Candy family mixes it with love - East Valley Tribune: Business

Candy family mixes it with love

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Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2006 7:18 am | Updated: 3:43 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

The Rigler family wants to know what you’re thinking. Once you tell them what’s on your mind, they’ll use your thoughts to create a unique — and personalized — gift for you to give to your favorite person.

The Riglers prepare and sell “personalized gifts” at their relatively new candy and gift shop — Candy Bouquet & Unique Gifts at the Mirador Plaza, 894 E. Warner Road, Gilbert.

“We listen to our customers and ask them questions before we create a gift,” explained Lisa Rigler, 46, who worked for 15 years as regional manager in Arizona for a Coloradobased technology company before opening the family store a year ago.

“Our mission statement is ‘Everyone’s personal occasion is our personal passion,’” said her husband, Dow, 48, who worked for 15 years as community affairs director in Arizona for Home Depot before entering the world of gifts with his wife and daughter, a freshman at Chandler-Gilbert Community College.

“People have a craving for personalized gifts — gifts they can’t get at the big box stores,” said Aimee, 18.

An example of their service, explained Lisa Rigler, is the time a recent customer was looking for a gift for his wife to celebrate their 20th wedding anniversary.

“He talked about how they met on the beach and where they went on their honeymoon,” Lisa recalled. “He wanted to surprise his wife with a special gift basket.”

Together, the customer and the Riglers worked on the project for about a month. They gathered seashells, flipflops, the original airplane ticket stubs from their honeymoon, his wife’s favorite candy and a personalized card with a special message, among other items.

“His wife came to our store and was looking for a gift for her husband,” Dow Rigler said. “Like him, she selected things her husband enjoyed, like exotic chocolate, coffee, wine and other items.

“Of course, we didn’t tell her that her husband had done the same thing for her,” he said.

Rigler delivered both gift baskets to the couple’s Gilbert home on their anniversary.

“They were pleasantly surprised,” he said.

The anniversary gift exchange is one of many stories the Riglers recalled when they and more than 150 customers celebrated their store’s one-year anniversary Oct. 7.

The 1,200-square foot store is filled with a variety of gift items used to create baskets, including exotic chocolates imported from Europe and homemade fudge, cards, stuffed animals, candles, key chains, wall lamps, picture frames and assorted baskets.

A gift can range in price for 10 cents for a candy cane to $200 or more for an elaborate selection of personalized decorations.

The company’s revenue has increased more than 60 percent since its opening, and the number of customers continues to climb.

“We’re getting a lot more requests for gifts from employers for their employees,” Lisa Rigler said. “They’re looking for gifts that say ‘Thank You.’”

The Rigler family, which also includes three other children, Amanda, 26, Dustin, 24, and April, 20, plans to open one or possibly two more gift shops in the East Valley soon.

“We’ve seeing a trend in customers buying chocolate,” Lisa Rigler said. “People are buying more dark chocolates that are rich in anti-oxidants. They’re leaning toward healthier candy.”

Some samples of already established gift baske ts include get-well baskets for ailing recipients that contain chocolates and edible Band-Aids, chocolate roses for chocolate lovers and baskets for golf players filled with chocolate golf balls.

Another popular gift is a two-feet tall stork carrying a basket filled with personalized items, including cigars, to celebrate a birth.

The company delivers orders anywhere in the world.

Candy Bouquet & Unique Gifts

Owners: The Rigler Family — Dow, 48 and Lisa Rigler, 46 and their daughter, Aimee, 18

Business: A family-owned candy and gift shop at 894 E. Warner Road, Gilbert, suite 102, in the Mirador Plaza

Resides in: Gilbert

Key achievement: Started a candy and gift shop one year ago that has since increased its business by 60 percent and expects 2006 revenues to climb possibly higher. Plans are to open more stores in the East Valley

Success Philosophy: Everyone’s personal occasion is our personal passion

Information: (480) 545-4438; (480) 813-5961 or Hours: Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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