Over a decade and a half later, it seems that things just keep getting sweeter at Edible Arrangements as we were recently recognized by both Entrepreneur magazine and Forbes as a top global franchise, a big win for both our corporate staff and franchisees!
We have long-term franchisees that have owned a store (or stores!) for a decade and then signed on for 10 more years.
We have franchisees who always dreamed of being entrepreneurs and small business owners, and we made their dream come true.
Some are military veterans. Some are husband and wife teams. Some own one or two Edible Arrangements’ stores, while others own more than 10!
There are franchisees that came out of retirement after successful business careers seeking a new challenge. There are young upstarts, who always knew they wanted to be a small business owner. And there are those who got tired of the “corporate treadmill” and wanted to be fully rewarded for their work.
Linda falls into several of the categories mentioned above.
An amazing young woman with boundless energy and a very friendly, energetic and outgoing demeanor, Linda was barely in her mid-20s when she became the owner of her own small business—an Edible Arrangements store. She had enjoyed a successful career in marketing, but was disenchanted with the fact that while her work was praised and helped her employer thrive, she was still not given an opportunity for advancement. She started to become unhappy in her job.
Linda knew about Edible Arrangements from her work in marketing and had been watching us grow from the time we started franchising in 2001. Linda says that watching Edible Arrangements grow from from a small start-up into a global chain in just a few years was exciting.
Linda remembers thinking to herself: “What if I could be rewarded for the work I put into something and not have to rely on a boss or someone else to reward me?”
It was then that she decided to make the big jump, leave her job and open her own Edible Arrangements store.
That was 10 years ago! Now a long-term franchisee, a multiple store owner and still young, Linda says she doesn’t regret a thing.
“At first, I thought that I would do this for a few years and then get out,” she told me. “But I found something that I truly enjoyed and I was able to grow along with my business. I love the challenging times, and I still get to use my marketing background!”
The best thing, Linda says, is that “with my Edible Arrangements stores, I definitely get out what I put in!”
What is the Middle Market? I consider the Middle Market the backbone of the US economy. It includes businesses such as Edible Arrangements with revenues between $10 million and $1 billion, and it accounts for almost a third of American jobs. In fact, the Middle Market is estimated to have contributed over 1 million jobs to US economy during 2013 and 2014 alone!
Four years ago GE Capital and Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business created the Summit as a way to bring attention to Middle Market companies, which are often overlooked in comparison to larger, public companies. Despite the fact that they are often overlooked, it can be argued that these companies represent the most dynamic segment of our economy. In the third quarter of 2014, for example, Middle Market revenues increased by 7.5 percent! For the same time period, revenues of S&P 500 companies increased by a smaller 5.5 percent.
About 200,000 US businesses make up the middle market sector and I am proud that Edible Arrangements is among them and playing a part in driving the economy forward.
If you are interested in learning more about the Middle Market and its impact on the economy, I encourage you to go here. To view the Middle Market 3rd Quarter Report for 2014, go here.