The Edible Arrangements® 7th annual international convention concluded last week in Orlando and I could not be more pleased as to how it went. I am always amazed at the energy and enthusiasm radiating from all the franchisees, vendors, corporate staff –well, from everyone. It’s electric. This year’s convention was truly inclusive in that our franchisees led the roundtable discussions and spearheaded the conversation. Over the years we learned that franchisees find it much more valuable when they hear from their peers and pick up tips from them on preparing for the holidays, unique marketing and public relations ideas, hiring and so much more. I cannot tell you how impressed I am every year to hear from our franchisees and what they are doing in their businesses and communities.
This year the theme was ‘Be Our Guest’ because it is our franchisees, the ambassadors of the Edible Arrangements brand, who truly strive to treat every person like a guest in their home. Our franchisees are your neighbors and friends in your communities who work hard every day to make sure that you –our guest –receives the highest quality, freshly made fruit arrangements or fruit treats such as our incredible smoothies, fruit salads and dipped fruit every single day. Their passion for what they do is what has made Edible Arrangements so successful and helps make your visit into the wonderful world of Edible Arrangements so memorable. I truly feel blessed to be in the presence of so many dedicated individuals and humbled by the work they do to ensure Edible Arrangements meets your expectations every time.
One of the most pleasurable events for me at the convention is the awards ceremony where we recognize some of our outstanding franchisees. It gets harder and harder every year deciding which franchisees deserve to be recognized for their outstanding achievements in many critical areas. There are so many franchisees who are extraordinary and who deserve recognition. I wish I could recognize them all at the convention as they are all deserving of such accolades. But each year there are a special few who really exemplify and embody the Edible Arrangements spirit, who go above and beyond to deliver an unforgettable Edible Arrangements experience for their guests.
Today I want to publically congratulate the franchisee who I personally chose to receive the President’s award, an award given to a franchisee who is an indefatigable evangelist of the brand on a daily basis. Maurice Welton, who owns four stores in Texas (McAllen, Harlingen, Brownsville and Weslaco) is truly a patriot and unrelenting advocate for Edible Arrangements. Maurice is a man who pulled himself up by his bootstraps by his sheer will and determination and is now building his own Edible Arrangements enterprise. He honorably served his country in the U.S. Army from 1997-2003, and after Katrina forced him and so many others to rethink their plans, Maurice moved to Texas where he opened his first Edible Arrangements store in McAllen in 2007.
His positive attitude is infectious and he is an amazing role model for his staff and other franchisees. With Maurice, the glass isn’t only half full, it’s overflowing every single day. I’ve never met a more proud, personable, positive man. He truly makes me smile every time I speak with him and brightens the day for so many in his community. It was such an honor and privilege for me to personally hand Maurice the President’s Award at the convention. I anticipate so many great things in the future from Maurice and I know he will continue making immeasurable contributions to his community. Congratulations Maurice -you deserve it! Keep up the hard work and keep on smiling!
In my next few blog entries I will be highlighting a few more of our incredible franchisees who received an award at the convention. I hope you will find their stories inspiring and pick up a few tips of your own that you can use in your business or in everyday life.