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A luscious combo: candy and flowers

By BETH N. GRAY
Published April 25, 2007


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SPRING HILL - There's no longer any need for the serious gift-giver to juggle flowers in one hand and chocolates in the other. The Candy Bouquet combines these two items in creative arrangements for any occasion.

Colorfully wrapped candies mimic flowers in bouquets, from bud vases showy with three solid chocolate roses to a Thanks a Million basket with candy wrapped in mock dollar bills.

Terry Majewski of Crystal River and Daniel Onieu of Brooksville have teamed up to open the franchise at 6139 Deltona Blvd., Castagnolli Court 5, just off Cortez Boulevard.

"Nobody's ever come in and frowned," Onieu said. "You walk in with candy and everybody smiles."

Majewski, a registered nurse at Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness, noticed a Candy Bouquet gift delivered to a patient at the hospital. "I thought it was so neat," she said. She brought the idea to Onieu, a certified medical technologist at the same hospital, who agreed, and a partnership soon was born.

They researched franchises and settled on Candy Bouquet, based in Little Rock, Ark. Among the company's clientele are former President and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Sweet arrangements, from $24.95 to $59.95, are "for all occasions or no occasion," Onieu said. For shallower pocketbooks there are candy cigars - "It's a Boy" or "It's a Girl" - for 99 cents, quality jelly beans at 99 cents a box, sugar-free lollipops for 59 cents, and candy-flavored spoons for tea and coffee stirring at $1.49.

There's a popcorn box, several Get Well arrangements with "pretzel joys" and gummy bandages, coffee-themed bouquets, boxes of cookies, chocolates, truffles and hard candies.

"No two bouquets look the same," Majewski said. Every bouquet is made by hand and in the beginning it took her five to six hours to create an arrangement. Many of the designs are created by the parent company but the duo also make up their own.

"After you've made a couple hundred ... ," Onieu said; Majewski completed his sentence, "We've gotten a little faster."

"They are very labor-intensive and demand attention to detail. They're art," Onieu said.

The candies are private label, from Belgium, England and other places with famed confectioners, and include Dutch chocolates.

"We chose to do a gift shop, too," Majewski said. Included are floral emblazoned coffee mugs, the Fairy Princess line of figurines, Smiley faces pottery. "It's very colorful and fun and it goes with our bouquets," she said.

Added attractions of the candy bouquets is their shelf life of six to 12 months, and that they can be delivered, unlike florals, to a hospital's intensive care unit.

In a sale not long after the shop's opening in February, a woman en route to a baby shower bought a celebratory bouquet. The father came in a few weeks later for a Thanks a Million bouquet for the nurses who tended to his wife and child.

The shop also has been getting its word out by donating candy bouquets to charity auctions.

Said Majewski: "We're just taking part in the community."

Beth Gray can be contacted at graybethn@earthlink.net.

Fast Facts:

Where it is

The Candy Bouquet is at 6139 Deltona Blvd., Castagnolli Court 5, off Cortez Boulevard in Spring Hill.

[Last modified April 25, 2007, 06:47:03]


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