Edible Arrangements franchisee James “Jim” Echols was recently honored by the International Franchise Association (IFA) as he was named a Franchisee of the Year at the IFA’s annual Franchisee of the Year Awards dinner in Washington DC.

The IFA, the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide, presents the award annually in recognition of franchisees across the U.S. who have demonstrated excellence within the franchising community.

Echols, an 11-year franchise veteran with two Edible Arrangements stores in Charlotte, North Carolina, was nominated by the Edible Arrangements corporate team for his outstanding commitment to the company and his wow-worthy performance in his stores, consistently going above and beyond expectations.

Tariq Farid, founder and CEO of Edible Arrangements, was at the ceremony to congratulate Echols on his award.

“Jim is the ideal franchisee and I’m honored that he is part of the Edible Arrangements franchise network,” says Farid. “Jim is a fantastic representation of Edible’s values. He constantly looks for ways to wow our customers and it shows with his strong brand engagement and outstanding sales performance.”

Echols has owned his Edible Arrangements® store in Charlotte for almost 11 years, and has co-owned another with his son, Jason, since 2014. Echols’ location was named one of the top 10 overall stores in sales in 2016.

“I was really honored to even be considered, after looking at past franchisees of the year,” says Echols. “To be selected and put into the same group with past winners has been very exciting.”

Echols has also been recognized for his focus on giving back to his community; he was one of the many Edible® franchisees who donated to Hurricane Harvey relief. Echols has also used his store as an opportunity to contribute to the Ronald McDonald house, children’s hospitals, the YMCA, and local charities.

“One of the things we do on a weekly basis is supply fruit salad to a soup kitchen near our store,” says Echols. “We cut the excess fruit and donate it to the kitchen. We encourage staff to participate in activities, and enjoy helping those in our community.”

More information about Edible Arrangements products, locations and franchise opportunities is available at edible.com.

Franchising, News, Edible Arrangements