One’s first impression of Sandy Thomas is that she is a ball of energy. And her personality comes through loud and clear when she explains why she invested in the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchise: (continued below)
“I love fruit!” Sandy says jovially. “I was always the person who brought the fruit salad to all of the family gatherings, so I guess it was meant to be!”
Sandy is a licensed social worker who used to run a foster care agency, but she always wanted to own her own business. When an intern told her about her cousin Kevin Setzer and his wife Kathy, who owned an EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® store in Baltimore, Sandy decided to visit the Setzers to talk with them about their experience.
Sandy and her mother Vivian then attended Discovery Day at the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® International corporate headquarters in Connecticut to learn all about investing in a franchise, and decided to move forward. After carefully choosing a location, Sandy opened in Dundalk, Maryland in 2010.
“It took me two years to find the right location, and it was worth the wait,” Sandy says. “Our store is right next to a gym, with close to 500 people going in and out every morning. It’s a gold mine—we sell fruit salad like crazy!”
Sandy says she loves the independence and flexibility that owning an EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® store gives her. She can still take social work assignments while seeing to business operations. And, when she’s at the store, her bubbly personality comes through when she interacts with her customers.
‘I love it when people tell me their stories,” Sandy says. “It’s usually a happy occasion when people come in.”
She also enjoys seeing recipients’ eyes light up when she makes deliveries.
“The person will say, ‘Someone thought enough of me to send me this arrangement!’—and that’s always followed by a smile.”
“When I deliver to businesses, people’s eyes follow you all the way to the recipient and they say, ‘Oh, I have to get one of these!’ Sandy adds. “Sometimes people even try to snatch the arrangement from me!”
Several members of Sandy’s family work at her store, including her husband, mother, sister, brother and nephew. She says she is proud to be able to provide jobs for them, as well as for members of the local community.
“It seems like everyone wants to work here! They think it’s the coolest place,” she says. “And if I can provide a living for someone, that is the most important thing to me— it’s always rewarding.”