SBTM October 2015 - Page 27

CBI Owner Janet and CEO Jim roll up their sleeves and don their aprons creating their next Candy Bouquet. Photo by Gwen Juarez weren’t listed in the books and the vendors started contacting the Wheelers out of the blue asking when were they going to get paid. Putting nearly every cent of their retirement into the venture, the Wheelers settled all of the debts and six months in, CBI ‘right-sized’ their personnel, packed up their inventory, and moved all of it from Little Rock, Arkansas to Houston via nine 26 foot trucks including one refrigerated truck carrying the delicate, gourmet chocolates. . Upon arriving back in Houston, Janet and Jim, along with the help of their children and their children’s well-compensated friends, emptied the trucks, assembled industrial-grade shelving, and reorganized the half million dollar inventory. Jim, who is the CEO, elaborated, “Fortunately, the right-sizing was successful and CBI has been continually operating in the black since third quarter 2012. Our family benefits economically every year and our annual Directors’ Meeting is always a sweet delight. Each of our Directors, namely our children, is annually awarded a small Director’s fee. Now that Janet and I have our first grandson, Owen Michael, we’ll have to add him to the Directors’ list as well! I hope he’ll vote for me to continue on as CEO like the other kids do!” Just like so many other small companies in the United States, the business story of Candy Bouquet International is a series of tribulations and jubilations.