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Businesses We Love: Edible Arrangements

Another business we love gets especially busy at Valentines Day. Here is their story:
Trish Kapustka is a public relations and marketing professional.  In her company, TLK Communications, she uses her more than 25 years of experience in public relations, branding, advertising, marketing and media to help businesses build a brand and attract attention.  As the owner of three Edible Arrangements franchises, Trish applies this marketing expertise to promote her own businesses.
Edible Arrangements stores offer artistically designed fresh fruit bouquets and chocolate dipped fruit gifts to celebrate all of life’s special moments.  The Kapustka family, including Trish, her husband Steve and daughter Natalie Sims opened their first franchise location in Gainesville, FL in 2008.  They celebrated the grand opening of their second location on Duval Road in North Jacksonville in April 2014.  And in October 2014, they purchased an existing franchise located in Ocala. 
Trish knew about the FSBDC at UNF through her participation with the Florida Public Relations Association where she met Stephanie Royal, FSBDC at UNF Marketing Director.  In November 2013, she met with Cathy Hagan, Area Director and consultant at the SBDC.  Cathy helped Trish address some challenges she was having in finalizing the financing for the opening of the store in North Jacksonville.  In April 2014, soon after the grand opening, Cathy and Stephanie visited the store. 
The North Jacksonville location, next to Publix and across from First Coast High School, is two miles east of River City Marketplace. While this area is rapidly growing, residential and commercial activity is still in its infancy in comparison to other parts of Jacksonville.  This location, in contrast to Trish’s other two franchises which are located in well-established areas, has provided new marketing challenges.   Despite her marketing expertise, Trish felt it was important to get an outside perspective, so she again turned to Cathy at the FSBDC at UNF.  Together, they brainstormed on ways Trish could not only drive traffic to the store, but also reach out to more small businesses and corporate accounts.  They identified some areas that were not saturated by similar offerings and  Trish left with a new perspective on ways to expand her customer base.

“It’s often said that the cobbler’s child has no shoes,” said Trish.  “At first, it didn’t occur to me to seek advice on marketing from FSBDC given what I do for a living in my communications company.  But, as always Cathy was extremely helpful in getting me to step outside my current thinking.  She helped me consider new ways to get attention for the store and made some great suggestions on how to reach out to small business owners who send gifts to clients. Most importantly, Cathy holds me accountable for the goals I set, which is invaluable for any business owner.  I look forward to tapping into other resources at the SBDC in the future. It is a tremendous resource for any small business.”

We recently caught up with Trish to discuss how she gets ready for busy times like Valentines Day, here is what she had to say:

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