The next few days are among my favorite each year. The annual Edible Arrangements® convention begins today in Nashville, Tenn., and for the next four days I will be surrounded by some of the most inspiring business people I know — our franchisees.
While the event is designed to celebrate our successes and provide a preview of things to come, I always find that the true value comes from the one-on-one time I am able to spend with franchisees who make the annual trip from locations across the United States and around the world. I love hearing their stories, their ideas, their hopes and sharing in their enthusiasm. Many of their stories are truly inspirational and remind me why it is that we do what we do.
The location for this year’s event is quite fitting. For decades, thousands have traveled to Nashville to pursue their dreams. At Edible Arrangements, we are in the business of making dreams come true as well — for our franchisees and our customers.
The annual convention also serves as an opportunity to take a moment to look back over the past year and ahead to the next.
The past year has been one of dramatic growth and evolution for all of us at Edible Arrangements. Not only have we significantly expanded our presence in markets around the world, but we have also focused internally on putting the pieces in place necessary to grow the brand at an even more aggressive pace.
The leadership team has been restructured and enhanced by recruiting experienced business and retail professionals with extraordinary records of success. This means that I now am able to focus more on developing growth strategies for all the Edible Brands.
Already, these changes are beginning to show results, from innovative products to creative new store formats to streamlined operational systems to new vendor partnerships.
One of the great opportunities is in the area of technology, which will be a focus of mine over the next year as we expand our capabilities in this area.
This is an incredibly exciting time for Edible Arrangements, as we embark on an era that promises new avenues for growth. In many ways, 15 years later we are re-inventing the Edible Arrangements brand. That’s the reason we chose “The Future Is Fresh” as this year’s convention theme.
As I think about the many opportunities that are in front of us today, I have the same feeling of excitement I experienced when I opened the doors to the very first Edible Arrangements store. At the time I never imagined the success we would experience, but I did have a dream. And this weekend, in a city known for making dreams come true, I look forward to celebrating our accomplishments with our franchisees and dreaming big about a future filled with fresh new opportunities.