down and stop reading between the lines!!! Oh and BTW what does the ex-COO (Jason) have to do with anything. I think MM can read without his help.

on August 31st, 2008

And again...

Thank you for not answering the question yet again... You just keep proving the point over and over again...

Seems you are the only one doing the fighting. We are merely looking for facts to back up these figures. So far, NOBODY has been able to do it.... you are right, that is laughable!

on September 1st, 2008

Re: Nobody will answer that question.....

Why are we fighting amongst ourselves? It appears that we all agree cb's alone cannot pay the bills. Let's unite under the ACBF and all fight for the same thing.

I would estimate that 15-20% of my $15K+ revenues are from cb's and gift baskets. Of course these numbers are higher in Feb., Dec. and months with large corporate orders. I have no reason to overstate my revenues, and if anyone chooses to visit my store, I will prove it!

Andy Lax
Pearland, TX

on September 1st, 2008

My 2 Cents

Hello - I was reading these posts and wanted to share my experience with you all being someone who has a successful business. Notice I said successful business and not successful CANDY BOUQUET business!

From my view, the question here is, if you are successful with your business, just how much of that is from Candy Bouquets, right? I mean we talking about a Candy Bouquet *franchise* here after all.

I will be more than happy to answer that from my experience (and no, I'm not going to go so far as to get my books out. It is my day off after all :) About 15% of my sales are from Candy Bouquets. Maybe a bit more during holidays etc but that's the average. The bouquets have done well as another product to offer. People like them, and I like making them.

Now let me explain my business. I do own a store (if you want to call it that - meaning, I have overhead, I am not home based). We specialize in Corporate gifts, weddings, banquets etc. The bulk of our sales are from gift baskets, silk flower arrangements, gourmet chocolates and custom gifts geared towards companies. This is what carries my business. The bouquets are just another product we sell. We are not a "Candy bouquet" store. In fact my layout is not really a retail store. It is more of an office, with a big warehouse in back where we work and store everything. We have things out for display in the office part for people to see as examples when they come in but that is it.

The candy bouquets sell best for me as corporate gifts although we do seem to do a lot of wedding center pieces and things like. With the exception of one bouquet style from CBI, mine are all custom made. I liked my designs better and they sell better. Since the bouquets take so long to make, I dont sell anything for under $65 unless the are buying a lot of them at a time. I consider a CB the same as a bouquet of flowers or a nice silk flower arrangement which do not sell for $25 . I keep everything high end. I do buy from CB distribution. I like a lot of their stuff but I dont get everything from them.

When I bought my "franchise", my intention was always to incorporate it as just another product. I never thought for a second that CBs alone could carry an entire store. But I should stress that at no time when I was in training did they ever imply that CBs could NOT carry a store. They even have a mock store there that only has CBs and other cheap candy in it to give you an idea of how to set your store up?! There is no section in that mock store for all of the other millions of items you have to incorporate. It is extremely misleading.

I dont think anyone here is bashing others for their success. I consider myself very successful but I would NEVER try to imply that it has anything to do with candy bouquet and I think that is the point here. When you buy a CB franchise, you have to get very creative business wise in order to make yourself succeed. The fact that nothing even remotely close to that is stated from them is the part that gets people I think. I would have been more than happy to just buy a license to make their product instead of having to purchase a "franchise". Calling it a franchise is ridiculous and I dont even treat it as one. I have little to do with CBI. I am only posting here because nobody will answer this question. I did not join the association. I think it's a very good thing, but I'm not interested. I chose to stay out of the drama of CB as much as I can although I do agree with many of the complaints. I may change my mind on that though.

That's all for now...

on September 1st, 2008

I meant...

