relationships

How sharing is good for your Vancouver business

11 Apr

Written by Christabel Shaler – Saul Good Gift Co. Community Manager

 

The sun was setting over the shoreline of Cortes Island as I built sandcastles with children covered in face paint and blackberry stains. It was 2004 and I was working as a nanny to save up for my next semester at the University of British Columbia. During these long summer days, I was invited to participate in conversations with the family I worked for. They were involved in social ventures and taught me about how business is able to address some of the world’s biggest environmental and social issues.

 

As I approached the completion of my undergraduate degree, I noticed that the pre-existing job market was disintegrating rapidly. I had planned for opportunities that were beginning to wash away in the recession. The competition for opportunities was so fierce that I saw my peers intensely competing for volunteer positions.

 

Despite all the impossible obstacles, I was never able to shake the idealistic ideas of social ventures. I began writing for the Vancouver Observer and learning how to listen to my city. The wreckage of collapsing systems began to give life to conversations about new economies, local economies and sharing economies. Through the process of capturing these stories, I soon realized that the vitality of our local economy depends on interconnection. 

 

Although the concept of sharing may summon warm and fuzzy feelings, it is also practical, logical and good for business. A thriving business is like an organism that needs the right environment and resources to make it thrive. It also requires reduced overhead, so that unnecessary expenses will not crush your dreams alongside your profitability.

 

From my experience working with the Saul Good Gift Co., I have directly experienced the tremendous value of sharing.  

 

modo car

 

In addition to using shared vehicles and shared office space, we also share a social enterprise fulfillment company called Starworks and a unique delivery modality called Zipments (it is like booking a carpool for gift basket delivery in Vancouver) 

 

Sharing improves the quality of our service and connects us with interesting folks in our community. Our work with Zipments has been fun and collaborative. They provide excellent delivery services. We are part of the same local business community and we both care deeply about what we do. It is a refreshingly human experience! 

 

Our shared office at the HiVE is full of great folks doing fascinating work. We can attend events and workshops that connect us with fresh ideas and valuable knowledge. 

the HiVE

According  to Tom Wynn, the HiVE “provides office space for small business, entrepreneurs and sole proprietors who would otherwise be priced out of the downtown market.”

 

Another example of shared work space is the Commissary Connect. This shared industrial kitchen is used by many local artisans featured in our Vancouver gift baskets, such as Batch Sweet Kitchen, the Candid Confectioner and Melliferra Bees. The process of sharing professional kitchen equipment and food storage alleviates the burden of unnecessary overhead expenses. By reducing start-up costs, it makes it easier for local artisans to bring unique delectable products to our food adoring city.

Sharing is positive change woven into everyday life

Our everyday actions and purchasing decisions speak louder than anything. If you want your business to thrive, you need to be able to step back and imagine your personal and professional actions contributing to the economic and cultural vitality of our entire city. You need to be willing to get over yourself and share.

The Evolution of Valentine’s Chocolate Gifts

03 Feb

Vancouver Valentine's Day chocolate gift by Saul Good Gift Co.

Thousands of years of chocolate gifts

The connection between love and chocolate is timeless. From Aztec emperors and Mayans in 1500 BC to Madame Pompadour and Louis XV in the 1700’s. The joy of chocolate gifts have been explored through mythology and science for ages. The original latin name for the cacao tree is Theobroma Cacao and means ‘Food of the Gods’. This name was chosen in the 18th century, around the same time that Valentine’s Day became popularized in Europe.

Theobroma Cacao Flowers
Theobroma Cacao Flowers – Image by Annmarie Kostyk

In recent history, chocolate has been mastered by chocolatiers and examined by scientists. The combination of art, science, and chocolate has resulted in delicious discoveries.

Theobromine

Chocolate gifts increase health and happiness

When scientists have explored the good feelings offered by chocolate, they discovered that there are increases in dopamine, serotonin and phenylethylamine. These brain chemicals all contribute to our sense of well being, connection and love. There are also flavonoids and antioxidants found in cocoa, that have been associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and reduced risk of cancer. According to the 2003 edition of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, “A cup of cocoa (using pure cocoa powder) has double the amount of antioxidants as green tea.”

Vancouver Valentine's Day chocolate gift by Saul Good Gift Co.

Local handmade chocolate gifts are heartfelt

For the past eight years, we have enjoyed featuring an abundance of brilliant BC artisans and chocolatiers in our Vancouver gift baskets. This year, we are delighted to offer our first edition of the our Valentine’s chocolate gift basket featuring masterful creations by BC’s Cocolico, Beta 5, and Denman Island Chocolate. In addition to having high standards for deliciousness and creative Valentine’s Day gift ideas, these fine folks use excellent high end chocolate for all of their products.

 

You can be sure that your gift recipient will enjoy the the indulgence, the health benefits, the handmade goodness, and the timeless gesture of affection.

 

The art of corporate group gifts

14 Nov

Office Party Throwdown

Over the years, we have carefully cultivated an assortment of corporate gift baskets that are tried tested and extremely delicious.

