Top 250 Franchise by Entrepreneur – Rank no.40 – Edible Arrangements Int’l. LLC – US
Products & Services: Floral-like designs from sculpted fresh fruit
Number of Locations: 1,093
Total Investment: $153.07K – 278.1K
Began Franchising: 2000
At age 17, Tariq Farid borrowed $5,000 from his parents to buy a flower shop in East Haven, Connecticut, and within two years, he was running four flourishing stores. But after seven years as a florist, he came up with a new idea–bouquets you can eat. He and his brother Kamran opened their first Edible Arrangements store in 1999, creating, selling and delivering bouquets of fresh fruit sculpted to look like flowers.
Edible Arrangements began franchising in 2001. In addition to the company’s signature fresh fruit arrangements, the product line has expanded to include chocolate-dipped fresh fruit, fruit salads, fruit sundaes, beverages and other “grab and go" products.
Net Worth: $250,000
Liquid Cash Available: $75,000
60% of all franchisees own more than one unit. Number of employees needed to run franchised unit: 6 – 7. Absentee ownership of franchise is NOT allowed..
|FINANCING TYPE||IN-HOUSE||THIRD PARTY|
|Industry||Food & Beverage|
|Founded||East Haven, Connecticut, USA (1999)|
|Headquarters||95 Barnes Road, Wallingford, Connecticut, USA 06492|
|Area served||United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Hong Kong, Italy, Turkey, Bahrain, India, Jordan and China.|
|Key people||Tariq Farid, CEO
Kamran Farid, COO
|Products||Bouquets and arrangements of sculpted fresh fruit, chocolate dipped fruit, fresh fruit smoothies, and fruit salad|
Edible Arrangements International is a U.S.-based franchising business that specializes in fresh fruit arrangements, melding the concept of fruit baskets with design inspired by the floral business. The company also sells a variety of specialty fruit gift items, such as gift boxes featuring premium chocolate dipped fruit, and fresh-fruit-to-go products.
The company is headed by Tariq Farid, who partnered with his brother Kamran Farid to open the first Edible Arrangements store in East Haven, Connecticut in 1999. After designing the computer systems, training manuals, production and profitability tracking and supply chain management process, they began franchising the concept in 2001. The first official franchise location opened in Waltham, Massachusetts.
As of 2012, the business had grown to more than 1,100 stores serving locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, theUnited Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Quatar, Bahrain, Italy, Turkey, Hong Kong, Oman, India and China. In March 2008 Edible Arrangements was reported to have annual revenues of $195 million.
In 2009, Edible Arrangements announced the signing of master franchisee agreements in Rome, Italy, and Hong Kong. The Rome master franchise was purchased by VPF International Ltd, and the franchise for Hong Kong was purchaes by D.T. Hong Kong Ltd, which is owned by Sanja Dujic. Additionally, in November 2009, an agreement was signed with brothers Kemal and Emre Aydin, who planned to develop 15 locations in Turkey. Edible Arrangements ended 2009 with 74 new stores and franchise agreements for more than 85 locations in the U.S. and internationally, totaling the number of units to 940. The company’s U.S. growth in 2009 was concentrated in Texas and the Midwest with stores also opening in other locations including California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. A total of 39 U.S. locations closed during the three-year period 2007–2009.
In 2010 the company opened 84 new U.S. stores and nine international stores and signed commitments for 123 new locations.Hiten Bajaj planned to open 20 new stores in India, with the Mumbai store serving as a model for the others. Richmond, Virginia, businessman Raed Al-Mustafa planned to open six stores in Jordan. In January 2011, Edible Arrangements announced its 1,000th franchise agreement.
In 2012, Edible Arrangements expanded its corporate footprint with the purchase of a commercial building adjacent to itsWallingford, Connecticut headquarters, adding 23,057 additional square-feet of office space. The company plans to connect the two properties and create a suburban, campus-like environment.
Edible Arrangements was ranked number 40 on Entrepreneur magazine’s 2013 Entrepreneur Franchise 500 and has appeared on the magazine’s list of Top Global Franchises and Fastest-Growing Franchises for five consecutive years. It was also ranked first in category in the Franchise 500 in the years 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
In January 2011, a Forbes magazine article entitled “Top 20 Franchises to Start" ranked Edible Arrangements as number nine. The company also was recently named one of the “Top 100 Internet Retailers" by Internet Retailer magazine.
In November 2012, a federal court ruled against a group of franchisees known as the “EA Independent Franchisees Association, LLC" or EAIFA that had filed suit against the company. The court granted Edible Arrangements’ appeal of an earlier District court’s decision and agreed with Edible Arrangements that the EAIFA had no grounds to bring the lawsuit as a group.
The issue began in 2010 when Edible Arrangements faced dissatisfaction from some of its franchisees. In January 2010, more than 270 franchisees presented Farid with individual letters expressing opposition to corporate policies and practices that they considered to be harmful to their individual franchised businesses. The franchisees formed the EAIFA and hired an attorney to represent them in possible litigation. On September 20, 2010 the group filed a lawsuit in federal court on behalf of 170 franchisees, alleging that several changes the company made in its franchise agreements were unfair or violated contractual obligations to the franchisees. Edible Arrangements International, responded to inquiries about the lawsuit by saying that they strongly disagreed with the accusations and would vigorously defend the complaint. The company subsequently initiated a motion in the courts to dismiss the case, but this attempt was denied by a District of Connecticut judge on July 19, 2011 and the franchisees were granted authority to pursue the case on all claims.  In November of 2012 an appeals court overturned the District judge’s decision, ruling in favor of Edible Arrangements.
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Edible Arrangements has established a charitable gift giving program with National Breast Cancer Research Foundation in national and local level as a part of Breast Cancer Awareness month each October. Stores located throughout United States and Canada have established a relationship with the Breast Cancer Society of United States and Canada. This partnership has been a positive one for the corporate office, store owners, employees and customers whose lives may have been affected by Breast Cancer. In United States, during the month of September and October 2010, 10% of the purchase price from the Awareness Celebration, Breast Cancer Awareness Bouquet and Heels for Healing BouquetTM will be donated to National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc.(“NBCF"). NBCF uses these to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and also provides funding for free mammograms for needy women.