I may change my mind about getting more involved in the association etc, not about agreeing with the complaints... that came out wrong :)

I also wanted to add one more thing, to stay within the guidelines of the franchise territory bit, we actually do not advertise the CBs. We only have them out for display in the office. They have done pretty well by word of mouth and when a customer comes in looking for ideas and they see them out for display in our office. Luckily, my territory as far as population goes, is not very large because my business is located in a "business area" and is not very residential. That is the only way I could make this work. I did not want to get caught up in all of the extra fees associated with the franchise bit.

You may ask why I even bothered buying one instead of just making bouquets on my own.... I have always like CB bouquets the best. Meaning I liked the cellos and very specific items that only CB sells. Using some of their items, I feel my bouquets look much nicer than anything I've seen without them. The logo also does help. People like logos.

on September 1st, 2008

RE: My 2 Cents

Aren't you in violation of your franchise agreement based on the way you conduct you business? 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on September 1st, 2008

No

we are not violating anything according to my franchise agreement. We have always been careful not to break any rules with this or anything else. What are you specifically getting at?

C

on September 1st, 2008

RE:No

I just read the Item 8 Restrictions on Sources of Products and Services and Sections 11 & 12 of the current franchise agreement. 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on September 1st, 2008

We arent doing anything against the rules...

We have been very careful not to do anything "wrong" with this or with anything we sell. Because CB is a franchise, there have been a lot of things we needed to be careful of but we are within the guidelines. In fact, I have talked to people in the corporate office in the past just to confirm. Their biggest concern was advertising outside the territory. We do not do that and follow all of their sign display rules as well. We arent trying to scam anyone, just trying to make a living.

I heard the franchise agreement has changed recently. I do not know if this is true or not.

In any case, at the risk of writing a novel here explaining everything, I think I'll end this for now..

C

on September 1st, 2008

Re: We arent doing anything against the rules...

What year is your franchise agreement? 

What does it say about restrictions of products and services? 

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on September 1st, 2008

I dont have it at my fingertips at the moment..

but I will look at it tomorrow when I am at work because you do have me curious. I do not know what bits have changed. I just heard it has.

C

on September 1st, 2008

Congrats C!

I am sure you are doing what you need to be in compliance. Sounds like you have figured out the best way to use the bouquets to your benefit. I applaud you business acumen and wish you much success!
It seems like 10-15% is the average (from other data I have gathered) for the stores that are older then 3 years and still making it. Most have just added Candy Bouquets to an existing line ie: florists, gourmet food store, gift shops and tourist spots.
My figures were more like 75% and we had no shortage of orders, however I just had to hire more employees to make them so never saw much of a profit.
Congrats again and thank you for stepping up to the plate and sharing what made you successful!!
I wonder if Burger Kings and McDonalds & Lenscrafters would be so successful if they sold other non branded items. I don't think so! Your point about Candy Bouquets being an item to license and maybe a distribution center to sell branded items and exclusively designed cellos would have been a more honest and moral thing to do, rather then to mislead hard working people that there is "Candy Bouquet Store franchise" in there somewhere.

on September 1st, 2008

WOW!

75%! That is great! How the heck did you get that many orders for CBs? What was your secret? I'm very curious... Was a lot of it your location?

C

on September 1st, 2008

New Contracts

TIF:

Only the new contracts limit the product purchases and resources for products. In the past we could purchase from any company we wanted to use regardless of the CBI relationship with them or not.

Only a fool would sign a new contract with CBI - especially if they've read this website and carefully reviewed the closure list in the back of the offering circular - we all can't be wrong!

on September 1st, 2008

RE: Success

As a member of the association, I get minutes and other pertinent information emailed to me. The board does not hide information and if they speak to anyone at corporate about issues then more power to them. Do they have to ask your permission to sh*t too?? At one time we were told since we were allowing visitors to come on to our google forum that if there is anything we posted but did not feel comfortable having on there then it would be up to us to clean it up because no one else was going to. What is wrong with that, it was our own choice not anyone else going behind us. Gee whiz, big deal. Also when establishing the association, we were all given the opportunity to bring forward our wants, needs, issues and so forth and we have been polled quite a few times since then. Our current President and Vice President work their *ss off to help us and they post articles and email out good information for us. One actually did a full blown corporate account thing and emailed it to all of us. We dont get that from the franchisor. They also just had a south eastern regional meeting put on by our President and another board member. Sure hope the other regions follow their lead. just felt they needed to be defended because when all the crap started with the franchisor they were the ones who stuck their neck out and continue to do so.

