7 Reasons to Send a Gift Basket to Your Favorite Clients

When you work with clients, there is always one that you enjoy working with the most. For example, they may be the friendliest to interact with, the easiest to make decisions with, the biggest account, or the most loyal to you and your company. Whatever the reason, you are grateful to them, value their business, and want to communicate your appreciation. Large office gift basket Here are seven reasons to send a corporate gift basket to your favorite client that will make him or her feel special.

#1. Anniversary of your first business transaction or renewal of your contract
The anniversary of the beginning of your relationship is a perfect time to recognize your favorite clients with a gourmet gift basket that says “Thank You.” Typically, this anniversary will mark a year, although with some contracts it may be a longer or shorter period. Either way, this date can serve as a cue for you to take this opportunity to tell your best customers how much you value their business.

#2. Expanding their work with you and/or your company
A client has just given you and your company a new project or has expanded your work on an ongoing assignment. That is a tangible vote of confidence! What a perfect time to let him or her know how grateful you are. Send a large corporate gift basket for the firm to enjoy with a card addressed to your client that says, “We appreciate your confidence in us. We look forward to our continued work together.”

#3. Referral to another potential client
Small Office Gift Basket_Roxbury Every business person knows how significant it is when a customer refers new business to you. When they refer a new potential client to you, they are showing their trust and support. No wonder they are your favorite client! There’s no better time to communicate your thankfulness with a delicious gift basket filled with treats is the perfect gift.

#4. A good customer review
Writing a review takes time and thought, so it is not to be taken for granted when a client (especially the ones that have been happy with your work) goes the extra mile. When they do, it is an occasion worthy of a gift basket to show your gratitude. Online reviews can make or break a company, so don’t miss the opportunity to let your client know just how much their positive review means to you and your company.

#5. End of the quarter/end of the season/holidays
Natural transitions that mark time are a good excuse to show your appreciation to your favorite clients. End of the quarter numbers look good largely because of your best customer? Let him or her know. End of the season marks the end of a project? A perfect time to send a business gift basket filled with fruit that represents the best tastes of the season. Winter holidays, including Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year are traditional gift giving events. Many companies send all of their clients gifts at this time of year. If your company does, make sure to send something extra special to your favorite client – something that distinguishes him or her from the rest. If your company does not typically send gifts at holiday time, be sure to find a way to justify the expense of a gift to your favorite customer!

#6. Personal occasions
Business Gift Basket_Pippin Chances are that if a client is your favorite, you will know a few personal facts about him or her. Perhaps you know their birthday, that they are an expectant parent, that they have the flu or are a veteran. All of these occasions are great reasons to single out your best customer for a gift basket to say “Happy Birthday!”, “Congratulations!”, “Get Well”, or “Sending my appreciation for your service on this Veteran’s Day.” It is a very personal way to reach out and communicate how special they are to you and your business.

#7. Just because
Finally, it may be a real treat for your favorite client to receive a gift from you “just because.” You don’t need to wait for a special occasion to express your appreciation. A surprise gift basket with a simple note that says “I really enjoy working with you!” is going to make him or her feel special. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

The bottom line is: don’t miss an opportunity to send a gift basket to your favorite corporate client. It is the perfect gift to send and it will make your client feel good (as well as yourself) and is great for business too!

Father’s Day Activity Ideas: How This Dad Likes to Celebrate

As a Dad, I’m a real fan of Father’s Day! While Father’s Day doesn’t get nearly the same amount of attention as Mother’s Day, as a parent, I feel just as important on my special day. And I know other Dads do too. There are so many ways to celebrate Father’s Day and lots of blogs give advice on Father’s Day gift ideas. Today, I thought I would make it personal by looking back over the last 26 years I’ve been a father and sharing with you some of my favorite ways to celebrate Father’s Day.

#1. Doing What I Want
Coffee & NewspaperFather’s Day is a holiday, and to me, that means no chores, no errands, no work, no alarm clocks, no time constraints, no rushing, and whenever possible, no subway! I like to sleep in, have a big breakfast and read the paper at my leisure. If the weather is at all decent, I’ll go for an epic bike ride and have a plan to stop off at my daughter’s apartment on the way home. She’ll take me out for a beer and chicharron (fried pork) at my favorite friendly hole-in-the-wall restaurant in her neighborhood. This will inevitably lead to an afternoon nap.

There’s nothing like becoming a parent to bring you closer to your own parents. When my father was alive, we would often arrange to spend the weekend with my parents, thereby making it a double father’s celebration day. This was always a special Father’s Day weekend as my daughter was able to celebrate with both her dad and grandpa. And my daughter could acknowledge her Grandpa too.

