The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The best things in life are edible

Having trouble finding the perfect gift for that special someone? Tired of sending typical flowers that die in days? Look no further, as you can now send something both unforgettable and edible.

Edible Arrangements is a franchise that creates extraordinary fruit-designed pieces. In a cross between a bouquet and fruit basket, pineapple-shaped daisies, rosebud strawberries, cantaloupe carnations, honeydew leaves, orange orchids and dark-chocolate-dipped bananas are placed in different-sized baskets and sent for various occasions.

Popularly given for Birthday, Get Well, Thank You and Sympathy wishes, the fresh-fruit arrangements can also be sent for the arrival of a new baby, an anniversary, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and even “just because.”

“It’s an excellent idea,” said Joseph Irving, 25, a gardmanger, or professional fruit-carver, for nearly one year at the Edible Arrangements store located at 104-16 Metropolitan Avenue in Forest Hills. “The fruit is delicious and it’s so simple to make,” said Irving, who can create the “fruit-on-a-stick” masterpiece in just 15 minutes.

Each basket is available in an assortment of sizes and styles. From the “Delicious Celebration” ($45/$55) and “Hearts & Berries,”($48/$55) to the “Chocolate Citrus Blossom”($55/$77) and “Delicious Party with Dipped Daisies”($103-$230), each display overflows with juicy taste. Customized arrangements such as the “Slam Dunk Delight” ($59/$69) for sport fans and “Fruit Festival Thanksgiving Favorite” ($68-$105), can be dipped in oozing dark or white chocolate and attached with a balloon or teddy bear. For those on a tighter budget, boxed gourmet dipped strawberries and apple wedges are priced from $25 to $39.

“My mom loves it. It’s a unique idea,” said Kathleen Mannion, assistant director of Donor Relations at the Queens campus of St. John’s and a frequent customer of Edible Arrangements. “She thinks it has a more personal touch than flowers,” she said. Mannion added that it also makes for a “good conversation piece.”

Originally launched in East Haven, CT in 1999, the company began franchising in Massachusetts in 2001. The fruit phenomenon rapidly spread throughout the U.S. and is currently growing internationally with stores located in Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom, and United Arab Emirates. According to www.ediblearrangements.com, there are 786 stores now open and more coming soon.

Professor Claire Serant got one of these arrangements as a gift and sees it’s potential to be both a gift and a healthy snack.
“I received a box of tasty chocolate covered strawberries and apples from a friend for my birthday,” she said. “I’m thinking about sending one of my uncles in Texas a nice arrangement of fruit before Christmas. He’s a widower and I think its a nice way of making sure he gets some fruit in his diet.”

According to Irving, who studied culinary arts in Charleston, S.C., the process of creating the baskets is “factory-like.” In an assembly-line fashion, each gardmanger cuts and shapes their assigned fruit and places it onto a long-stemed stick (which makes it a lot more fun to eat). The colorful fruit that is originally transported by truck from local fruit companies is festively compiled into a vase or basket and then kept fresh in a freezer until delivered.

To order an arrangement, customers can simply call or visit their local Edible Arrangements store, who will then contact the nearest franchise to the recipient’s home. That store will then create and deliver the piece, similar to 1-800 FLOWERS.

“We can usually deliver the arrangements on the same day that it is ordered, and if the person is not home when we deliver the arrangement, we re-make the basket before we attempt to deliver it again,” said Irving.

According to Nicole Dumas, 20, a sophomore at SJU studying Biology, the pieces are very appealing to the eye. “They are so pretty. I would even use them as centerpieces for my wedding!”

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