Corporate Gift Baskets
How We Can Help Easily
I knew I loved José Andreés when I first ate one of his San Nicasio Potato Chips. The lightest most delicate potato chip I had ever had. It transformed how I saw chips. I had never put potato chips in our gift baskets before, but knew my clients and their recipients needed these.
Then there was the Foie Gras S’more at his Las Vegas Restaurant. Bazaar. Surely it was a joke. We queried the waiter who patiently, and a bit condescending, told us it was the real deal, We ordered it because we had to see for ourselves. On the first bite I began to laugh out loud. Yes, he made food that made me laugh out loud because it was ridiculous. Foie Gras with a barely sweet soft marshmallow and bitter chocolate on a homemade graham cracker….it was a sensory sensation I will never forget, the flavors and textures all interacting perfectly to deliver a dish I had never experienced before. My husband took a bite later in the meal and had the exact same experience – he laughed out loud. It was that extraordinary.
I was impressed by this guy. Then I saw him popping up to help those affected by Natural Disasters. The Earthquake in Haiti, Hurricane in New Orleans, Feeding Federal Employees when the government closed. At first he did it as an individual. He began World Central Kitchen in 2010 as an organization that would bring food to those affected by natural and man-made disasters.
A recent interview with him and director Ron Howard on Stephen Colbert, they were promoting the documentary We Feed People about the World Central Kitchen (WCK), made me realize we need to help.
When disaster hits people need to know they will eat. It is essential. WCK dispenses thousands of meals a day. They get in there, set up and feed people. Andrés explained he got frustrated watching people waiting for the government to help. He knew he could do something. This is what chefs do. They feed people. No matter what they get food out.
At Fancifull we are all about food and we love to find ways to make this world a better place, it is part of our DNA. This seemed like a perfect way to do that. WCK has the track record, it gets meals out and does it quickly
By portioning part of our sales to WCK it allows you to send beautiful gifts and each gift will feed people around the world. The gift that keeps giving, right?
My birthday is June 16th so I targeted that day as the end day for the fundraiser. I want to send WCK a big donation as a birthday gift to me. A gift to all who will benefit from it. I love to feed people. I want people with full bellies and happy faces. I also want people I don’t know, people who are in some far off place, who are worried about their life ahead to know they won’t starve, that someone is looking out for them.
There are graduations, Father’s Day and all sorts of occasions coming up. Let’s send gifts, tell people we are thinking of them and let people around the world know we care too.
I share Andrés love of John Steinbeck and he quotes him here
“Wherever there’s a fight so hungry people may eat, we will be there. We must be there.”
It has been quite a journey, this Fancifull road we’ve been on for 30 years. From young whippersnappers with a gleam in their eye and an idea in mind, we set out to elevate gift baskets. Now here we are, older, one might say even old, but we like to think we are experienced.
We’ve seen trends come and go – we know what is a passing fad and what is authentic. This doesn’t mean we’re set in our ways with a, “been there done that,” attitude. No, we believe in staying current: going to trade shows to meet and see all the new innovations, traveling to meet makers in all parts of the world, and talking to our clients so we are sure we are offering them new product to keep it interesting. Fancifull is always evolving, as are we.
Along the way we have kept our eyes open and observed certain truths that have stood the test of time.
Research is Important
It takes effort to sift through all the marketing slogans, hype and cute packaging to find what is authentic and frankly, delicious. It isn’t about symbols, instagram followers or cool packaging. It is about people who care where their ingredients come from, who give back, and who make something that tastes great. Samples come to our shop almost daily. We taste test with all our staff and friends. Some are packaged beautifully but the taste just isn’t there. With some producers, once we investigate their claims, they come up short.
Taste is Personal
Everyone has their taste and it isn’t for us to enforce our taste on them. Taste goes so far beyond just good or bad. There are sense memories wrapped in smells and flavors that you have and others don’t.
We will always offer to widen someone’s view: taste them on our latest discoveries. All we try to do at our tastings is to get you to pay attention to the food, question what you think you like and what you don’t. But it never ever pays to be pretentious. I’ve been told by many they don’t like white wine. So we ask, “what whites have your tried?” Often it is overly-oaked California Chardonnay. We pour them something else and they are surprised, “wow, this is good.” Even if they don’t love the wine we poured, they tried it. Mission Accomplished.
Good Food is Universal
Starting with good ingredients – those grown in a sustainable and organic manner and made with care – is a great starting point. Our motto has long been, If we won’t eat it we won’t sell it. We all live on this planet and it is our role to take care of it. The taste and craftsmanship have to be there as well. You don’t want to waste your money sending a gift basket full of tasteless product.
Gathering around a Table with Food and Wine can be Magic
Well, we knew that all along, which is one reason we love sending baskets full of great food and wine – it’s the start of a party.
Everyone Loves to be Appreciated
Part of what we love about our job is we get to send out caring messages to people every day. Messages of Thanks, Happy Birthday, I’m Sorry, Congratulations, Condolences – all these lines going out from our shop letting others know someone is thinking of them. We see their faces when the gift arrives. It isn’t about the gift being big or small. It truly is the thought, the recognition. Don’t we all want to know someone cares? It doesn’t even have to be a gift basket. You can just send a card. It is the communication.
Working with your husband/wife is both a blessing and a curse
We have been married 38 years so it must be more of a blessing and we will leave it at that.
When is a holiday basket not a basket?
When you eliminate the basket all together and design an affordable gift that packs a punch without straining your budget.
