Edible announced that its store in Melbourne, Florid,a has a new owner. Tony Herlong took over operations on March 19 after joining the brand through its Manage-To-Own (MTO) program. As the program’s first candidate, Herlong went through a 90-day training program to get acclimated to Edible and ready himself for business ownership.

 “I’ve always had a passion for the restaurant industry and having worked at almost every level, that experience has uniquely prepared me for my ownership with Edible,” says Herlong. “When I came across the MTO opportunity, it imminently sparked my interest as I’ve admired the brand for so long. My time in training solidified that as I saw first-hand the understanding the brand has for guest satisfaction which is equally important to me as a longtime restauranteur. Becoming the owner of the Melbourne store is an honor as the location is already established in the community. Looking ahead, I’m eager to continue expanding with Edible and put the tools I learned to use.”

Herlong has long been ready to take the leap into entrepreneurship. With 35-plus years of experience in the restaurant industry and a decorated army veteran, his understanding for business and determination to create a memorable guest experience helped establish him for Edible’s MTO program. After successfully taking over operations at the Melbourne store, Herlong looks ahead to a bright future with Edible with the potential to become the owner of the Palm Bay and Cape Canaveral locations. Herlong also has a long-term goal to own 10 Edible stores.

“Our MTO program is an exciting opportunity for longtime managers and operators to become entrepreneurs,” says Patricia Perry, vice president of franchise development. “Qualified candidates that are passionate about business ownership make an initial investment of $30,000 and after participating in our training program, they are awarded an Edible® franchise. Tony was the perfect person to kickstart this initiative. With his entrepreneurial spirit, established background in operations and overall commitment to success, I am more than confident in his ability to run the Melbourne store and am excited to see what his future with Edible holds.”

After 20-plus years in business, Edible continues to offer a variety of unique and inventive assortments of freshly made gifts with real fruit and gourmet chocolate. From bouquets to individual grab-and-go treats to bakery items, each product is made fresh and can be picked up in-store or delivered by Edible’s insulated trucks with contact-less delivery through its seamless e-commerce system. Edible’s ongoing commitment to innovation is the driving force in delivering a memorable, celebratory retail moment for guests.

The brand is set on expanding nationally and internationally with franchise operators that have a proven track record of success. The current growth markets in the United States are Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Northern California, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming. Internationally, the focus is on Canada, China, Europe, India, Mexico, the Middle East, and Pakistan.

Those interested in opening an Edible franchise should have food service or retail experience with a proven track record of success within the franchise industry, have deep ties to their community and available liquidity to invest in a new store. Investments start at $173,600.

Franchising, News, Edible Arrangements