50 THE QUEENS COURIER • BUZZ • SEPTEMBER 16, 2021 FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM
Edible Arrangements in Springfi eld Gardens
holds long-awaited grand opening celebration
BY GABRIELE HOLTERMANN
Th e long-awaited ribbon-cutting ceremony
of the Edible Arrangements store at
219-25 North Conduit Ave. in Springfi eld
Gardens fi nally took place on Aug. 26.
Surrounded by family, friends and elected
offi cials, including Queens Deputy
Borough President Rhonda Binda and
state Senator Leroy Comrie, Ali Baig, the
22-year-old Edible Arrangements store
owner, was excited to make it “offi cial”
aft er the COVID-19 pandemic delayed
the grand opening by eight months.
Even Tariq Farid, founder and CEO of
Edible Arrangements International, didn’t
miss the chance to attend the ceremony
of one of his franchise stores that in
only eight months became one of the top
10 performing stores with a revenue of
almost $1 million.
Baig invited the company’s top executives
to the grand opening and thought,
“Hey, why don’t I add Mr. Farid to this
email list. He’s a busy guy, but if he
responds, it would be a pleasure.’”
Within 15 minutes, Baig received a
response from Farid.
“I didn’t sleep for like three hours that
night,” Baig shared. “I couldn’t believe it
when I saw the email that he would be
coming to my store, because he’s responsible
for over 1,000 locations.”
Farid, a longtime advocate for entrepreneurship,
said that he “was blown away”
when he saw Baig’s invitation.
“Most people either will think, ‘Oh,
he’s busy and can’t participate.’ But for
me, everything is store because I started
out with a single store in East Haven,
Farid now has has over 1,000 locations
worldwide and generates over $600 million
in revenue annually.
“I had heard Ali Baig’s name and the
things he was doing. As soon as it came
in, I’m like, ‘Hell, I’ll be there. I can’t wait,’”
Baig admitted that he was nervous
about opening the store amid the COVID-
19 pandemic, but Edible Arrangements
International saw incredible growth during
He also credits his parents with his success.
“My parents have been a great inspiration
for me,” Baig said. “Th ey always told
me, ‘Put your heart into anything you
decide to do. Put your mind into it.’ And
that’s something that I thought was really
Th e Atlanta-based company, known for
selling fresh-fruit bouquets, added the
sale of baked goods, fresh produce and
birthday cards to its lineup in 2020. Th ey
saw an increase of 45 percent in sales last
year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Th e one nice thing about our system is
that we’ve always had that concept of celebrating
people’s special moments,” Farid
explained. “And it’s beautiful to kind of
join in on that. Th ere are always special
moments. People, even in the most diffi -
cult of times, will always celebrate birthdays.”
It is also vital for Ali Baig to give
back to the community. He has partnered
with the Southeast Queens Chamber of
Commerce (SEQCOC) to beautify and
revitalize untended public areas of southeast
One of the projects includes restoring
Van Wyck Subway Public Park in Jamaica,
designed by Jean-Hans Fulcher of Fulcher
Rev. Dr. Simone Lord, founder and
CEO of SEQCOC, said that Baig was
“making a diff erence.”
“I was very happy to partner up with Ali
and his family because they really inspired
me. Th ey are helping me to make these
unkept areas of southeast Queens beautiful
again,” Dr. Lord said.
State Senator Leroy Comrie noted that
Edible Arrangements was a minorityowned
brand. Referring to Farid, Comrie
said that it was “a big deal” when the
owner of a national brand attended the
ribbon-cutting of one of his franchise
“Th e world is about change,” Comrie
said. “But what is consistent is the ability
of people to come together to focus on
achieving a goal and to work hard together.”
Queens Deputy Borough President
Rhonda Binda said that it was great to see
so many businesses opening in Queens,
which showed the resilience of a community
that was the “epicenter of the epicenter”
during the height of the COVID-
“We’re so happy to see our minorityowned
businesses thrive,” Binda said.
Farrukh and Bushra Baig, Ali Baig’s parents,
who have been helping out at the
store, were beaming with pride.
Farrukh Baig, a longtime entrepreneur,
said that it is always a parent’s desire to see
their son follow in their footsteps.
“Today is a dream come true that Ali
stood in front of the owner of the company.
And he introduced him. Th at’s like
a dream come true,” the senior Baig said.
“We are very, very proud of our son.”
Ali Baig’s mother, Bushra Baig, added
that they were proud of their son and
were proud to be part of the Queens community.
“It’s such a diverse community here in
Queens,” Bushra Baid said. “We personally
wanted to get involved and let people
know it’s like a family because America is
a land of opportunity, and this is where
A tent is set up in the parking lot for the celebration of the Edible Arrangements store in Springfi eld
Photos by Gabriele Holtermann
Ali Baig, family, friends and community representatives celebrate the opening of his Edible Arrangements store with a delayed ribbon-cutting ceremony.