As Valentine’s Day approaches, florists reveal how they market
and sell the classic combination of flowers and chocolates.
by Kelsey E. Smith
Flowers and chocolates are among the most iconic gifts for
Valentine’s Day, whether for lovers, friends or family members.
So to many florists, it just makes sense to sweeten their
businesses with the tempting indulgence of fine chocolates and
other gourmet goodies.
John, owner of Flowers by Ramon in Lawton, Okla., has offered
chocolates from Sweet Shop USA for more than 35 years. Although
the business sells a lot of boxed chocolates as gifts, customers
often purchase one or two truffles as an affordable
a chic ambiance, the chocolate café inside Enchanted Florist in
Ashland Ore., welcomes as many as 40 customers on a busy day.
The tables feature floral centerpieces that are available for
three florists share their experiences in attracting customers with their rich
array of luscious confections. And although two of them report that, for
the most part, customers do not seem to purchase flowers and chocolates
together, they see great rewards in carrying chocolates, which many
consumers view as an affordable “pick-me-up.” In fact, you’ll meet one
florist who, despite the economic recession, grew sales by approximately
40 percent this year with the addition of a chocolate café that offers
not only fine truffles, exotic chocolate bars and original drinking
chocolate concoctions but also an inviting atmosphere that entices the
senses with an escape from the daily grind.
bulking up business
Flowers by Ramon, which has served residents of Lawton, Okla., a
city of about 92,000 residents, and surrounding areas since 1959, has
carried chocolates from Sweet Shop USA, a purveyor of handmade
chocolates based in Mount Pleasant, Texas, for more than 35 years.
“They’re just very good chocolates,” says Ramon John, owner of
the floral, gift and home décor business, which is more casually known
A three-shelf, temperature-controlled candy counter—located at the back
of the store, in close proximity to the floral cooler as well as the
checkout counter—is topped with floral arrangements and showcases 50
delectable varieties of truffles, Brags® nut clusters, chocolate-covered
pretzels and other confections, including several sugar-free selections.
The most popular variety, by far, is Sweet Shop’s signature Fudge Love®
truffles, Mr. John says, and a majority of customers favor milk
chocolate over dark chocolate. He adds that the shop sells about 10
times more chocolates in bulk than boxed, with many people buying them
as a self-indulgence rather than as a gift.
... For the rest of the story, look to the
December 2009 issue of Florists' Review.
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