When so-called industry experts wrote off the brand, the consumers thought otherwise, and we went from double-digit declines to record growth throughout 2019, and up. Consumers throughout the nation were willing to vote with their wallets to ensure this brand has a bright future. With the new categories we launched, guests encouraged us by coming back for more. We were able to change the perception of Edible from solely a fruit arrangement provider to a one-stop shop for arrangements, flowers, bakery items, and other shelf-stable treats.

This vision was brought to life by the hard work and collaboration of our team, and I cannot stress enough the dedication that this took. From finding the right suppliers and communicating with our franchisees to helping them market the new products, to the innovative ideas that our team cultivated, it was truly a company-wide effort. While it was not an easy vision to navigate, I could not have asked for a better challenge.

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And as we saw the success that it started to bring, it only drove us more. It motivated us, and we have the consumers to thank for this. We look forward to continuing down this innovative path and challenging the status quo of the perception of Edible as we continue to grow the brand and make it a destination for all of life’s celebrations. It’s not the story of Edible quite frankly, it’s the story of this nation of ours. It tells us that if you try to remain authentic, most will support you.

What was your first job? 

My first job was working for an agency at the age of 14. They would have me put their stickers throughout the Bronx in New York. I would work about 6-7 hours each day on the weekends, and then I’d work more during the summer.

What’s your favorite cuisine outside of Edible?

Caldou—It’s a Senegalese dish with grilled fish, onions/mustard sauce and a green based sauce called Bissap.

Who inspires you as a leader?

Leadership is a multi-facet platform. I’m inspired by many individuals—working mothers who are able to balance more than most CEO’s, and trailblazers who are the first to do things that the world told them was impossible, like the Honorable Judge Monte Richardson, Tariq Farid and also a genuine community leader like my father.

What’s the best piece of advice that other restaurant executives should hear?

Applaud all wins, even the small ones, but focus on opportunities.

What are some of your interests outside of work?

Backpack travel because I like to travel light and stay moving. I’m a licensed pilot, and flying is when I feel most free. I love the view from the sky. And lately, fatherhood and watching my newborn son grow makes my day.

Start to Finish: What Inspires Execs, Story, Edible Arrangements