on August 30th, 2008

Work

mmmmm, lets see, I listen while in training and i work hard. If you did what Margaret and or Candy Bouquet said about how to run your stores. You might be doing pretty well.

THE MAIN REASON I THINK MOST OF YOU PEOPLE ARE NOT WORKING IS BECAUSE LOOK AT THE TIMES AND DATES OF A LOT OF THESE POST. INTRESTING MOST OF THEM ARE DURING WORKING HOURS.

So stop blogging and go market your store. Go out and promote, sell, advertise, even blog great specials or deals to bring in customers. COSOMERS WONT HEAR ABOUT YOUR PLACE IF NO ONE TELLS THEM. YOU CANT EXPECT TO MAKE MONEY WHEN YOU ARE SITTING AROUND BLOGGING/HATING AND NOT NETWORKING

on August 28th, 2008

Work?

Your comment belongs with the "you must be lazy" post. I have had a store for 5 years and plenty of customers. You must not be listening!!!! You probably are homebased and don't have much overhead. Good for you! Stay that way and you might eeek out of meager profit. Maybe you can learn from the many that come before you. There is not enough profit (The advertised 350% markup is not what it seems!!) in making Candy Bouquets to call it any more then a hobby for a little extra money on the side. Please don't quit your day job to do these!! Shouting in your message is not going to change the facts. My guess is that you havn't had enough experience with this franchise to know that. MOst figure it out in the first year...the smarter ones know the first 6 months or even at training, but unfortunately we are sold the idea that Candy Bouquets can support a store. Did you see a store model that is operating? Is it in the black? Oh yes we can add the fudge from Stonebrook (which MM owns a part of) but there is probably about $1 profit per # once you repackage, pay for shipping and throw away the dry stuff. REading blogs like this is how you can be more informed so don't yell at those that happen to do it while working. Everyone hasfamilies and when I come home from the store after 10 hours I won't be on my computer. Education never ends and I hope this blogs educates any would be Candy Bouquet franchisees to run in the other direction. There are many better things to do with your money!!!

on August 28th, 2008

Have You

looked at the time and date you posted today? Quit being a total *ss! If I did everything Miss McEntire and/or CBI told me to do, I would have been out of business by now. Instead I have survived their franchise life expectancy of a franchisee by doing things my way. My customers know who I am, where my store is located and I do quite well, thank you.

Therefore, it is very hypocritical of you to come on here and trash others. Guess business for you must not be all that great for you since you are on here reading and blogging during business hours too!

on August 28th, 2008

Another idiot!

I'm not sure what the time of day has to do with anything? Afterall, I can remember ol' Maggie sitting on the VIP for hours - all day - every day responding personally to blogs. Oh wait - perhpas that is why this company is in the toilet - the CEO didn't know how to shut up and delegate!

UGH! The world is full of idiots - it appears most of them have drank too much of CBI koolaid too!

on September 1st, 2008

MM's says blogging is "out" and is cbi going down the toilet?

MM has commadeered the franchisees learning center forum since terminating Jason the COO and stated to her franchisees blogging is "OUT". We will have a new forum she says. Well the new franchisee forum consist of only posts that MM appoves herself. Wow talk about total control. Since the commadeered learning center forum take over she has added to date 121 post herself in about 30 days or less. Many of these posts she starts herself and if no one responds she just responds to herself. How is it blogging is out when she is supposedly running a business and blogging to all her franchisees? MM tells her franchisees that its out but keeps blogging herself. Does anyone else think it's a tiny bit odd that MM has nothing else to do but to blog all day long on her franchisees learning center forum? Makes one wonder what is going on in Little Rock. Anyways she also says to the association dump the AAFD and join the IFA does she think we were all just born yesterday? The IFA lobbies for the zors not the zees.

