Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009
Road to Palm Springs
Edible Arrangements International, Inc.
As an immigrant from Pakistan, 12-year-old Tariq Farid watched his parents struggling to pay the bills each month. One day he asked his father to buy a mango at a fruit stand, only to be told that they could not afford it.
Farid was determined to help his family, and when he was 17, his father obtained financing to purchase a flower shop in East Haven, Conn., that he could run after school. Within two years, the enterprising teenager was operating four successful shops. In 1993, he designed a software system for retail distribution in the floral industry that by 1997 was generating $2.5 million in annual sales.
In 1999, Farid’s background in technology and in retail sales inspired him to launch Edible Arrangements International, an innovative gift idea that offered customers premium fruit designed to look like a bouquet. Within five years, after embracing the franchise concept, Farid had 500 stores in the US and five other countries. Today, the company has almost 900 stores, and is the leader in the fruit arrangement category.
Edible Arrangements has been named one of America’s fastest growing private held businesses by Inc. magazine for the past four years. Recently introduced new products include dipped fruit packages and the Frutation fruit station, targeting consumers who want a fresh treat on the go.