October 2006

Edible Arrangements Offers a Delicious Gift Giving Alternative

Author: Melinda Copp

Flowers make a beautiful gift for almost every occasion, and fruit baskets are always delicious and well-received. But if you’re looking for something different, then try Edible Arrangements, the gift company that has brought a new option in gift giving to the Lowcountry.

Edible Arrangements specializes in fruit cut and arranged to look like flowers. Pineapples are cut to look like daisies with melon ball centers; strawberries mimic rose buds, and decorative cut honeydew and cantaloupes fill out the arrangements.

“Flowers are nice. I’ve bought my wife flowers many times, but after two days they die,” said Chuck Bader, who runs Edible Arrangements with his wife, Randi. “Fruit you can eat, and it’s good for the mind, body and soul.”

Allen Klaff, Bader’s father-in-law, owns the business. Klaff has owned a home on Hilton Head Island for about seven years, but he has only lived here permanently for the past year. The Baders and their three-year-old twins moved to Bluffton in July from Dutchess County NY. They owned a café in New York that specialized in coffee and sandwiches, and thought that it would be fun to start fresh and new.

“This area is growing, and we thought it might be good for the kids,” said Bader.

Edible Arrangements opened its doors July 24, and they’ve been very busy filling orders and answering questions. Even though the business is part of a franchise, many people have never heard of Edible Arrangements. So passersby slow down to look into the storefront windows, and people come in off the sidewalk just to see what they’re all about. Their shop is bright and inviting with poster displays of their products and a small table where customers can sit and wait. And their chocolate-covered fruit samples are irresistible.

The first Edible Arrangements opened in 1999 in East Haven CT, and franchising began in 2001. Now there are nearly 500 locations throughout the United States, as well as Canada, the United Kingdom and Puerto Rico.

The Bluffton shop gets one or two shipments of fresh fruit each day. The arrangements come in a variety of sizes, and each design includes combinations of fresh strawberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, oranges and grapes. Prices range from $30 to $200. When you order an arrangement, they make it fresh the morning of your event or occasion. Everything is natural, with no preservatives. The arrangements can be packaged with a jar of natural fudge or a Mylar balloon to fit your occasion. Then you can have it delivered or pick it up.

“This is a unique business,” said Bader. “I like talking to people and hearing their reactions to our arrangements.”
Edible Arrangements offers consumers a tasty alternative to traditional gifts and can put together something for every occasion. What better way to welcome a new baby and give mom something healthy and convenient to eat as she’s recovering from the delivery? And the arrangements have such an attractive presentation that they would make the perfect centerpiece at a special dinner or appetizer for a corporate event.

Although Edible Arrangements in Bluffton has only been open a short time, the operators are excited about being part of the community.

“We hope business blooms and we look forward to being actively involved in the community,” said Bader.

Fresh fruit is a great way to say that you care, and it’s healthy. The next time you want to send a gift that gets attention, think Edible Arrangements in Bluffton.

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