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Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements sits in his office for a portrait at the International Corporate Headquarters in Wallingford, CT, October 16, 2007. Farid recently made financial contributions to Master’s Manna and the Hubcap — totaling $30,000. | File Photo / Record Journal

Edible Arrangements CEO donates total of $30,000 to Wallingford organizations

WALLINGFORD — Tariq Farid, CEO and founder of Edible Arrangements, recently made financial contributions totaling $30,000 to Master’s Manna and the Hubcap.

Farid donated $25,000 to Master’s Manna food pantry, 46 N. Plains Industrial Road, and $5,000 to the Hubcap, a small business incubator, 128 Center St.

The donations were made through the Tariq Farid Foundation, a non-profit that aims to “alleviate suffering by providing for the basic needs of food and healthcare and to improve lives through the support of education and skill development opportunities that enable individuals to reach their full potential,” according its website. Since it was established last year, the foundation has donated nearly $100,000 to soup kitchens and food pantries across the state, according to Anna Mariotti, a representative of the Tariq Farid Foundation.

Mariotti and Farid met with Master’s Manna Executive Director Cheryl Trzcinski during a tour of the food pantry.

“Master’s Manna really blew me away with how much they do with such limited staff and how they have so many engaged volunteers,” Mariotti said in a phone interview Friday.

Trzcinski said she cried when she learned of the donation.

“It was just an overwhelming moment. This is an investment in the community that is going to affect so many lives in such a positive way,” she said Friday.

Trzcinski added that the money will be primarily used to purchase new refrigerators and other equipment to make sure food does not go to waste.

Farid said his company worked with Master’s Manna in the past delivering fruit to the organization. “I didn’t know all the things they did until I got there,” Farid said.

Edible Arrangements, a gourmet fresh fruit delivery company, has more than 1,000 stores in 15 countries, which generated over $500 million in sales last year. The company has 150 employees at its headquarters on Barnes Road. It was founded by Farid and his brother 14 years ago.

Farid also met recently with some of the founders of the Hubcap, including Vincenzo Landino. The Hubcap is a small business incubator that has a partnership with the town’s school system to provide mentoring opportunities.

“I was very elated and happy to have his involvement,” Landino said Friday.

Landino said Farid will also lead a discussion with the public in August.

“It’s the first part of an entrepreneurial speaking series — it’s a one-on-one chat with him,” he said. “He’ll really go through the struggles and what not of starting a business.”

After touring the Hubcap and hearing what its founders are trying to accomplish, Farid said he wanted to help. The mission, Farid said, reminded him of working at a flower shop when he was in elementary school and being encouraged and inspired by the owner.

“I was blessed by meeting many people over the years that gave me kind words of advice,” he said. “I heard about them and what they were trying to do and it takes you back to your upbringing ... These guys are helping people to get on that entrepreneur journey.”

Landino said the $5,000 will go towards the small businesses and start ups that sign with the organization. (203) 317-2235 Twitter: @EricVoRJ

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