Owning a small floral business wasn't enough for Tariq Farid, 39, and his brother Kamran, 29. In 1999, the pair focused on a new venture instead--flower-like fruit bouquets--and soon Edible Arrangements became a phenomenon. By the following year, this Wallingford, Connecticut, company had added another store and started franchising. Success has been sweet for these entrepreneurs, who now count 808 franchises open or in development. What's more, sales at their two company-owned locations went from $4.6 million in 2005 to $16.4 million in 2007.
Projecting sales of $22 million for the franchise company this year, Tariq credits his staff with managing such fast growth. "[We've been] blessed with some incredible people who [are] able to step up to the plate and work those late night hours," he says. Designing and patenting new equipment that builds arrangements more efficiently in addition to developing proprietary software for refining customer service also helped push their business to the next level. But they're not stopping there. As Tariq says, "We will have some accelerated growth, but very intelligent accelerated growth."