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Inc. Fruit Bouquets in Every Time Zone

posted by Tariq Farid July 18, 2011

By Nicole Carter July 14, 2011

How do you keep a smooth supply chain when you sell perishable goods on an international scale? Edible Arrangements’s co-founder and COO Kamran Farid shares his secret.

(Edible Arrangements’s co-founder and COO Kamran Farid talks about supply chain challenges and solutions as the company continues to expand overseas.)

In 1999, the first Edible Arrangements store, which offered delivery fruit bouquets, opened in East Haven, Connecticut. Today, founders and brothers Tariq and Kamran Farid have an empire over 1,000 stores, spanning 10 countries like Italy, Saudi Arabia, Puerto Rico, and Turkey. But banking their business on perishable fruit bouquets poses unique supply chain challenges as the company continues to expand overseas. Kamran, the company’s COO, recently spoke to Inc.com‘s Nicole Carter.

When you are considering entering a market overseas, what are the initial steps?
We actually go there, scout out the produce markets and local farms. That’s step one. We try to figure out what they grow, and if that can compliment what we want to sell. When you look at our arrangements, there are five or six basic fruits. If we find the fruits we are looking for, we then look at sizing, pricing, what the yeilds would be (since the box units vary in size from place to place), and then we see if the price model will work.

What happens if a foreign market doesn’t produce one of your desired fruits locally?
We either fly in the item or compliment with a similar local item. Take pineapples—which don’t grow everywhere. The pineapples used in our Dubai or Saudi Arabia stores are usually flown in from somewhere else, like Costa Rica. Also, the best strawberries are usually from right here in the United States. We ship those to a lot of our overseas markets. Our dry goods are also, for the most part, shipped in. We’ve actually just opened a warehouse in Dubai, which helps streamline a lot of the shipping process. If we can’t ship in, we substitute with something similar in color, taste, and texture. We try to find a balance.

What if the locals don’t like the fruits in the traditional arrangements?
This is, of course, something else we consider. What does the local market want? In Saudi Arabia, you’ll see dates in the arrangements, which is a local favorite.

What was the biggest challenge when you guys decided to expand?
Definitely picking the right producers to partner with. We need a partner that is a master in that market, because it’s very important to have someone that can help further develop the brand. We say no to a lot of deals, but I’m okay with that. It’s about quality. Bottomline: If we can’t do an item and do it well, I don’t want to be there.

Which international location has been growing the fastest?
Saudi Arabia is a top market and so is Dubai. There’s a lot of extra income in those markets and, when it comes time to give a unique gift, we do well.

What’s next on the international check list?
Korea. China. We just signed a deal in India, and we will be opening soon. But there’s no longterm list. We are doing this one step at a time, because we want to be good at it.

It seems that there is quite a cross-cultural demand for fruit bouquets!
That’s the beauty of fruit. We can adapt it to whatever holiday or culture because at the end of the day, people like eating fruit.

Source:http://www.inc.com/articles/201107/kamran-farid-edible-arrangement-managing-global-supply-chain.html

Franchising and FranchiseesTechnology

Couple to retrace Lewis and Clark route to promote fitness

posted by Tariq Farid July 14, 2011

By Tony LaRussa, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW

When Tom and Nancy Caruso leave Pittsburgh for a trip to Oregon, they’ll not only be taking a longer-than-usual route, but also relying on unorthodox transportation.

On Saturday, the Southern California couple will launch from the Point, Downtown, in a 25-foot fishing boat they bought on eBay for $8,900. They plan to retrace the route followed by famed explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1803.

The Carusos’ modern-day expedition is sponsored by Edible Arrangements International Inc. and is designed to inspire people to “eat right and move more,” Nancy Caruso said as she and her husband traveled through Texas on their way to Pittsburgh. The couple own an Edible Arrangements franchise, which sells artistically designed arrangements of fruit.

Nancy Caruso, a marine biologist, also is the founder and executive director of Get Inspired!, a nonprofit organization dedicated to “inspiring passion and purpose through the discovery of arts and sciences.”

“Nancy and I want to live healthy active lives, and we thought the country could use a little inspiration, too,” said Tom Caruso, 41. “We love being outdoors, enjoying nature and eating healthy foods. But like most people, we find it’s often hard to do.”

Nancy Caruso, 39, said she and her husband “decided that we were going to do this trip to change our lives and maybe inspire others to do the same.”

She said the inspiration for the trip came from her grandfather, William S. Deely, who lived in Pittsburgh and made the same voyage to the West Coast in a 16-foot boat in 1973.

“My grandfather lived to be 96 years old, and I never remember him being sick,” she said. “The one thing he was always doing was moving — walking, building tree houses, dancing, working on his house — he never sat around.”

Nancy Caruso, who grew up in northern Virginia, spent many summers visiting her grandfather in Pittsburgh. They often roamed the three rivers on his boat, she said.

“He loved his boat and had a let’s-do-it attitude,” she said. “He was a great inspiration to me, so we’re hoping people will be inspired by what we are doing.”

The Carusos’ planned three-month excursion will begin at the Ohio River, go down the Mississippi River and then up the Missouri River where, like Lewis and Clark, they will be forced to travel over the Rocky Mountains by land.

They will get back on the water at the Snake River, which will take them to the Columbia River and eventually the Pacific Ocean. Their final destination is Astoria, Ore.

Technology

Bob and Michelle Opened Their First Edible Arrangements® Store

posted by Tariq Farid May 11, 2011

Bob and Michelle opened their first Edible Arrangements® store at 110-8700 200 Street in Langley, British Columbia (604-888-3434) in March 2010, and they have just signed an agreement to open a second location in Surrey. Bob and Michelle are no strangers to specialty food products and customer service. Prior to being franchise owners with EA, they owned their own specialty cakes business.

Technology

Edible Arrangements® in Phoenix, Arizona

posted by Tariq Farid May 11, 2011

In April 2011, Edible Arrangements® franchisees Brandon and Marci took ownership of the store located at 2824 East Indian School Road, Suite 15 in Phoenix, Arizona (602-522-9990). They now own five Edible Arrangements stores in the area: 420 East Bell Road, Suite C6 in Phoenix (602-866-2467); 5350 West Bell Road, Suite 121 in Glendale (602-386-4555); 6610 East Baseline Road, Suite 108 in Mesa (480-924-8200); and 2875 W. Ray Road, Suite 11 in Chandler (480-786-3222).

Franchising and FranchiseesTechnology

Now Edible Arrangements at Northbrook, Illinois

posted by Tariq Farid May 11, 2011

Husband and wife Chan (Darren) and Bonnie, along with Darren’s brother Yi (Sunny) signed an agreement to open their second Edible Arrangements store to be located in Northbrook Illinois. The three purchased their first store, located at 2045 Milwaukee Avenue in Deerfield (847-537-2868) in October of 2006. And it’s not just the business enterprise that’s growing: Bonnie and Darren are the proud parents of a baby girl Madeline born on Monday April 4. Congratulations to everyone on your recent additions!