#3. Hanging Out with My Daughter
When my daughter was younger, nothing made me happier than spending time with her doing the things we liked to do together: namely to play some type of sport. We would grab a big sports bag and fill it with a basketball, lacrosse sticks, Frisbee, etc. and off we would go to the park. We would roam from basketball court to field and we’d come back home tired, sweaty and dirty. These days, we may meet in the park for a run. We still share a love of being physically active.

#4. Sharing Music
One of the simplest and longest lasting Father’s Day gifts is the gift of music, even if it’s just a playlist of current music that my daughter loves. I look to her to keep me up-to-date with new artists, or old artists that she’s discovered. Sharing music is very personal and brings us closer together. What you’re listening to can tell you a lot about a person. Once in awhile, I get to introduce her to someone she doesn’t know about!

#5. Receiving a Father’s Day Gift 

Custom Father's Day Gift

My daughter surprised me with this amazing custom bike jersey – one of my favorite Father’s Day gifts!

Gifts are always fun to get. I hardly ever buy anything for myself (I hate to shop) so I really appreciate it when someone else buys something for me! In the past, my wife has taken me jean shopping, and although I didn’t like the process, I was really happy to get some jeans that actually fit me well. My daughter has a real talent for researching and finding just the right Father’s Day gifts for me. One year she surprised me with a new bike jersey that she designed herself: it was customized around the theme of our French Bulldogs, Massimo and Lily. I cherish it.

This year, she gave me an early gift of a cordless electric drill! It replaces an ancient drill that required an extension cord and had a chuck key (really old school). My new one is lightweight and even has a light on it. She gave it to me early so that I could use it to help her put up her blinds, mount her TV, and hang shelves in her new apartment. Yeah, she’s smart.

Pistachio Gift Box

Who doesn’t love pistachios? (This dad is a big fan).

This year I would also especially love the Father’s Day gift from Manhattan Fruitier! I created it so, of course, I want it. I designed Pistachio Blitz because I’m such a pistachio lover. The gift features three flavors of pistachios in the shell, pistachio caramel corn and pistachio butter. I’m willing to share, but first someone (hint) needs to send it to me.



#6. Spending Time with My Family
No matter how I may spend Father’s Day, it almost always ends with my wife and daughter and I getting together to share wine and a meal. Speaking of wine, we recently discovered a medium-fruited and lively red wine, Langhe Nebbiolo, made from grapes from the same general area as Barolo and Barbaresco in the Piedmont region of northwestern Italy and in Lombardy. Delicious!

In my heart, Father’s Day is about more than gifts. It’s about opening myself up to receiving thanks for being a Dad and making memories with my family.

7 Delicious & Heart Healthy Food Gifts

We should all be concerned about the health of our hearts — and I guess I can say that both figuratively and literally! Both happiness and the state of our coronary arteries are crucial to a long and healthy life. Many of us, myself included, have heart disease that runs in our families. It’s impossible to escape the genetic-predisposition that makes us vulnerable to the build-up of plaque that clogs the arteries feeding our heart and leads to heart attack and stroke.

But there are many things we can do to mitigate our susceptibility. Exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is an important component to a heart healthy lifestyle and longevity. But exercise alone is not enough. We also need a diet rich in heart healthy foods.

Luckily, heart healthy foods can also be delicious! Look for foods that are low sodium, cholesterol free, and high in omega 3 fatty acids, flavonoids (antioxidants), potassium, fiber and protein. Here are seven delectable heart healthy gift ideas that will be sure to please.

Fresh and Dried Fruit

A gift basket of fresh and dried seasonal fruits is always a nutritious choice and a great heart healthy gift idea. The best fruits for heart health are the ones with high fiber content, Vitamins such as A, C and E, minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, and flavonoids.

Some of the best choices are apples, apricots, berries, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi and peaches. Avocados are also especially heart healthy because of the fatty acids.

Nuts

I was so happy when I learned that nuts were one of the best heart healthy foods you can eat! I love nuts and eat a large handful every day either in my morning yogurt or oatmeal, or as a pre-dinner snack with a glass of red wine. Although caloric, nuts are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids, fiber and protein.

Any nuts are fine, roasted or raw, except that they should not be salted, if you want to create a heart healthy food gift. I make my own nut mix and will often bring it to friends as a gift. I’ll put them in a glass jar and tie a ribbon around the neck. My favorite nuts are raw cashews, roasted almonds, pistachios, and walnuts and I like to include some raisins for the chewy consistency.

Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is heart healthy because it contains flavonoids, which can reduce arterial inflammation, as well as protein and fiber. Dark chocolate is also more nutritious than milk or white chocolate because it contains less sugar. Look for chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa and is low sodium or sodium-free. A selection of dark chocolate bars wrapped in tissue and placed into a gift bag makes a lovely heart healthy gift that anyone would be happy to receive.

Oatmeal

I know that oatmeal isn’t the first thing to come to mind when thinking of a gift, but oatmeal is simply one of the best concentrated sources of fiber, protein, minerals and vitamins and one of the most highly recommended foods for heart health. What if you could find a gift constructed around a unique artisanal oatmeal? We have just that!

Heart Healthy Gift BasketOur Heart Healthy Beat #2 gift, shown in the photo, contains fresh and dried fruits, nuts, dark chocolate and oatmeal. This oatmeal is made from organic non-GMO whole grains and oats milled in Chappaqua, NY by Farm to Table. A variety of grains bring a complexity of tastes and diversity of textures to intrigue the palate. This oatmeal is one of my favorite cold weather breakfasts and I also like to eat it as a power boosting snack before a bike ride… with a handful of nuts, of course!

Legumes

Legumes are a class of vegetables in which the dried fruit of the plant is contained within a shell or a pod. Legumes are heart healthy because they are a great source of non-animal protein, are packed with the minerals and vitamins important to heart health, and are high in fiber. But how do you make a heart healthy food gift out of legumes?

Heart Healthy Beat Gift 3Try our fabulous Falafel Chips by Flamous that we include in our largest Heart Healthy gift (Heart Healthy Beat #3, shown right). Made from black beans, chick peas, fava beans and pinto beans, these chips are just as addicting as tortilla or potato chips but without all the salt and fat. You won’t feel like you’re missing out with this healthy alternative. And they’re organic too!

Fish

Omega 3 fatty acids are thought to be beneficial in the prevention of heart disease. These fats are called “essential fats” because our bodies can’t produce them from other sources so we need to ingest them from our foods. Salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and trout are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids. So we developed a heart healthy gift idea that is centered around tuna belly and trout. Now how can that be appealing?

Heart Healthy Panty - Mediterranean DietWell, we start with delicate and delicious, lightly salted canned trout and tuna from the Cole Company. The Cole Company is known to care about sustainable resources and catches the fish using fishing poles (how old fashioned!). These fish make a fantastic dinner in a salad or on a cracker. I always have some on hand in the kitchen cupboard.

The rest of the gift includes other items perfect for storage in the pantry and all part of a heart healthy Mediterranean diet, such as couscous, olive oil, Herbes de Provence, almonds, and dried apricots.

Red Wine

Probably the very best news is that red wine can be part of a heart healthy diet so it makes the perfect heart healthy gift idea! Consider adding red wine to a food gift such as those in our Heart Healthy Gift collection for the ultimate heart healthy gift.

Heart healthy living and heart healthy gifting doesn’t have to be hard!

The Best Gift Ideas for Organic Lovers

Thankfully, as the demand for organic products has increased, so have the number of options for organic gift ideas! Not only have new companies sprung up that sell only organic, many well-established companies have devoted space to a line of organic products.

It’s easier than ever to find great gifts for organic lovers. Whether you are looking for the best organic food gifts, or other gift ideas, you will be able to find a wide selection to choose from. The important factor is to match the preferences of your gift recipient. Here are some of our favorite gift ideas for organic lovers!

Organic Fruit
An organic fruit basket is, not surprisingly, one of our top gifts for organic food lovers. It looks beautiful and tastes good! And your gift recipient will appreciate the extra care you took to send an organic fruit basket. Organic fruit is more expensive than conventionally grown fruit, but when it’s better for the environment, healthier to eat, and tastes better too, it’s worth it!

Organic Chocolate
Organic food lovers don’t have to say “no” to chocolates! There is a myriad of organic chocolate makers in the market now. Just look at the chocolate displays in your local natural food store and you will be overwhelmed by all of the choices.

Organic Chocolate Bar

This luscious organic chocolate bar is 72% cacao and a very healthy choice!

A lovely organic food gift idea is to collect an assortment of organic chocolate bars: milk chocolate; dark chocolate with a range of percentages of cacao (i.e. 35% to 85% which, by the way, tells you the relative amount of cacao to sugar – the higher the cacao content, the healthier it is to eat); chocolates that are single source; chocolates that have unusual ingredients added such as lavender, chili pepper, ginger, and nuts and berries for example.

