We recently announced that Carissa Ganelli has been named president of Edible.com, which is the largest operating division of Edible Arrangements.
In this position, she will oversee all of Edible’s e-commerce and technology by helping us understand how to take full advantage of things like voice recognition, AI and other rapidly developing digital technologies.
Beyond the importance of having someone with Carissa’s skills and expertise join us as we evolve the brand to augment our gifting business with treats for everyday occasions, this announcement was especially exciting to me for several reasons.
First, Carissa reminds me of myself in many ways.
Like me, she has an insatiable desire to be at the forefront of technological advances.
She has a clear vision of where the digital revolution is heading as well as how we can best use it to build a stronger and more vibrant franchise system and brand.
I, too, have always had a burning desire to find ways to use technology to transform my businesses.
When I opened my first flower shop at 17, I knew there had to be a better way to run my business than the traditional, manual methods. Because I couldn’t find a software program to handle all my needs, I created my own program and eventually ended up selling the software to other florists, as well.
A few years later, when I started Edible Arrangements, the internet was in its infancy and few people understood its full potential. However, I immediately realized the tremendous power of this new digital landscape as a way to scale my business while also creating a competitive barrier for others who might try to duplicate my idea.
Like me — and my mother, who inspired me to believe in myself and my ideas — Carissa also is someone not willing to accept rejection when she is convinced she has a good idea.
She told me a story of how she began her career with a start-up company that was one of the early pioneers of e-commerce technology for mobile devices. One of her roles was to secure investors for the company.
And just as bankers and business leaders repeatedly told me that selling arrangements made of fresh fruit had no potential as a business, Carissa repeatedly heard from potential investors that “no one would ever buy products or order services from their phone!”
Of course, she knew better.
From there, she went on to Subway where she oversaw the dramatic growth of its e-commerce business. She led the launch of Subway’s highly-rated mobile app, its international loyalty program, the development of its voice ordering system as well as other dynamic digital marketing and operational tools. Under her leadership, Subway’s e-commerce revenue doubled, app downloads tripled, and loyalty member enrollments increased tenfold.
And finally, Carissa loves Edible Arrangements and is a long-time customer!
Back when I started Edible Arrangements, I had a simple strategy — create products that would make each customer say “WOW.”
Two decades later, I look at the truly amazing team of professionals such as Carissa we are blessed to have leading Edible into its next phase, and now I find myself saying, “WOW!”