Is this what the position of CEO is now? Never have known of the CEO of a corporation that has that much time on their hands. Seems like there are many more important things that she could/should be doing.
Coming up with a business model, looking for new vendors, figuring out ways to manufacture bouquets profitably, branding the name and products to just name a few.

Another thing happening is MM's distribution is running out of items and they are placed on her back order list as discontinued. When checking with the original company these items are really not discontinued as stated. Is she preparing to close up shop? Sell everything in the warehouse and close down? Is this not an idication things are moving in that direction? Is she fixing to leave the franchisees high and dry? For most we would be better off.

So many questions so few answers. Any thoughts? Is cbi going down the toilet?

on September 24th, 2008

MM out did herself blogging a response to own post three times

While MM continues sitting on her throne in Little Rock, blogging away on the commadeered franchisee learning center forum, a huge flush is approaching. Just warning you all, the writing is on the wall big time. Considering with all the terminations of employees, replacing Jason's COO position with her brother-inlaw as vice-president, other employees quitting, then we have MM blogging her thanks to franchisees for buying items from a distributions sale, oh yes, lest we forget a sudden reposting of the holiday sale once again on the commadeered franchisee learning center forums homepage.

Sales of franchises are at an all time record low, with that decline starting prior to the economy decline, add to that allowing five year contracts not to renew but stay on the books as a franchisee by paying their monthly cbi association fees only. Wondering if that is even legal as some of those franchisees who have not renewed but are paying fees only have it on their "word" not in writing that their contract has been extended by 30 days, three months, even six months. Don't feel it's fair to the franchisees who really are able to renew. Franchisees are being offered these terms, they not asking for it, cbi is even offering renewal payment plans to remain on as a franchise. Seems if these cbi franchisees were successful they wouldn't need payment terms or plans offered.

No new bouquets using last years bouquets for the holidays is this a ploy to empty out the warehouse? Wondering if this is the begining of the end for MM's rein. Claims many buyers are lining up to purchase cbi wondering too if the franchisees wouldn't be better off if she did sell cbi. Yes many unanswered questions. cbi franchisees could be headed for darker days with cbi headed down the toliet. Seems attorneys would line up talking to these cbi franchisees.

on September 25th, 2008

Whoosh..........

Ahhh.. the first one to flush...........that felt good!

on September 25th, 2008

YES THE COMPANY AND FRANCHISEES WOULD

be MUCH better off if she could find and actual business person to buy this sad franchise. There might be a chance for more then a couple franchisees to be successful then!!!! Somebody take mercy on her underlings and bailout this poor excuse for a franchise!!!

on September 25th, 2008

Lining Up to buy CBI?

WOW! Did MM state this herself on her blogs? I am wondering if these potential buyers have investigated very well. All they need to do is contact prior franchisees as listed in the offering to find out the real not so great a deal about candy bouquet!

I truly hope she goes BANKRUPT as she has caused so many other franchisees to do over the past few decades. I hope she has to sell her fancy cars and house but the gravey would be for her to loose the hilton hotel she bragged about building.

I'm wondering how many talkshows, book offers or board she would be on then? Perhaps interviews that discuss just how disgruntled franchisees can bring a CEO to her knees - and we all know she isn't praying on them!

on September 25th, 2008

the hilton is already gone

Don’t hold your breath the Hilton is already gone like most business associates. Wondered why convention wasn't at the Hilton but instead at Crowne Plaza. Just asked enough questions of the right people and got answers.

on September 26th, 2008

Hilton "in her head"

What is the real deal w/the Hilton? Did MM ever do it - or was this another gross exaggeration of her accomplishments? I guess staying at the Crowne would tip most anyone off that knew about all the bragging a year ago when it came to building the Hilton.