It’s fun to try new chocolates, because you never know when you might just find the next best thing! We love the organic chocolate bars made by Caco Prieto in Red Hook, Brooklyn. The cool designs on the wrappers make the bars look particularly gifty.

Organic Coffee & Tea
For the coffee and tea lover, think about giving a gift of organic coffees or teas.

Bellocq Organic Tea

Bellocq’s packaging is reminiscent of that used by an old-time apothecary.

Similar to the situation with organic chocolates, there are so many choices nowadays. There are companies that sell only organic coffee and tea, and others that sell both conventionally grown and organically grown products. At specialty tea ateliers you can find exotic blends of organic teas and botanicals from around the world like this organic High Mountain Oolong Green Tea from Bellocq.

Espresso bars aren’t just serving coffee anymore, they are blending and brewing the coffee beans they carefully source with the precision of science and the magic of art. If your local espresso bar doesn’t offer an organic option, there are plenty of companies you can find online that are happy to ship. A lovely organic gift idea for coffee aficionados.

Organic Cheeses
There are several mass market organic cheese brands that are readily recognizable in your supermarket cheese case, but finding certified organic cheeses made by small farmsteads are harder to come by. Small batch cheese-makers pride themselves on producing the tastiest cheeses while adhering to the strict criteria required to be labeled organic.

Organic Cheese Basket

This organic cheese basket is the complete organic food lovers gift with one of our favorites, Tarentaise.

It is an expensive, time-consuming process that takes at least three years and is difficult to maintain, and many small farms simply don’t have the resources to get through the process.

One of our favorite organic cheeses is the grassy, nutty-flavored Tarentaise from Thistle Hill Farm in Vermont. We pair it with organic fruit and other assorted organic treats for a totally organic experience!

Organic Wines
While not as ubiquitous as organic fruits, or organic coffee and teas, organic and biodynamic wines are becoming easier to find and this makes a thoughtful organic food gift for the oenophile who wants to drink pesticide-free. Have you noticed that more and more restaurants are adding a few organic selections to their wine lists?

That’s because more and more people are requesting it. Organic wine produced in the United States does not contain added sulfites typically used in the winemaking process, and taste may be sacrificed as a result. Some wines labeled as organic and produced outside of the United States do contain sulfites. They may taste better, but the additives may not meet the definition of “organic”.

Think about pairing a farmstead organic cheese gift with an organic wine for the best organic food gift imaginable!

Organic Make-Up, Skin, & Hair Products
Not all of our best gift ideas for organic lovers are food-related. If you are giving a gift to someone who likes living organic, consider organic products for skin, hair, and make-up. Just stroll down the Beauty, Bath, & Body aisle of your neighborhood health food store or natural apothecary and you will see that there are so many products that we use every day that can now be found in organic versions.

Think soaps, shampoos and conditioners, facial cleansers, massage oils, bath gels and bubbles, moisturizers, lipsticks and mascaras just to name a few. Organic lovers usually like putting organic food into their bodies and organic products onto their bodies!

Organic Clothing
Certified organic cotton is made from cotton plants that grow with no pesticides, herbicides or non-natural fertilizers for at least three years and use no chemical dyes or fabric “finishings” that may negatively affect the environment or irritate your skin.

Organic cotton bathrobes and tee shirts are easy to fit a variety of body types and are always welcomed gifts. An especially thoughtful gift for organic lovers who are new parents are baby clothes and soft toys made from organic cotton. You aren’t limited to cotton in your organic clothing gift choices. You can also find clothing in organic silk, knits, wool and cashmere.

Organic Sheets, Towels, & Decorative Pillows
If your gift recipient loves organic food and organic fabric, then they will love receiving a set of organic fabric sheets and/or towels – even accent cushions for the bed or sofa. Consider environmentally friendly organic bamboo or luxurious organic silk. Organic fabrics cost more, but your gift will show that you acknowledge their preferences. Make sure the labels say Certified Organic.

Sustainably Sourced Wood Products
It’s quite heartening to see that there are companies making beautifully hand-crafted wooden products for the home using reclaimed wood or wood from trees grown and harvested in sustainable forests. Wooden cutting boards, bowls, serving spoons, salad sets, and even photo frames (if anyone actually prints out photographs anymore — I think I’m one of the last hold-outs!) are great gifts for anyone who loves organic products.

Products come with tags that fully detail the source of the wood used. Organic lovers will definitely appreciate that.

There is an organic movement going on! To learn more about the organic certification process and other topics interesting to the organic lover, check out www.organic.org.

