Margaret McClain McEntire
Margaret McClain McEntire is president and chief executive officer of Candy Bouquet International, the largest chocolate and candy franchise in the world.
McEntire founded the company in a Little Rock garage in 1989. McEntire wanted to build a business that combined the chocolate and floral segments of the marketplace. She created edible chocolate bouquets with the help of an engineer friend.
She opened her first store in Houston, Texas, in 1989 under the management of a partner. McEntire remembers that "[p]eople were tearing down the paper around the store before we even opened, asking where they could get the candy bouquets. I knew we had a winner!" The Houston store closed unexpectedly after one year in business after the partner left. Returning to Arkansas, McEntire opened a small shop in Little Rock and began giving away her bouquets in restaurants and banks. She redoubled her efforts when her husband's company failed in 1992.
Since 1993 McEntire has amassed over nine hundred Candy Bouquet franchisees in all fifty states and thirty-one other countries. Some of the franchises are incorporated into florist's shops.
- "Candy Bouquet Founder is Executive of the Year," Arkansas Business, March 2005.
- Jeanne Halladay Coughlin and Andrew R. Thomas, The Rise of Women Entrepreneurs: People, Processes, and Global Trends (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002), 85-86.
- Shara Lessley, "Sweet Rewards: Giving Back Spells Success for This Candy Franchise," Entrepreneur Magazine, November 1998.