Please explain your inside information!

on September 28th, 2008

AAFD endorsed by Zor

"Guest" writes: Anyways she also says to the association dump the AAFD and join the IFA...

Bob Purvin should ask her if he can use her quote as a blurb on AAFD literature. Truly high praise from a franchisor.

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

on September 26th, 2008

work

Wow we finally here from the stupid bitch herself. I hope by now you all realize that MMC is scam artist, wait that might be giving her to much credit. The closing ratio should speak for itself...why invest money on a failed concept? I feel sorry for all of the current franchises, get out why you still can. I'm sure glad i did. She is nothing more than lyer and a theif. The world will be a better place when people like this are gone.

on September 2nd, 2008

Outraged

I am a former CBI franchisee. I just recently found this website. I am outraged at this particular comment. I'll have you know that I worked my butt off to make my store work. I worked 10-12 hour days every day. I spent more than $1500 a month in advertising on TV, radio, magazines, and many other forms of media. And if I did have time to blog during working hours, it was because I had no customers and all extra work was delegated to my one employee. Not because I didn't work hard to get my name out there but because no one was interested in buying a candy bouquet which was the only thing I sold other than a few stuffed animals and some bulk candy. CBI never told me in the beginning that my store would need more than that. So, do not ever accused any franchisee of not working hard to promote their business just because of what time of day they are blogging. That is ridiculous!

I would also like to add that, yes, I am very upset and angry over my failed business but, I don't blame MM or CBI because I was the one stupid enough to buy into the company without investigating it first.

on September 19th, 2008

To the experts on this site....

I'm curious... (and please be nice... this is an honest question)

In your opinion, would it be a bad move for Margaret McIntyre to get out of the franchise mill business and instead sell some sort of a license to use her CB logo and items and her "recipes" for making bouquets? It seems like that would solve a lot of these issues for zees and the zor.
I mean, there wouldnt be anymore zees and zor. She may not make as much in one lump sale as she does for the territories but in the long run, it seems she would make more because the buyers would not be as restricted with all of these franchise rules and could in turn easily incorporate the candy bouquets into a pre existing store any way they like. Basically just buying the right to use the logo and logo items etc. It seems she would sell more licenses than franchises and in turn make more in the long run and could eliminate all of the disgruntled zees she has at the moment.

Is it legal for her to do such a thing since it didnt start out that way? Are you aware of any other cases that started off as franchises but ended up as just a product that people are licensed to sell instead of making an entire store out of it? What would happen to the current zees if she did this?

TIF - I am curious of your thoughts on this as well if you care to answer..

Thank you in advance,

Heather

on September 1st, 2008

Re: To the experts on this site....

The franchisor can offer to change the terms of the agreement if they want and the franchisees can choose to accept.

Why should the franchisor offer any changes?  

The Truth Shall Set You Free!

TIF

Posted by Truth in Franchising on September 1st, 2008

Seems like it would be

a good idea for her to change something up regardless of what it is. With all of the negative press etc, I would think her franchise sales would start to go way down if they havent already.

I would think this would be a good idea for both parties involved. With everything I hear (and yes, this is hear say) it seems HQ is having some financial difficulties. Although I dont think doing this would really help the current franchisees too much.

It was just a thought....

Thanks
Heather

on September 1st, 2008

Hear say?

Do tell - exactly what have you heard?

on September 1st, 2008

Nothing really impressive...sorry

Just things I've read on various sites and blogs etc. That's why I'm calling it hear say. I couldnt confirm it with any facts if you asked me to although, I would be inclined to believe some of it to be true just based the state of many of the current franchises. I find it hard to believe she is still raking it in selling new franchises when I think the word is definitely out about how the current ones are doing.

It could all be just gossip but I dont think it all is.......

Heather

on September 1st, 2008