This week, the International Franchise Association (IFA) held their annual conference and I marked one year since I was granted the honor of joining the IFA’s Hall of Fame. It was an incredibly humbling experience to be given this award after such a long entrepreneurial journey.
The IFA has played a huge role in helping franchises like Edible Arrangements® grow, and I have done my best to give back to the organization, particularly through my involvement with their NextGen in Franchising program, which offers mentorship and support to aspiring franchisees. I wrote about this topic in a recent blog post, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunities I have been given and want to return them to deserving entrepreneurs.
Before I started Edible®, I worked at Burger King and McDonald’s, where I saw firsthand the systems put in place by franchising. When I first created Edible Arrangements®, I had no idea how to run a business, but I had a dream and one tiny store in Connecticut. Through hard work and many, many mistakes along the way, I went from one store to over 1,200 around the world. The franchise model and the IFA offered so many resources for a budding entrepreneur. Franchising allows young men and women, who may have little experience, to learn from an established system and offers the independence and benefits of business ownership.
One year after my honor, I look forward to seeing how the IFA will continue to impact the lives of aspiring entrepreneurs, and I hope that my own entrepreneurial journey will continue for many years to come!