Comedy Chocolate IV – Toblerone

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After a trip to the Alps for some skiing, the obvious choice of chocolate to bring back for the team was Toblerone. So I dutifully returned on Monday bearing a giant pack, boasting no less than 150 mini Toblerones. The only question – which poor unfortunate to force to pose for a picture with said chocolate! Having previously collared Ruth, Vanessa and Damian, the next victim to select was easy. Ronald, our Dutch masterpiece, is over this week, so the natural choice was to snap him and his team.

Ronald, one of the founders of the business (pictured centre, below), is in charge of all product and purchasing, as well as things like organising special orders for weddings and corporate flowers and events and liasing with the Fair Flowers Fair Plants organisation. There’s nothing that’s worth knowing about flowers that Ronald doesn’t know (you can read more about one of our trips to The Netherlands here). Ronald is based in Holland but has two team members with whom he works very closely over here in the UK. On the left is Joseph and on the right is Georgi.

Georgi‘s role, when he’s not blowing up “I Love You!” balloons for Valentine’s Day, is to analyse anything and everything to do with our purchasing, our stock and our daily sales. Given we get a large delivery of flowers every day, it’s crucial to be monitoring all the moving parts throughout the course of the day so that we can ensure that our flowers are sold when they’re at their freshest and that we don’t have to throw any away. The invisible hand that moves products around the homepage is Georgi’s, nudging their sales up or down. Georgi is also the one who tweaks our pricing regularly, to reflect the prices on the flower auctions, so that we don’t charge too much (or too little) for our bouquets. He’s also a black belt in Taekwondo, so we’re all very nice to him.

Joseph is the third member of this crucial team and he has been with Arena virtually from the beginning. He co-ordinates everything in the warehouse and keeps it running like a well-oiled machine. However, Joseph’s most important role is to manage our stems and the fridge; he ensures that stock is properly conditioned, that our stems are stored in optimum conditions and, crucially, he makes sure that no old stems languish in the fridge. If it’s not fresh, it doesn’t go in our bouquets. Sometimes, very occasionally, Joseph also has another role, if a customer is truly desperate and all our drivers are out. Joseph has been known to jump on his 500cc motorbike with a bouquet strapped to his back and roar off to deliver them. Fear not – they’re safely packed and always arrive in pristine condition despite their unusual mode of transport.

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