Country of origin: Pakistan
Year came to U.S.: 1981
Education: High School
Headquarters: Wallingford, CT
2021 revenue: $400 million
Worldwide employment: 150
Tariq Farid started his first successful business at age 17.
Farid’s most famous business, Edible Arrangements, was named by both Inc. and Forbes.com as a top franchise in 2011.
Tariq Farid was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the United States at age 11. Although the Farids had been an upper-middle class farming family in Pakistan, they started at the bottom in the U.S. His father worked as a machinist during the day and at fast food restaurants at night. As a teenager, Tariq worked for a flower shop and at McDonald’s.
He got his first taste of entrepreneurship in 1986, when, at age 17, he spent a $5,000 loan on a flower shop. Farid made the flower arrangements himself and delivered them after school. In under two years, he was running four very successful stores.
Farid learned the power of business systemization at McDonald’s, and with only a high school education he developed a computer system for running the business. In 1991, he formed a new business called Northeast Systems Group to sell the software to other shops. The company was purchased by Teleflora in 1997.
Farid was inspired by his experience in the floral industry to open a new kind of store that offered fresh fruit cut to look like bouquets of flowers. In 1999, he launched Edible Arrangements with his brother. They got 30 orders the first day and turned a profit the first year. The revenue doubled the second year. They created the franchise when they were approached by someone wanting to open an Edible Arrangements store.
Today, there are more than 1,300 Edible Arrangement stores throughout the world offering fresh cut fruit arrangements, salads and chocolate dipped fruit. Edible Arrangements was on Inc.’s list of 10 Promising Franchises for 2011 and was listed on Entrepreneur‘s Franchise 500 and Fast-Growing Franchises for five years in a row. Farid launched several related businesses that provide services to franchisees, such as Netsolace to provide software and Farid Capital to finance equipment.
Farid became a U.S. citizen in 1986. In 2013, he established the Tariq Farid Foundation to provide for those in need. He says of his success, “I pinch myself every day.”
Learn more about the contributions of Asian American immigrants in the blog post Nine Famous Asian and Pacific Islander Immigrants.
Updated July 2022