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Finding His True Calling -Edible Arrangements

posted by Tariq Farid December 1, 2011

Gurpaul

One of the most frequent answers we get when we ask franchisees and prospective franchisees how they first heard about Edible Arrangements is one of the simplest: they received an arrangement as a gift. And that is the case with Gurpaul, who recently signed an agreement to open stores in Elmhurst and Howard Beach in the borough of Queens, in New York City. Gurpaul is no stranger to franchising: he currently owns five cell phone stores, and has been in the cell phone business since 2000. Prior to that, Gurpaul worked as an inventory specialist for major department stores. When he received his arrangement, he loved the concept, and investigated franchise opportunities. His customer service experience in the cell phone business and inventory skills will serve him well at Edible Arrangements. Superior customer service coupled with our beautiful and delicious products come together to give our customers the total “Edible Arrangements Experience” that is the cornerstone of success for an Edible Arrangements location. Gurpaul is well positioned to use his franchise business background to develop a successful Edible Arrangements business enterprise.

Technology

Adding “Pizzazz” to Edible Arrangements

posted by Tariq Farid December 1, 2011

 

Katrina, Ted, Penny

Spouses Ted and Katrina along with Ted’ sister Penny, have just signed an agreement to open two stores in Calgary, Alberta in Canada. Ted has extensive franchise experience, having started working in 1998 as a server with the Boston Pizza Company, a full service restaurant/lounge franchise concept in Canada. He is now owner of three Boston Pizza restaurants. A successful multi unit owner, Ted was recently inducted into Boston Pizza’s President’s Club. Ted has extensive experience with customer service and local store marketing. Katrina has been a bridal consultant for The Bridal Center since 2006. Penny as owned numerous restaurants since 1993, including Norm’s Pub, Coyotes and King Edward. She also has worked for Royal Bank and brings banking experience to the trio’s business enterprise. Please join me in welcoming them and wishing them the best success. I’m confident they will be incredible ambassadors for the Edible Arrangements brand

Technology

Georgia on Their Mind

posted by Tariq Farid December 1, 2011

Husband and wife Kevin and Vanessa have just signed an agreement to open their third Edible Arrangements store. They already have stores in Aiken, South Carolina, and Evans, Georgia, and this new store will be located in Augusta, GA. Kevin and Vanessa used to live in Massachusetts where Kevin was a municipal landscaper and Vanessa was a counselor at a Psychiatric hospital. They were first introduced to Edible Arrangements by Mike and Candi, Edible Arrangements franchisees in Methuen, Tewksbury and Haverhill, MA. Mike and Candi, recipients of the Franchisee of the Year Award in 2008, referred Kevin and Vanessa because they have a good sense of the kind of people who can do well with this business. Kevin and Vanessa were attracted to the brand because they loved the growth opportunity provided by Edible Arrangements. The potential that they saw is bearing out for them as they expand their business enterprise with a third store.

Kevin and Vanessa

The key to their success is their local marketing that focuses on community involvement. Kevin is very active in his local chamber of commerce, supporting new businesses when they enter the market. “I go to every ribbon cutting for each new business that opens in my area, and I present an Expressions arrangement to everyone cutting the ribbon.” Kevin has said that “the best way to get your name out there is to get yourself out there!” and he does so with sampling and strategic marketing. For example, he leaves his brochures in the gift shop of the local hospital, and he brings arrangements to the hospital so the crowds of workers and visitors can see them. The unique arrangements attract attention and people stop to talk to him. And Kevin says he never goes anywhere without a pocketful of brochures. He also wears his Edible Arrangements logoed shirts, hats, and jackets so people ask about his business. “You’d be surprised at the level of saturation a simple thing like that provides. People know me and my stores because of my clothing.” Kevin and Vanessa have contributed to the local food bank, and even provided arrangements every day for an episode of the “Extreme Makeover” television show that built a home for a single mom in need.

We are proud to have such dedicated franchise owners in our system and congratulate Kevin and Vanessa on this most recent addition to their growing enterprise.

Technology

I have Just Returned From Muscat,Oman

posted by Tariq Farid October 5, 2011

I have just returned from Muscat, the capital city of Oman where I met AlShaima our franchisee in the newest country to introduce Edible Arrangements. It’s always exciting to add another country to the growing lists of places where Edible Arrangements can touch people’s lives, but I was so impressed with AlShaima I couldn’t wait to share her story here.

