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How the Edible® Leadership Team Brings In-Depth Franchising Experience to the Gifting Category

The success is driven by a leadership team with a wealth of experience in franchising and retail, guiding Edible® towards new heights in the gifting category.

By Luca Piacentini1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSOREDUpdated 1:13PM 06/20/24

Edible®the innovative e-commerce hub uniquely supported by locally owned brick-and-mortar locations across the globe, has redefined the modern gifting experience in the 21st century. But behind every great brand is a great team of people steering the ship. Here is a deep dive into Edible’s impressive leadership team and the ways in which they are shaping the future of the brand.

Tariq Farid: Visionary Leadership from the Founder

At the helm is Tariq Farid, chairman of the board and chief executive officer. Since founding Edible in 1999, Farid has guided the company with a vision of innovation and growth. His entrepreneurial spirit and strategic insight have been instrumental in establishing Edible as a leading name in the gifting industry. Farid’s leadership has been pivotal in navigating the brand’s expansion, ensuring its position as a market leader.

“My grandfather was a farmer who always had a stoic demeanor even in the face of losing crops to storms,” said Farid. “That has been inspiring for me. He believed in hard work and left the reward to divine providence. This view helps in navigating the responsibilities towards employees and franchisees, especially as the Edible brand grows. The essence of embracing change, stirring things up, and trying new things, is what propels success.”

Somia Farid Silber: Driving E-commerce and Operational Excellence

Somia Farid Silber, Edible’s president, brings a wealth of experience in e-commerce and operations. Since joining Edible in various capacities, Silber has driven significant growth in the company’s online presence and operational efficiency. Her leadership in digital transformation has enhanced Edible's ability to cater to a diverse customer base, ensuring seamless integration between online orders and local franchise operations.

“I have a deep appreciation for our company and the joy it brings to people's lives,” said Silber. “Early on in my life — before I even entered the workforce — my dad taught me the importance of embracing an entrepreneurial spirit. I learned firsthand that injecting passion and purpose into the brand is one of the most important things.”

Angela Johnson: Innovating the Customer Experience

As chief innovation officer, Angela Johnson spearheads the development of new products and services. With over two decades of experience in the franchise and restaurant industry, and a background in marketing and brand activation from her time at brands like The Krystal Company, Johnson brings a creative approach to product innovation. Her focus on enhancing the customer experience through unique and appealing products has helped Edible stay ahead in the competitive gifting market.

"Edible is the perfect fit for me," Johnson said. “My true passion lies in the creative side of business, bringing ideas to life through brand vision. This role at Edible combines my marketing background with a focus on product innovation. We're dedicated to the daily growth of our current categories and the continual innovation of exciting products for the future.”

Kevin Keith: Crafting the Brand’s Market Presence

Kevin Keith, chief marketing officer, leverages his expertise from roles with well-known brands such as Citibank, Mercedes-Benz, UPS and Coca-Cola, as well as his most recent role as chief brand officer at OrangeTheory Fitness, to enhance Edible’s market presence. Keith’s focus on brand strategy and marketing innovation ensures that Edible remains a top choice for consumers seeking unique and memorable gifts. His efforts in brand development are vital to maintaining Edible’s competitive edge.

Mark Mele: Strategic Franchise Development

Mark Mele, chief development officer, brings over three decades of experience in franchise development. His work with brands like Carlson Hospitality Worldwide, Century 21 and Paris Baguette highlights his expertise in nurturing business growth and franchising opportunities. Mele’s strategic vision for Edible involves rolling out the NextGen store prototype, which integrates e-commerce and in-store experiences to create a hybrid business model that leverages both channels effectively.

“For anyone considering investing in a franchise, my advice, based on over 30 years in franchising, has always been to choose a brand with solid recognition,” said Mele. “Edible is exactly that — a proven concept with an innovative vision for the future. I'm excited to contribute to a brand that's already a household name, yet has so much potential for expansion and reinvention.”

Faraz Iqbal: Leading Technological Innovation

Faraz Iqbal, the chief technology officer at Edible, brings over 25 years of experience in technology, operations and franchise growth to the team. Before joining Edible, Iqbal served as the senior vice president of global services at Zilliant, a leading tech company in price optimization and revenue management, as well as as the COO at Naranga, where his team was ranked second in franchise online technology services by Entrepreneur Magazine. As chief technology officer of Edible, Iqbal oversees the brand’s technology strategy, ensuring the operational efficiency and enhancement of all technological processes and procedures. He will play a crucial role as the brand continues to focus on the Edible NextGen vision.

"I am thrilled to join a company like Edible, which has revolutionized the gifting industry with its innovative approach to technology, actively creating memorable moments for people," said Iqbal. "My goal is to continue leveraging technology innovation to grow and transform the business.

A Unified Vision for the Future

Together, this dynamic leadership team brings a rich tapestry of experience and expertise to Edible, driving innovation and growth. Their collective efforts ensure that Edible continues to lead in the $242 billion global gifting market, offering customers a unique and memorable experience with every purchase, while offering entrepreneurs a chance to be part of a proven yet innovative and growing brand. 

As Edible looks to the future, its leadership team remains committed to expanding the brand’s market presence and enhancing the overall customer experience. “Our C-suite is now fully in place, and I'm very confident in our team's capabilities and our direction moving forward,” said Silber.

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*This brand is a paid partner of 1851 Franchise. For more information on paid partnerships please click here.