Edible ArrangementsEntrepreneurshipFranchising and Franchisees

New South Dakota franchisees represent true spirit of America

posted by Tariq Farid October 7, 2014

New franchisees Michelle and Arnold Antone with their family represent the true spirit of the American entrepreneur.

I wrote last week about how the Edible Arrangements® franchise community is a mosaic of global diversity, with franchisees representing nearly all walks of life.

That certainly applies to two of our newest franchisees, Michelle and Arnold Antone, who will soon be opening their first store in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Michelle, who has a Bachelor’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and a Bachelor’s in Business Administration, held a federal position as a Deputy CEO, Chief Financial Officer for over 13 years before leaving to become an Edible Arrangements franchisee. Arnold, an electrician by trade, is retired from the federal service.

But that’s not what makes their story so interesting.

Michelle is a Native American and a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Arnold is a member of the Navajo tribe. They have been married for 21 years and own a ranch on the dramatic South Dakota landscape where rodeo is a big part of their life. In fact, Arnold is a competitive team roper and their oldest son, 19-year-old Drew, is a sophomore in college on a full rodeo scholarship! They also have two children still at home, Houston (13) and Devyn (12).

The closest Edible Arrangements to Rapid City is 100 miles away, so Michelle and Arnold are very excited to bring Edible Arrangements to their community.

And we are very excited to have them a part of ours.

Edible ArrangementsFranchising and Franchisees

Celebrating the diversity of our franchise community

posted by Tariq Farid September 30, 2014

Gale, one of our newest franchisees, and her husband John are entrepreneurs at heart.

From its beginning, America has been referred to as a melting pot, where people of different races, religions and cultures are welcomed with the hopes of freedom, new opportunities and a better way of life.

I like to think of franchising the same way. The Edible Arrangements® franchise community truly is a mosaic of global diversity, with franchisees representing nearly all walks of life seeking the American Dream. And one of my true pleasures has been getting to know each of them and their backgrounds.

Over the next few weeks I want to share some of their stories as an inspiration to others.

Gale is one of our newest franchisees and will soon be opening her first Edible Arrangements in Benton, Michigan. She and her husband, John, are newly married with a blended family of six children and seven grandchildren. They live in Michigan, near the cities of St. Joseph and Benton Harbor.

Gale is not a newcomer to business ownership. Since 1995 she has owned six metal recycling facilities throughout Michigan and Indiana with her ex-husband and sons.

“I have played many roles in the businesses,” she told me. “Bookkeeping, payroll, customer service, running equipment. You name it, and at one time or another I’ve had to step up and fill in. I know the dedication it takes to own and run a business.”

Over the years she began stepping away from the companies to allow her boys to take over her duties as she looked for a new challenge.

‘I love a fast-paced atmosphere,” she said. “I am very much a busy body.”

Gale’s love of crafts, decorating and flower arranging combined with her entrepreneurial spirit led her to Edible Arrangements. And encouragement from her new husband, John, made her decision easier.

A Senior Residential Appraiser with the Appraisal Institute, John has been a self-employed real estate appraiser for the past 35 years.

“He, too, knows the dedication it takes to own your own business,” Gale said. “He loves what he does, and he has been encouraging me to do something that I would love.”

Both are also very active in their church and their community.

“We love to serve others,” Gale said. “We feel that this business venture could be the perfect opportunity for us.”

I agree. Welcome to the Edible Arrangement family, Gale and John.