October 18, 2017 // Franchising.com // WALLINGFORD, CT - Edible Arrangements® franchisee James “Jim” Echols was recently honored by the International Franchise Association (IFA) as he was named a Franchisee of the Year at the IFA’s annual Franchisee of the Year Awards dinner in Washington DC.
The IFA, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide, presents the award annually in recognition of franchisees across the U.S. who have demonstrated excellence within the franchising community.
Echols, an 11-year franchise veteran with two Edible Arrangements® stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, was nominated by the Edible Arrangements® corporate team for his outstanding commitment to the company and his WOW-worthy performance in his stores, consistently going above and beyond expectations.
Tariq Farid, founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements®, was at the ceremony to congratulate Echols on his award.
“Jim is the ideal franchisee and I’m honored that he is part of the Edible Arrangements franchise network,” said Farid. “Jim is a fantastic representation of Edible’s® values. He constantly looks for ways to WOW our customers and it shows with his strong brand engagement and outstanding sales performance.”
Echols has owned his Edible Arrangements® store in Charlotte for almost 11 years, and has co-owned another with his son, Jason, since 2014. Echols’ location was named one of the top 10 overall stores in sales in 2016.
“I was really honored to even be considered, after looking at past franchisees of the year,” said Echols. “To be selected and put into the same group with past winners has been very exciting.”
Echols has also been recognized for his focus on giving back to his community; he was one of the many Edible® franchisees who donated to Hurricane Harvey relief. Echols has also used his store as an opportunity to contribute to the Ronald McDonald house, children’s hospitals, the YMCA, and local charities.
“One of the things we do on a weekly basis is supply fruit salad to a soup kitchen near our store,” said Echols. “We cut the excess fruit and donate it to the kitchen. We encourage staff to participate in activities, and enjoy helping those in our community.”
More information about Edible Arrangements® products, locations and franchise opportunities is available at edible.com.
With more than 1,300 franchise locations open or under development worldwide, Edible Arrangements International, LLC is the world's largest franchisor of shops offering creatively designed fresh cut fruit arrangements. Edible Arrangements® store locations also carry the company's rapidly expanding Edible To Go® line which features all-natural, fresh fruit smoothies, chocolate Dipped Fruit™, Froyo Fruit Blends™, fresh fruit salads, parfaits, and treats. Since its founding in 1999 in East Haven, Conn., the company has been recognized as an industry leader, ranking first in its category in Entrepreneur magazine's annual "Franchise 500," Entrepreneur's Top 40 of "Fastest Growing Franchises" and "America's Top Global Franchises" as well as being included among the "Inc. 5000" list of the fastest growing privately-held companies. Edible Arrangements®’ fresh fruit arrangements, chocolate Dipped Fruit™, fresh fruit smoothies, and more can be enjoyed at franchise locations worldwide. Gifts can be ordered online at edible.com, by phone at 1-877-DO-FRUIT®, or through any local Edible Arrangements® store.
SOURCE Edible Arrangements®