7 Essential Items to Include in Your Mother’s Day Gift Basket

Mother’s Day only comes once a year so it’s important to make your Mom’s gift extra special. We make it easy by offering a selection of gifts that combine many of what we believe to be the key ingredients to a spectacular Mother’s Day gift basket. Here’s our list of the top 7 essential components to a perfect Mother’s Day gift basket.

#1. Flowers
Nothing says “Mother’s Day” like a beautiful bouquet of flowers in the hues of spring. Pastels are de rigueur: think baby pink, peachy yellow, pale orange, or dusty rose. For our Mother’s Day gifts this year, we selected three varieties of gorgeous pastel peach colored roses: Big Fun, a real performer with bi-color peach hues and a splash of pink inside the petals, and two types of garden roses: Old Peach Garden in the most delicate shade of cantaloupe, and Peach Campunulla, the same tone as Old Peach Garden but with ruffling on the petals. All grown for the purpose of making Mom smile with delight!

Mothers Day Gift Baskets_Instant Happy

#2. Chocolate
Moms expect to be indulged on Mother’s Day, so chocolates are always a key element to a Mother’s Day gift basket. So many decadent ways to make her feel that she is special!
Hand-made chocolates filled with exquisitely flavored cream ganaches, delicate salted caramel chocolates, and chocolate-dipped toffees. Our exquisite Jewel Box Bon Bons by “Stick With Me” are extra special for Mom because each delectable piece looks like a little gem! If you can’t buy her a real ruby or sapphire, these bon bons are an affordable and delicious alternative.

Jewel Box Bon Bons

#3. Tea & Scones
There is nothing like a gift of brewed tea and fresh scones to make a Mom feel cosseted. And that’s the point, isn’t it? Join her if you can and share a proper English afternoon tea on Mother’s Day. You can provide all the ingredients to prepare a beloved English tradition with our Proper Tea & Scones gift. Start with a most deliciously fragrant loose leaf tea blended with rose and lavender by Bellocq Tea in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. This tea is aptly named “The Queen’s Guard”, to celebrate regal Moms across the country! To complement the flowery aromas and flavors of the tea, we chose apricot ginger pistachio scones made by our favorite local bakery, Sweetleaf, here in Long Island City. These generously sized scones are rich and buttery with a perfect balance of spicy and sweet. With a jar of delicate wildflower honey collected from the Catskill Mountains by Catskill Provisions, a lovely little antique brass tea strainer and tea filters, Mom will be ready to enjoy teatime.Proper Team & Scones for Mother's Day

#4. Cookies
Delicate and flaky cookies are another essential component to your Mother’s Day gift basket. Remind Mom that she is un-mistakenly the BEST with these hand-iced Best Mom cookies made by Duane Park Patisserie. The sweet trio spells out M-O-M in big letters that express your largesse. Include them in a gift basket of fresh fruit or with flowers and chocolate. These cookies speak the sentiment!

Best Mom Cookies

#5. Petit Fours
We can’t resist petit-fours for Mother’s Day gift baskets — they are so pretty and refined — and your Mom won’t be able to resist the charm of these little cakes either. Hand-layered and iced in a pastel Spring palette by the wizard bakers at Duane Park Patisserie. Gently arranged like flowers in a window box, these delectable treats will make your Mom feel as elegant as they look.

Petit Fours Mothers Day

#6. Chocolate Fondue
We’ve already cited chocolate as one of our top 7 essential items to include in your Mother’s Day gift basket, but hey, chocolate deserves to be mentioned twice! Chocolate comes in many forms, and fondue is a really fun and social way to enjoy the dark and creamy sweetness of chocolate. We could probably all agree that chocolate tastes great on just about anything — but especially yummy on fresh fruit and dried fruit, plain biscotti and crystallized ginger. Our chocolate fondue gifts are like a party in a basket! Surprise Mom on Mother’s Day by presenting her with a new way to enjoy chocolate!

Chocolate Fondue Gift Basket

#7. Something Personal
The last essential item to include in the perfect Mother’s Day gift basket is perhaps the most important. Put something of yourself in the gift. It can be as simple as a really personal note to your Mom. Open your heart and find the words to tell her how much she means to you the whole year through. Remind her of a memorable day you spent together in the past. Write about a time when she made you laugh or a time when she dried your tears. Or spend some time looking through old photographs and find a good one of the two of you to frame for her.

Mother’s Day is all about making your Mom feel spoiled, pampered, special, loved, appreciated, and indulged. Mother’s Day gift baskets should include ingredients that will make her feel just that way! Whatever you do for you Mom, be sure to make a fuss.

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