Yesterday the franchising world lost a friend and a great mentor, as did I.
For me, Fred DeLuca was much more than the founder of Subway and a franchising icon. Fred was a true inspiration and his advice and mentorship was instrumental in the success I have enjoyed over the past two decades.
Like me, Fred became an entrepreneur as a teenager and from the first time I met him he gave me the confidence that I, too, could build an international brand.
Over the years he was never more than a phone call away, ready to share his wisdom and support when things looked rough and his encouragement when times were good.
The franchise industry lost one of its best and the world lost a master entrepreneur who not only built a great company but helped so many others achieve success. And for those of us who had the privilege of knowing Fred, we lost a true friend. He will be missed.
There are many reasons that Edible Arrangements is a success. First, of course is the fact that our products feature fresh fruit and chocolate, that is beautifully arranged. They are both delicious and healthy! The sight of them continues to WOW people, and is part of so many of life’s special occasions! After all, why not celebrate what’s good in life?
Just as important to our success, however, is the fact that our 1,200 stores are locally owned by franchisees — small business owners that are so passionate about what they do and know their local community better than any corporate office ever could!
Edible Arrangements’ local store owners come from all walks of life. Some have come out of retirement for a new challenge, others are “corporate refugees” looking for autonomy and control over their own destinies, and some are young upstarts with entrepreneurial dreams!
Meet Karli, who falls into that last category. Only 22 years old, she will WOW you! You see, Karli has just earned an engineering degree AND has just opened her fist Edible Arrangements store in Canada!
Just four years ago, in 2010, Karli first heard of Edible Arrangements when she received a call from a friend. The Edidble Arrangements store in Halifax was trying to find extra workers for its Valentine’s Day rush. At the time, she was a college student and was happy for opportunity to pick up some part-time work.
Karli says she was immediately WOWED by Edible Arrangements!
After Valentine’s Day she became an Edible Arrangements team member at the store. Of the experience of working at Edible Arrangements, Karli remembers, “I was happy when I went into work. I was happy when I left. I loved it!”
Fast forward a few years to March of 2014. Karli had just graduated from college with a degree in engineering. Still, though, there was just something special about Edible Arrangements that she loved. She learned that a nearby store was for sale and immediately knew what she wanted to do: become a local store owner and continue with the work that she loved!
A month later she told her parents of her decision and was thrilled when they told her they supported her. About one month ago, Kari became owner of the Edible Arrangements store in New Brunswick!
She says that Ryan, owner of the store where she was first introduced to Edible Arrangements four years earlier, has served as an invaluable mentor, saying, “He has been a wonderful supporter and so helpful to me!”
Karli says she still gets to do what she loves as a small business owner, but now she focuses on “bigger picture” issues such as ensuring enough supplies are ordered, that team members are top-notch and implementing local marketing efforts.
What does she like best about owning an Edible Arrangements franchise? Introducing product to new people!
“In Canada, everyone is not as familiar with Edible Arrangements as they are in the United States,” she said. “I love that I have the opportunity to introduce the product to people for the first time–and see the joy on their faces!”
Edible Arrangements is a successful company because of smart, passionate and hard working entrepreneurs like Karli!