How sweet it is at Candy Bouquet
By Nick Meyer | Saturday, 12.20.2008, 03:18 AM

DEARBORN — With so many places offering holiday centerpieces and gift baskets, distinguishing between them all can be a tough task.

Houda (left) and Zeinab Chami opened Candy Bouquet in September 2008. PHOTOS: Rached Elmasri and Nick Meyer/TAAN 

But one thing's for sure in the Dearborn area: there's no place quite like Candy Bouquet. Located on Warren Road between Greenfield and Chase, the popular chain offers a longer-lasting and, of course, tastier alternative to flowers for special occasions.

Using flashy ribbons, bows, and other materials in combination with over 40 kinds of fine candies, co-owners Zeinab and Houda Chami spend their days crafting bouquets that can only be described as works of art, and sometimes demands are high as many businesspeople order as many as 20 at a time for clients.. But the Chami sisters wouldn't have it any other way.

"We used to do just gift baskets, but we wanted to do something more creative," said Zeinab Chami. "Candy Bouquet brings out that creative side and we're very close, so we wanted something we could do as sisters."

Candy bouquets (top) and wedding tables (below) are both popular.

The art of making a candy bouquet is a difficult one, however, so much so that the Chami sisters had to travel to Arkansas to study the intricacies from the pros. They didn't have any business experience prior to opening the shop in Dearborn in September, but they did know a few uncles and cousins who had opened businesses before. The sisters figured they would open the shop toward the end of the year because of the holidays, and thus far, that strategy has paid off and gotten them off to a good start business-wise.

The bouquets are the main attraction, and themes vary from pre-made bouquets like the "Get Well Soon" arrangement that features gummy band-aids and the "Thanks a Million" bouquet that features a money theme to other custom styles designed by customers. Customers can bring in their own items and candy and then brainstorm ideas with the Chami sisters, who will make bouquets to the customer's liking. They're often shocked at how little time it takes for everything to come together.

"People come in and give us ideas for the bouquets and then we tell them to come back in two or three hours and they're amazed," said Houda Chami.

In addition to the bouquets, centerpieces for holidays and other occasions are available in the classic Candy Bouquet style, as are special tables filled with gourmet chocolates, other candies, or even cookies for special occasions like weddings.

The Chami sisters have also made it a point to cater to the Arab community with favorites like Jordan almonds both classic and chocolate-covered as well as special bouquets for Muslim holidays. While they opened Candy Bouquet during an unforeseen time of economic stress, they realize that taking care of the Arab community will allow them to keep the shop in business.

"We have a lot of faith in the Arab community, we're proud to serve them and hopefully they'll get our trust and continue to support us," said Zeinab Chami.

While some might say that flower shops are the biggest competitors for Candy Bouquet to deal with, Zeinab Chami thinks that her shop stands alone as something completely unique that will serve Dearborn for a long time.

"We have no direction competition," she said. "Nobody has our concept and our idea is unique to Dearborn. We introduce people to our concept and everyone is just like 'Wow, I didn't know about that' and they're amazed."

Candy Bouquet is open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday during the holidays and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays, with closing time changing back to 7 p.m. after the holidays.

Call 313.58.CANDY or go to www.candybouquet.com for more information or to place an order.


By Nick Meyer

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