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FRANCHISE GROUP NAMES ENTERPRISING BUSINESSMAN ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

For immediate release
Contact: Alisa Harrison, 202-628-8000

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16―Edible Arrangements President and CEO Tariq Farid was today honored by the International Franchise Association as its Entrepreneur of the Year during its 49th annual convention being held in San Diego.

Emigrating from Pakistan to the United States in 1969, Tariq Farid’s entrepreneurial spirit bloomed in the late 1980s at the age of 17 when he used a $5,000 cash advance from his parents to purchase a local flower shop in East Haven, Conn. Within two years he was operating four successful stores, building on his experience from working in a McDonald’s restaurant where he learned the power of business systemization. After realizing the need for quality software systems for ease of management in the retail floral industry, Farid founded computer-software distributor Netsolace in 1993 and honed his skills with computer systems.

In 1999, Farid opened the first Edible Arrangements franchise, which specializes in fresh fruit arrangements. After designing the computer systems, training manuals, production and profitability tracking and supply chain management process, he began franchising the concept in 2001. As president and CEO, Farid has grown the company to more than 800 stores serving locations in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom.

In 2006, Farid also launched the franchise concept Frutation by Edible Arrangements out of his desire to provide consumers an “on-the-go” option. In addition to operating three companies, Farid founded the Salma K. Farid Academy, Foundation and Welfare Center in his efforts to contribute to the community. The academy is a not-for-profit school for the Muslim community and the other entities provide support for those in need.  Farid is also a member of Deen Inc. New Haven, which aims to revitalize the inner-city neighborhood.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is presented to an individual who is currently building a successful business venture, demonstrates innovative management skills in a franchise that has been in operation at least three years and is active in the community.

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About the International Franchise Association
The International Franchise Association, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising, is the preeminent voice and acknowledged leader for the industry worldwide. Approaching a half-century of service with a growing membership of more than 1,300 franchise systems, 11,000-plus franchisees and more than 500 firms that supply goods and services to the industry, IFA protects, enhances and promotes franchising by advancing the values of integrity, respect, trust, commitment to excellence, honesty and diversity. For more information, visit the IFA Web site at www.franchise.org.

Editor’s Note:  To request a JPG of Tariq Farid, contact the IFA Media Relations Department at 202-628-8000.

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