When asked what’s the best thing about being part of the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchise system, the answer comes easily to Retha and Larry Parsley: Making a difference in people’s lives. It’s something they’re reminded of with the delivery of each and every hand-crafted fruit arrangement. (continued below)
“When you reach their door, and they just barrel you down, you know you helped deliver something that’s made their day, or even their week,” Larry says. “Their day may have started off badly, but it ended on a good note. It’s part of the customer relationship, that response to the product itself.”
Once Retha discovered that there were no stores in her hometown of Indianapolis, she knew she had to change that. At the time she opened her first EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® location, she was the co-owner of a traveling nurse company. Before long, the unique fruit products were being used as gifts for her nursing employees.
“It was an amazing product,” she recalls. “I just couldn’t see where you could go wrong.”
In the beginning, Retha ran her first store (in Fishers, Indiana) on her own. After her marriage in 2008 and the expansion of the business with additional store locations, her husband Larry got involved as well. A machinist by trade, he had been working for Chrysler in Kokomo when he decided to make the career change and join his wife. Today, Larry helps bring a male perspective to the proceedings.
“I let the ladies know that the guys enjoy getting these as much as they do—because I see them blush!” he says. “I delivered to a transmission shop when we first opened the Glendale store [on East 62nd Street in Indianapolis]. There was this guy who was literally tearing a transmission apart, on the floor, hands all greasy. He was a dirty mess, and when I yelled out his name for the delivery, he just turned beet red. Everybody in the shop started giving him a hard time, but I know he enjoyed it. He was so surprised—I love that kind of reaction!”
It’s that level of personal dedication and local know-how that’s helped Retha and Larry take full advantage of the strong national recognition of the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® brand, and build their local recognition, too. They use a variety of local store marketing tactics, including using social media, to keep their own local customer base engaged.
As part of their efforts to continue to build their EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® enterprise, by next summer Retha and Larry plan to ensure that each of their stores are true local retail destinations, where customers can expect to find the full-line of EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® products—including the EDIBLE TO GO® Grab & Go line, with fresh fruit beverages, salads, sundaes, parfaits, gourmet dipped fruit and arrangements on the go.