We’re showcasing local small businesses all week long in honor of Springfield Small Business Week 2018. Read on to hear from Jeni Huelskamp, who has owned and operated Springfield’s Edible Arrangements for over a decade.
Tell us about Edible Arrangements, for those who haven’t been lucky enough to receive a package from you all:
Edible Arrangements is a locally owned and operated gifting company specializing in fresh fruit bouquets and chocolate covered fruits. We offer a healthy, yet delicious alternative when sending gifts to your loved ones.
We have a store front in the Fremont Center for cash and carry products or pickups, and we offer local same-day delivery. When you call our location directly we can help you with custom orders, large orders, and business orders. We have been serving Springfield, MO for over ten years and have loved every minute.
What does the Edible Arrangements team look like?
I have three full-time employees, two who serve as managers with different responsibilities and one driver. I also have four part-time employees.
Have you leveraged any local resources designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs?
Yes! I have met with a mentor and business consultant at the Springfield Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC) for eight years. I’ve had two different SCORE mentors over the years, as well. It is invaluable to have that objective input and the resources they have access to. You have to get all the advice you can and ask for mentorship.
I have also had a tremendous amount of support and help from my bank, The Bank of Missouri. I had a different bank in the beginning of my first business, and have since learned a bank makes a huge difference in your business. Pick one wisely.
What has been your greatest success or proudest moment to date?
Each day we get to make someone really happy and spread joy. That is pretty fulfilling and rewarding, and that success happens each and every day. Sure, there have been large orders or famous customers, but really, it’s the joy we get to deliver every day that makes our company successful.
What are you hoping to accomplish in the next 18 months?
We just finished launching a brand new Edible Treats addition to our location which includes fresh fruit smoothies, froyo and many chocolate covered fruit treats. This selection will continue to grow, and we hope to become a destination for those looking for a little yumminess to snack on. We’ll continue offering excellent customer service and growing our reputation in the local area.
What is your advice for someone looking to start their own business?
It will cost more than you think or plan. Be prepared. Also, decide ahead of time what you want your reputation and character to be. Starting a business is hard and stressful, especially if there are financial pressures. Be honest, be upfront, do the right thing and follow through. It’s not always easy, but you will sleep better at night.
What’s the best part about being a small business owner in Springfield, MO?
We deliver joy. How fun and rewarding it is to bless so many people every day, year after year right here in Springfield. I also really enjoy the local business owners I have met and been able to help with business to business and client gifting needs. Customizing orders for them and helping them make a big splash promoting their company is fun.