July 7, 2011 at 12:09 AM
PATERSON, NJ – Shawndrea Saddler first tried one of Edible Arrangements’ fruit assortments when she sent one to her grandmother for her birthday. Saddler, 17, took a taste of the fruit disguised as flowers and was hooked.
Just recently, Saddler was on the receiving end of an Edible Arrangement’s delivery when her mother bought her one for her high school graduation.
How did that make her feel? “Hungry!’’ Saddler excitedly replied. “Now that there’s one n Paterson, it’s perfect,” she said.
Edible Arrangements opened at 171-175 Market Street back in March and its owners have high hopes for the store’s success in the Silk City.
“Our Paterson location will always have a special place in my heart,” said Anthony Chalas, vice president of the business. “The people of Paterson have been wonderful people.”
“People often think of Paterson people as street people but they are not like that; they are good people,” said 37-year-old Luis Dutan, the store’s manager.
Edible Arrangement’s offering appeal to people’s eyes as well as their mouths. The store features standards, such as its strawberries covered with rich milk chocolate.
There are also more unusual items on the menu, like the daisies made of juicy pineapple petals with a sweet circular cantaloupe center amidst purple grapes and light green honeydew.
Here is an excerpt from an interview with Chalas about the store:
Why did you pick Paterson as the location for opening your business?
Paterson was the largest city in the United States that did not have an Edible Arrangements. I used to serve the Paterson community from our Clifton location and realized what a large client base there would be if I opened a store in Paterson.
What attracted you to that location?
Market Street is a bustling downtown area with a wide variety of shops. I felt that downtown, near the municipal building and the Hamilton Plaza, would be a perfect place to cater to the offices in Paterson and the local shoppers. Many people do not yet realize that Paterson is an up-and-coming community and I wanted to be in on the ground floor.
What help, if any, have you received from the city in your new enterprise?
I worked very closely with Dan Shiver (head of a city real estate agency) to find a perfect opportunity in Paterson. From there, I learned about the urban enterprise zone. We received a low interest loan to help open the store and some funding to help us beautify the exterior of the building.
Are your fruits organic?
We use fresh cut fruit daily. We never use any preservatives or sweeteners. Our designers don't make an arrangement until it is ordered.
What kind of chocolate does Edible Arrangements use?
We use gourmet semi-sweet dark chocolate and we also offer white chocolate.
How long will my Edible Arrangement taste fresh?
Optimal time to enjoy your arrangement is within 48 hours but I have had customers tell me that they store it in Tupperware and it has lasted them a week.
What kind of occasions is an Edible Arrangement best suited for?
Our arrangements are great for absolutely any occasion. Birthdays, Get Wells, Special Achievements, Valentines, Holidays... you name it, we have something to suit your needs.
The motto of Edible Arrangements is “Life is full of celebrations, and there’s just one delicious way to bring joy to all of them.”
(Editor’s Note: PatersonPress.com plans to begin highlighting new or changing businesses in the Silk City. This is the first article in that occasional series.)