Building a Successful Family Business

jimandbruce.jpgWe recently attended an event hosted by 1-800 Flowers founder Jim McCann and Bruce Bozzi, owner of The Palm Restaurant. While I’ve been a loyal customer of 1-800 Flowers for many years and have been to the Palm back when I worked in corporate America, it was really interesting to hear how both have incredibly rich history behind them – starting out as family businesses and flourishing as a result.
Thumbnail image for juliemcann.jpgWhen we arrived, we were greeted by Jim’s sister, Julie Mulligan, who serves as the Floral Lifestyle expert for 1-800 Flowers and we were then brought over to meet Chris McCann, Jim’s brother, the President of 1-800-Flowers. What really impressed me about the McCann family was their friendliness, warmth and sense of humor.
It turns out that 1-800 Flowers started back in 1976 in Ozone Park, NY when Jim worked as a social worker and to raise extra money opened a flower shop. That business literally blossomed, with Jim adding several more stores to his flagship. And with the help of his sister, brother and now a fleet of dedicated employees, the business is thriving. The reason is simple – 1-800-Flowers has found a simple and cost effective way for consumers to purchase everything from flower arrangements to quality gift baskets for any occasion. They even feature a site called Celebrations, offering decorating tips and recipes on how to plan the perfect party!
At the event, we also met Bruce Bozzi, the owner of The Palm, whose family has owned and operated the restaurant for more than 80 years – building the business from one Manhattan location to several around the world. So it makes perfect sense that these two family owned businesses would eventually join forces. Through 1-800 Flowers basket division (1-800 Baskets), which offers high end gift baskets at incredible prices, McCann unveiled a gift basket that’s perfect for food lovers and inspired by The Palm restaurant. Next, we got the chance to see Bruce unveil Jim McCann’s caricature on the famed wall of The Palm and we then learned he has been named the Brand Ambassador – an achievement that holds a special place in Jim’s heart since The Palm was one of his dad’s favorite restaurants.
To find out more about this special event and check out the incredible gift baskets being offered this holiday season, take a look at the video below. And check back soon, because we’ll also be speaking with Jim and Bruce on our Blog Talk Radio show!

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The Bouquet that Got Away

Spot a Mom Widget_3.20.09.jpgI have some cool news to share…after I posted my latest confession, “I Donated My Eggs to Charity,” the folks at 1-800-Flowers got in touch with me to let me know I just won an award from their Spot a Mom campaign. And yesterday, I received a gorgeous bouquet of flowers delivered straight to my door designed by Lifestyle expert Julie Mulligan.
flowers.jpgIt’s funny, but I happen to love making floral arrangements and for my wedding, I literally walked into the florist’s back room and hand picked every single flower that was in my bouquet. The arrangement had every color imaginable – from fuschias, to blue, lavendar, white, peach…it was truly one of the most gorgeous bouquets I’ve ever seen. And if you don’t believe me, take a look at the picture from my wedding day over 12 years ago.
After our fairy tale wedding, I left my mom with my bouquet for safe keeping and we jetted off on a two week romantic honeymoon to Italy. When I returned home and saw my mom, after giving her a big hug, the first thing I asked her about was my bouquet since I couldn’t wait to put the dried arrangement on display in our apartment.
To my shock and dismay, my mom had some sad news to share. It turned out that her cleaning lady saw the bouquet hanging upside down in their house and thought that meant she was supposed to throw it out. And you can use your imagination to figure out the end of this saga.
To this day, I still think about that gorgeous bouquet and wonder if I’ll ever get the chance to re-create it. Perhaps when my daughter is much older and ready to walk down the aisle herself, I’ll take a trip down memory lane, and help her create an arrangement that will last a lifetime!
For those of you who want to send a mom a fabulous bouquet, we’ve got a special offer available exclusively for our Role Mommy readers! To receive 15% off visit the 1-800-FLOWERS.COM site and after you’ve selected your bouquet, enter the promo code: SPOTAMOM. This code is good through Mother’s Day.

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