Jennifer Palma’s journey with EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® has been an unusual one, leading her to the franchise on a path she never could have predicted. She was living in New Jersey with her husband Jim, raising a family and working as a financial center manager for a local bank. Then in 2003, Jim became ill, and their life changed dramatically.(continued below)
The couple had always wanted to retire to Florida, so they accelerated their plans and made the move to Bonita Springs. They enjoyed quality time together until Jim passed away in 2005, and Jennifer’s life again changed course.
For Jim’s funeral back in New Jersey, Jennifer received a lot of flowers, but there was one arrangement there that would mark her future in ways she couldn’t imagine…a fresh fruit bouquet from EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS®.
“Jim’s brother said, ‘You and Jimbo always wanted to open a business when you moved to Florida,’” Jennifer says. “He told me that owning an Edible Arrangements store would be perfect for me.”
Jennifer returned to Florida and thought more about Jim’s brother’s suggestion. She attended EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® Discovery Day, an event in which potential franchisees have the opportunity to visit corporate headquarters in Wallingford, Connecticut and learn all about the business. She signed up to be a franchisee and went on to open her first store in Ft. Myers on June 4, 2007.
“I had a lot of hurdles to overcome, financially and emotionally,” she says. “But having a background in management, I knew I was going to be busy before I even opened the store, because there was only one store in the Naples area.”
Business was so good that Jennifer expanded to two more stores: Bonita Springs in 2010 and North Ft. Myers in 2011. She likes the experience of owning multiple stores, and learning as much as she can about the business.
Jennifer also prides herself on quality control—she and her staff taste all the fruit when it comes in to the stores to ensure it is the freshest and tastiest it can be.
“Everyone loves Edible Arrangements, it has a good name and it’s a healthy alternative. We have a lot of people here who are health oriented, discriminating consumers,” she says.
Jennifer is proud that she has been able to run a successful business through challenging economic times. She credits her employees, the community, and the support of EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS ® corporate—and she is sure her husband Jim would be very proud of her accomplishments.