70. Tariq Farid (President/CEO, Edible Arrangements)

Edible Arrangements is the industry leader of high quality, artistically designed fresh fruit arrangements. The 2009 recipient of the International Franchise Association’s ‘Entrepreneur of the Year Award, Mr. Farid is responsible for setting the company’s strategic direction and for the licensing of new franchises across the United States and internationally.

Mr. Farid launched the first Edible Arrangements® store in 1999 in East Haven, Connecticut, inspired by the convergence of three trends:  Americans’ growing consumption of fresh fruit, the robust growth in the specialty food market and the increasing dollars Americans were spending on gifts. For the past four years, Edible Arrangements® has been named one of America’s fastest-growing privately held businesses in America by Inc. magazine and one of the top franchise systems in Entrepreneur Annual Franchise 500® magazine.

The first Edible Arrangements® franchise opened in 2001 in Waltham, Massachusetts. In nine short years, Edible Arrangements ® has grown to over 800 stores located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, the United Kingdom, Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and opening soon in other international markets. Mr. Farid’s involvement with franchisees has been very hands on. He still spends time in the corporate store in North Haven, Connecticut every week and travels the country visiting franchise locations to stay in regular contact with customers, the day-to-day realities of running a retail store and the marketplace’s changing demands

In 2006, Mr. Farid also launched Frutation by Edible Arrangements®.  Frutation® is an all natural fruit station that targets consumers’ who want a fresh and delicious treat on the go. The menu includes a variety of choices that are made fresh right in front of the customer, such as Fruithy® (fresh fruit smoothies), fresh juices, fruit salads, Frusala® (spiced fruit salads), fruit sundaes and chocolate dipped fruit.

Mr. Farid’s entrepreneurial experience began in the late 1980s, when with a $5,000 cash advance from his parents, he purchased a local flower shop at age 17. Within two years, Mr. Farid was operating four highly successful stores.

Mr. Farid was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the U.S. at age 11. In addition to operating his three companies, Mr. Farid founded the Salma K Farid Academy, Foundation and Welfare Center. The Academy is a not-for-profit learning and community center for Muslims and others to provide support for those in need. Mr. Farid is also a member of Deen, Inc. New Haven, which aims to revitalize the inner-city neighborhood.

http://www.ediblearrangements.com/Default.aspx

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/08/jobs/08boss.html

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