Early in 2012, EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® gave its franchisees a chance at stardom. We called it “Fruit Idol”—a special contest designed to select which franchisees would get to appear in our exciting new series of national TV ads. They were asked to do one simple thing: Submit a video telling us, “What Certified Happiness Means to Me.” (continued below)
Among the winners was Judy Annunziata, who was so convincing in her submission that we just had to bring her on board. Judy went in feeling pretty good about her chances, but even she didn’t expect she’d get the call for what was, for her, a role of a lifetime.
“I was a little confident, but I didn’t really think I’d get the call to have a speaking part in a national commercial. I honestly figured I’d be in the background holding a strawberry,” Judy says excitedly. And although her real-life experience prepared her well for the part of the “Fruit Expert”, Judy says she still felt jittery about her on screen debut, “It was a little scary; I was a little nervous at first—but it turned out to be a great time”
Judy’s life before EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® fame included a career as a paralegal. She had retired from the legal field, and was helping to operate the family restaurant in Poughkeepsie when she first came across the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchise, and the delicious line of alternative gift baskets. Her father happened to be the landlord for an EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® store in Poughkeepsie, New York, and suggested that Judy look into the franchise to find out what it was all about. Judy researched it, and before long made the decision, with her father’s blessing, that this business was something worth investing in – after all, Judy could see the demand for EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® products right in her own family.
“Right around that time, my sister had just had a baby—and she was mad because she wanted to start a diet right after the baby was born, but was getting nothing but junk food gifts, ” she explains. “I could see the demand, and I just knew the EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® brand was going to take off.”
Judy was so sure of the prospects of the budding EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® franchise that she and her brother went on to open three EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS® store locations in about a year.
And although she may have been nervous about her role in a national TV commercial, when it comes to running her business, Judy says she maintains a healthy confidence:
“We’ve been growing every single year since 2006. The product is selling itself, and everybody loves it. I’m pleased as a franchisee that the business is taking off as well as it has. When I took it on, a lot of people asked me if I was nervous. I haven’t been, and I don’t plan on it.”