Business Woman magazine just announced its list of the 100 most influential women in franchising right now, and I must say what an impressive group of leaders they have there. To all of the women named to this prestigious ranking, I want to wish them, their companies…and their extremely proud parents…a hearty congratulations.

That being said, as one of those proud parents, I cannot pass up this opportunity to celebrate my daughter, Somia, who was included in this list among so many outstanding leaders. As any parent will tell you, your greatest hopes are to watch your children grow and succeed. That is exactly what Somia has done, and I’m thrilled to see her earning industry recognition for all she’s accomplished thus far.

Like so many family businesses, my children have had a front row seat at Edible from the very beginning. And Somia especially took a strong interest in the company from the start. She literally grew up alongside Edible’s entrepreneurial journey as she, herself, grew up and advanced her business interests.

Then she went to Babson College, the number one school in the world for its entrepreneurship program, and excelled in areas far beyond my wildest dreams. After school and some impressive hands-on experience in the business world, she returned to Edible and started working at the corporate office in 2017. Let it be said that her skills, knowledge and hard work made her right for the job much more than her family name. And already, her track record speaks for itself.

Having your daughter join your company is great, but to find that she is actually smarter than you and able to do things better than you?

That’s priceless (right, Mastercard?).

This coming week is National Business Women’s week, and I couldn’t be prouder of everything that Somia has accomplished over the years. Moreover, it puts a smile on my face to see her leading Edible as the VP of e-Commerce with skyrocketing sales. It’s one thing to be a strong leader for an organization. It’s another to do it so well in a pandemic that you help achieve new company records for the benefit of the system at-large and the customers we serve.

The milestones she has conquered in record time are something to admire. I always knew she was amazing, but now I can say she is so much better at aspects of the business than I ever was. She is a strong, independent leader who many people, including myself, look to for guidance.

It just goes to show that her hard work has really paid off. She is already in a management role at just 27 years old, but she is leading with the confidence and respect for others that many veteran business leaders struggle with. She has taught me so much, and I know she will continue to be influential in franchising and e-commerce for years to come.

Thank you, Somia, for all that you do. I couldn’t be prouder of you, and I know your mom is ecstatic about your accomplishments as well. You will continue to raise the bar and achieve great things. You will continue to challenge, test and prove what is best for the business in ways that I never thought possible. And, yes, I will continue to smile as your success translates into Edible’s success. I am excited for what the future holds for you as a leader for this organization.

Sincerely,

Your proud dad

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It is in giving that we receive. As an entrepreneur, I’ve witnessed this first-hand. My mother always told me that if I took care of my customers, they would take care of me. Not only was she right, but I’ve seen this concept come to fruition beyond compare. 

The minute I decided to turn Edible Arrangements into a franchise opportunity, I was able to share my business idea with others. In turn, they were able to serve more customers in more communities than I could have ever dreamed possible. As a result, we have experienced a greater level of success together than any of us could have achieved alone. And that success has been the driving force behind a constant desire to give back. 

Tomorrow we celebrate the International Day of Charity, which serves as a great reminder of what charity truly means to those of us who are business leaders. Business is more than just the bottom line; it is also a means for serving, supporting and giving back in profound ways. 

That’s one reason that my wife Asma and I created our foundation. We’ve extended our entrepreneurial passion into philanthropic giving. Whether it is through our involvement with food banks, our support for schools and teachers, our donations to healthcare initiatives or furthering the dreams and aspirations of the next generation of entrepreneurs, our prosperity has allowed us to help others. 

Meanwhile, in trying times like we’ve experienced throughout 2020, we are called to do even more. The hurdles of the pandemic have challenged our society as a whole to lift one another up. And as far as the eye can see across the Edible network, I am inspired by the response. Our hearts are big, and our teams are powerful. There isn’t a week that goes by where I don’t see Edible teams donating food to healthcare workers, rewarding first responders with treats, or working non-stop to get fresh whole fruit and produce to homebound customers in their time of need. When the world has seemed locked down and disconnected, we have created a compassionate answer. 

Not surprisingly, we have seen tremendous growth in our sales and our franchise development expansion to more locations at the very same time. And while these achievements do make me incredibly proud, what I am most proud of is the selflessness that led to them. Seeing this transpire across Edible Brands has served as yet another testament to my mother’s wise words: “Take care of your customers, and they will take care of you.” 

So when it comes to charity, I don’t question its impact for a brand, a people, a community and a world at-large. I merely embrace the goodness that resides as an immediate result.

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I cannot say enough about our entire Edible team and the way everyone has banded together to innovate during a pandemic to elevate our business and, most importantly, give our incredible customers what they need and desire in these uncertain times. Our success as a brand and as a franchise community on Main Street across America and around the world is a direct result of our continued ability to WOW people for every occasion.

Continue reading “Planting the seed for exciting new directions”

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  • Edible Arrangements
  • father day

With Father’s Day this weekend, I’ve been reflecting lately on how fortunate I am to have had an amazing father but also some amazing father figures to look up to in my lifetime. I’ve written about my father in the past. He brought our family to the United States to create the opportunity for a better life for us all. Without him, I never would have made it to where I am today. 

Continue reading “Celebrating fathers AND father figures”

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  • Black Lives Matter
  • Change
  • racism

As I have watched events unfold over the past few weeks in response to the murder of George Floyd and other victims of racism, the question I found myself repeatedly asking is, “what can I do personally to make a difference?”

I am not a black man and therefore cannot truly understand the experience of being black in America. I do know, however, that as a citizen of a nation founded on the idea that “all men are created equal,” I have a moral obligation to stand up against racism, injustice and intolerance.

Continue reading “Real change demands real action”

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