Most of us love to give gifts, but sometimes the economy of the situation does not allow us to go overboard. You might want a little something for a co-worker but only have $15-20 to spend. Sending gifts to thank your clients for their business is a smart marketing move, but being the clever business person you are, you have to watch your cost per gift. How do you acknowledge them with a gift that will get noticed, that looks personal, without breaking the bank?
Simple! The easiest solution is to call us at Fancifull, we love taking problems off your plate. This year I have been having fun coming up with simple yet delicious gourmet gifts for under 35 dollars. I have been particularly smitten with mugs and mug/plate sets. The idea of someone with their mug of hot cocoa, or more potent beverage, relaxing and enjoying the spirit of the holiday makes me smile. I can’t help it, I always think of the person who is receiving the gift as I design. We have The Mug Hug, which is a mug wrapped in a red knit sweater in a box with white chocolate cocoa and buttery shortbread cookies. Then there is the Eat, Drink and Be Happy mug and plate set complete with hot drinks, cookies and chocolates that could be used year round.
Want something more gourmet food oriented? How about our California Cheese gift box with 2 artisan cheeses, crackers, and almonds all wrapped in a California Fruit Label Box. One of our most popular gifts is the Fancifull Wine Caddy with a bottle of wine, cheese, crackers and nuts packed in a jute carrying bag for only $29.95. A great box of chocolates or our Velvet Rope Cake Truffles always make an impression.
If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, take these tips and come up with some gifts of your own design. Home baked cookies in a mug with a packet of tea is a lovely idea. A small tray with a candle, bath salts and some lotion is a more personal “time out” gift. For someone who is eating gluten free or has diet restrictions, find a cute plate and fill it with foods they can eat, wrap it and put a bow on it, voila – a thoughtful gift. A movie ticket wrapped with some popcorn is a treat I’m sure any friend would like. Once you start looking around you’ll find more and more possibilities. If the holiday pace picks up and you find yourself short of time and energy, well…you know who to call.
Being an elf is not a job for the weak. For weeks now, Terry has been in the midst of designing holiday gift baskets for an array of clients.
Once again we are designing a whole holiday catalog for Universal Studios, a variety of baskets in all shapes, sizes and price points.
The wine gift basket pictured here features two Universal branded wines and great foods in a striking basket made from barrel staves.
Barnes & Nobles has just brought us an exciting opportunity to package their Nook electronic reader for the corporate market. Ususally when we design a corporate gift basket such as this it’s for promotional use by the company we’re designing for. But placing the incredibly user friendly Nook, with its various accoutrements, in an attractive container with coffee, tea, possibly wine and such makes a fantastic gift basket good for the holidays, a birthday or a get well gift basket. We look forward to offering this to our clients this holiday season.
There are other projects afoot as well, including one for Heineken that will involve clear ice buckets and fake ice… Exciting! What can we design for you?
Corporate Gift Baskets:
Include your Logo Items
Sending something with your logo that can be used year round is a great idea. But, clients may be deluged with such items. If you pick something useful and package it for impact, then you get more for your money.
Including your items in custom gift baskets gets you more attention. Sending a mug is fine, but why not package it with some tea or coffee and a cookie or two? This will make your client put it to use immediately and you will be in his hands and on his desk. There are a myriad of companies promoting ad specialty items. Many clients leave their logo items with us so we can include them in their gift baskets. If you don’t have your own logo items, we can have them made for you and package them in a beautiful gift basket at the same time. We can also get ribbon with your name on it or use your stationery for the card message. We are happy to do anything that helps you stand out. Call and ask us for help. As we have stated before, Business is Personal and we mean it.
Stand Out From the Crowd
Here’s one way:
Create a Mystery
We have one client, Thaddeus Smith of the Music Box Theater in Hollywood, who is an inspiration, both as a friend and as a business owner (yes many of our clients become friends because Fancifull is, after all, a personal business).
He is a brilliant guy when it comes to promoting. What we have done for him is not a gift basket, instead we have made up a beautiful wood box with his logo engraved on the top. He fills it with various treats, depending on the client. We tie it up with a bow and send it closed.
Why? He knows his box will create a mystery and they will have to open it to see what is inside. If he just sent it open it might get dismissed. It may look smaller when you have a closed box, but curiosity is a powerful factor, and that will be a gift they are sure to open. That creates impact. Isn’t that what you want from your gift?
Stay tuned for more custom gift basket ideas from Fancifull.
We get to have a lot of fun here at Fancifull. Of course there are all the wine and gourmet products we taste (hey, have to make sure all the wine and gourmet gift baskets are properly stocked with great foods!) But we also get a kick out of all the custom gift baskets we get to design. This week’s winner as the most fun gift basket was the one we did for Greene and Associates for Big Love. It contained four dolls which were just downright eerie – but then there was that big bottle of Cristal. Take a look at the photo we snapped. How fun is that?
Need a customized gift for your business or production? We do corporate gift baskets also.
Fancifull has long been known for artful presentations, which you might say is one of our specialties. But DiSaronno really challenged us when they came to us for a corporate gift basket that would communicate a summer fun message and promote DiSaronno Amaretto with Moet Champagne as a fun summer drink (it does sound good, doesn’t it?). Sand and shells seemed like just the ticket, and we eliminated the basket in favor of a glass bowl, which allowed us to display our “beach scene” for maximum effect. We do a lot of corporate gifting, especially where the company has logo items and wants a display that has impact. We seem to do a lot of corporate gift baskets for auctions and giveaways – where an eye-catching display is paramount.
The Food Network has included small refrigerators in their gift baskets and studios often send fifty dvds to be displayed with the appropriate movie-watching candy. Wally always tells people to challenge us. I cringe a bit, but we always seem up to the task.