Ron Taylor was a transplanted West Virginian working for a pharmaceutical company in northeastern Ohio while his wife Lori was home raising their two children. When Lori expressed an interest in going back to work, on the condition of being able to set her own schedule, Ron knew there was only one way for the two of them to make that possible—owning their own business. For the Taylors, their dream business turned out to be an EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchise, which has now become a four-store, two-state enterprise for them. (continued below)
“We live on the Ohio/Pennsylvania border in Youngstown,” says Ron. “In business, you fish where the fish are. If that’s where the money is, that’s where I put a store. There may be different sales tax and payroll tax ramifications, different automobile registration implications. As long as they’re generating revenue, I don’t mind working out the regulations. That’s my job.”
A self-described “kitchen rat” who had been working with his father in the restaurant business since the age of 12, Ron already felt comfortable in the world of food service. He had even had some experience in the past as director of food service operations for a convenience store chain, dealing with such franchises as Godfather’s Pizza, Taco Bell, Baskin Robbins and Arby’s.
“I wanted to open something that wasn’t going to cost an exorbitant amount of money,” Ron explains. “I had a lot of franchise experience, but I had to find something reasonable, as far as cost. It was also important that it wasn’t a flash in the pan that would disappear in a few years, the way I think frozen yogurt did. I don’t see that happening with Edible Arrangements, because the products we offer are truly unique and never trite or out of style. They fill a need that will be there for a very long time.”
Over the past six years, Ron has been thoroughly impressed by the ongoing efforts the company puts into supporting its franchisees, making sure each locally owned and operated store has the best chance for success. He says this is especially true of product development, one of the main reasons he values the corporate office as such an important resource. It’s been quite a learning experience, particularly for someone as admittedly stubborn and self-sufficient as Ron:
“I made the mistake of disagreeing on a few things that I didn’t think were going to work out that well, and I’ve been proven wrong. And that’s hard for me to say, because my ego could fill a room. Now when it comes to product development, I say, ‘Absolutely, let’s do it.’ They’ve got my complete buy-in now; they really know what they’re doing.”
With his newest store location in Stow, Ron expanded his product offering to include the EDIBLE TO GO® Grab & Go product line, with FRUITHY® fruit smoothies, FRUZEE® citrus drinks, FRUSALAD® fruit salads and more. Ron is excited about the convenience and WOW-factor of these fresh fruit products that are available for his customers on-the-go, and believes it is all part of what continues to make the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® brand so special.