Leslie Robinson walked into the room where the awards ceremony was being held at the 2011 EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® corporate convention and sat in the back. That is, until she was asked to take a seat closer to the front.(continued below)
“I was the recipient of the first ever WOW Award,” Leslie says proudly. “They said to me, ‘You WOW us!’ That gesture reinforced to me that the people at the top value and recognize us.”
Eight years ago, Leslie’s friend saw EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® fresh fruit bouquets featured on the Food Network. They tried to place an order, but found there were no EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® stores in the entire state. After researching the company, they learned that franchisee opportunities were available. Without thinking twice, the pair decided to attend the first-ever Discovery Day at the original EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® store and corporate office in Hamden, Connecticut to find out more.
Leslie was a CPA at the time, and the concept of becoming an EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchisee intrigued her. With her husband Al’s encouragement, she went on to open the first store in Michigan in 2005, and paved the way for others to open stores throughout the state.
“In the beginning we did a lot of marketing to introduce the concept to the area,” Leslie says. “Because we did so well our first year, I think we inspired others to become investors in the franchise.”
Leslie, who has been nicknamed ‘The Mother of Fruit’ by one of her fellow franchisees, says she absolutely loves the product and the connections she makes with her customers. She’s also grateful that she can spend as much time as she wants with her three children.
“I’m excited about getting up in the morning and coming into the store, or even staying home and doing the books,” Leslie says. “I enjoy the whole package!”
Leslie says she is proud of being an EA pioneer and a valuable asset to the company’s growth, and adds that she is constantly being WOWed by the evolution of the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® brand.
“The marketing, including the new ads and jingle on TV, all take us to a new level of awareness and strengthen our brand,” Leslie says. “I have passion for this company, and I’m going to do everything in my power to support not just my store, but the growth of EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® as a whole.”