She is such an inspiration! After studying Business Management at Bahrain University, AlShaima returned home to Muscat to start her own business in 1998. She wanted to start a flower and gift shop. I know the feeling – I got my own start owning first one, and then four flower shops! But AlShaima’s vision was a little different. She wanted to be a full service gift shop, so she offered flowers, balloons, chocolates, wrapping and other gifts. She says she simply opened the kind of store that she would want to shop in, and didn’t really have a business plan or marketing strategies in mind – she just, as she puts it, “thought of it on paper.” I have a feeling that her business schooling contributed more than she might realize, but her ambition, confidence and the decision to just “go for it” were a big part of her success.

That confidence was tested in June of 2007 when her shop was devastated by Cyclonic Storm Gonu. Intense tropical cyclones like Gonu are extremely rare over the Arabian Sea, but this totally unexpected storm made its way from the Indian Ocean to the Gulf of Oman where AlShaima’s shop was completely wiped out. With no insurance, AlShaima decided to try working at what she describes as “an annoying job” (she doesn’t say where, out of respect for her former employer) but she soon decided to reopen her flower and gift shop. She cites the old adage, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” when she speaks of Cyclone Gonu, and she is not exaggerating, since the storm caused more than 50 deaths and over 4.2 billion (US 2007 dollars) in damage in Oman.

She soon took over the location next to her store so she could expand, and increased her customer base because the same customers who shopped at the adjacent store now came to her shop. With her new store doing well, she was looking for something new to stay fresh and competitive. When she first saw Edible Arrangements, AlShaima had the universal reaction– “Wow, what is this?” Just as she had when she opened her first business, AlShaima thought, “let me try it.” She says her first week was like a miracle, customers were immediately drawn to the product and I suspect that AlShaima’s warmth and amazing personality helped to bond customer relationships. AlShaima’s daughters attend an American school in Oman, headed by a Canadian superintendent, who was thrilled to see Edible Arrangements come to Oman since she knew EA from Canada. She likes the idea that Edible Arrangements are beautiful like flowers, but environmentally friendly since they are not wasteful.

To celebrate the Muscat opening, AlShaima is donating gross profits from her EA store’s first week to famine relief in Somalia, in cooperation with the Oman Charitable Organization. AlShaima’s connection to the Oman Charitable Organization is close: her father took on the role of CEO of the governmental organization after retiring from the government ministry. AlShaima makes the connection to her work and her father’s this way: “Edible Arrangements is all about giving – that’s why we thought it was important to start our business with a gesture that reflects the generosity of our customers. We also wanted to show our support for and contribute to the valuable work of the Oman Charitable Organization in Somalia in a time of such great need.”

AlShaima keeps busy with her three daughters, aged 10, 7 and 2, her businesses and, after taking some marketing courses, she is now pursuing her MBA from Hull University in the UK. Every six weeks a new study module is flown in to Muscat from the UK. Even though she has built businesses before, she says she’s back to “Square One” with her new Edible Arrangements business. She opened her first store, right next to her flower shop in a busy mall in Muscat, and at the same time was working on her second EA store in the city. And she has plans to open a third store in Salalah, on the southern coast of Oman next year. The lifestyle there is very different: the city is the second largest in Oman, but is more rural and significantly less cosmopolitan than Muscat. There are fewer western influences, English is not spoken in Salalah and the people are quite reserved. Despite the cultural differences in the two locations, AlShaima is convinced that Edible Arrangements will be well received. People are already calling, inquiring when EA is coming to Salalah. With her drive, confidence and business savvy, AlShaima is sure to be successful throughout Oman!

Technology

Faith in Franchising

posted by Tariq Farid September 22, 2011

In 2010 Faith joined the Edible Arrangements Franchise System with the Anaheim, CA store. She has a genuine passion for business and recognizes the strong support she receives from her team of Fruit Experts, Roger, Justine and Kyle. Faith has recently added a second store to her enterprise located at 970 N Tustin Street in Orange, CA.

Faith earned her B.A. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance and Marketing from Chapman University, and then worked in the staffing, banking and restaurant industries. But she wanted to own her own business, and began researching how to make that happen. She decided a franchise would be the way to go. Franchising allows an independent business owner to experience the rewards of running an enterprise without having to “go it alone” since the franchisor provides marketing materials, national print and television exposure, and brand recognition and reputation. After much searching for the right franchise for her, Edible Arrangements caught her attention. She explains, “It’s a great product and has the successful track record I was looking for. Besides, I love chocolate and what could be better than working with chocolate dipped fruit! Now, I can honestly say that every day I enjoy going to work!”