The art of group gift experiences

One of the first questions we ask our clients is if their corporate gifts are being given to groups or individuals. Why? Because gifts for groups must be easy to share.

 

The main reason you want a gift designed for sharing is that you want to avoid the awkward scenario of “Who wants the tapenade? Who wants the little jam?” That kind of conversation is not a team building experience. It can be literally divisive.

 office gifts

The ideal gift experience for a group involves a bunch of people gathered around, enjoying their treats and talking about how great it’s been to work with you over this last year. When you share amazing gourmet gift baskets amongst a team, there is a collective moment of happiness where everyone feels special and appreciated.

 

Easy to share gifts create the framework for a well planned corporate gift program. It is our pleasure to offer gifts that are thoughtfully designed with handmade, heartfelt delights. We specialize in making your gift recipients feel good and we love to make you look good too.

Our Top 3 Corporate Gifts for Groups

The Fancy-Full

fancy-full

The Department Party

department-party

The Office Party Throwdown

office-party-throwdown

welcome to our new site

Saul Good welcomes you to our new website

07 Nov

gift baskets vancouver

It is my pleasure to officially welcome you to our new website. It means a lot that you are here to celebrate this important new chapter in the Saul Good story! 

Whether you bought 1 gift or 1000 gifts, you are part of this story!

This new website is designed to make it easier for you to find the gift that you are looking for. It is also designed to make it easier to connect with the delightful local stories that are connected to each gift. Our new online experience reflects our expansion through collaboration with social enterprise and local artisans.

One of our most important collaborations is with Starworks - a local Vancouver social enterprise employing adults with developmental disabilities. With over 10 years of experience in the packaging and logistics business, Starworks is the perfect fit for our business and community goals.

starworks social enterprise

They assemble our gifts, fulfill your orders and deliver excellence to each and every gift recipient. It has been incredible working with them over the years and we look forward to expanding our capacity to create more work opportunities for these fine folks! We are also excited to continue building our relationships with Tradeworks, East Van Roasters, and BC Woodworks.

relationships

In addition to teaming up with Starworks, we continue to be amazed by what our artisans are capable of. It is incredible to see them grow in their own unique ways. Year after year, we are pleasantly surprised by the masterful creations that emerge. We are excited for you to try our artisans’ fresh and creative new holiday creations!

artisan gifts vancouver

As momentum builds, we are proud that our gifts can function as an incubator for local artisans and we are also grateful that local artisans fill our gifts with unique, handmade and heartfelt goodness. They are the key ingredients to the story of our Vancouver gift baskets.

 Thank you for joining us on our mission to radiate happiness – one gift at a time!  

batch

How a gift basket ignited this Vancouver artisan

05 Oct

Last Christmas, one of our Vancouver gift baskets was sent to Sara Karby. It started out like any other gift experience…but suddenly, something sparked as Sara began to open her gift and dig into the delectable delights within. This unexpected spark reminded her that she had wanted to feature her confections in Saul Good’s Vancouver gift basketsAs Sara indulged her senses in ginger chocolate cookies and caramel pretzels, she felt inspired to pursue her dream to launch “Batch Sweet Kitchen”, her line of local small-batch artisan confections.

Continue reading

Building a Fall veggie garden with the #Vancouver #SharingEconomy

05 Sep

Victory Gardens

Over the past month, we have been meeting neighbours of all ages. We became friends with a 74 year old woman who has lived on our block for 53 years. We began chatting about growing food instead of a lawn. She has been giving us tips and sharing the zucchinis, cucumbers, and chard that she has grown. Our garden makes many pedestrians pause with curiosity. It sparks some great conversations.

Continue reading

Growing Our Business via Community & Social Enterprise

14 May

MOVING

We are excited to share some exciting announcements for Saul Good Gift Co. First of all, we want to thank each and every one of you for your support since our early days in TwentyOSix! Our new mailing address is as follows, please update your records:

 

Saul Good Gift Co.

#210-128 West Hastings Street

Vancouver, BC V6B 1G8

 

We’re in the process of transitioning our fulfillment to a 3rd party and found a great fit with the fine folks at Starworks Packaging & Assembly. Starworks is a social enterprise employing adults with developmental disabilities. They have over 10 years of experience in the packaging and logistics business. We are confident that Starworks is in an excellent position to take on this part of our business and we’re excited to be stepping into this opportunity.

 

 

The move to 3PL (third party logistics) helps us to focus our core team on customer service, create jobs for local social enterprise and increase the community impact in each and every local Vancouver gift basket that we produce.

 

Shared Office Space at the HiVE

 

The HiVE is a Vancouver based co-working space that offers desk space, meeting rooms and event space for small businesses. When we decided to move our office into the HiVE, we were greeted with warm welcomes from all sorts of fascinating folks. This awesome shared office space is part of a larger worldwide movement with office hubs in cities around the world.

 

 

We are delighted by the diversity of inspiring organizations, small businesses and entrepreneurs. There are over 100 local businesses that are connected to this collective space! The mission of the HiVE is to “catalyze opportunities for collaboration and innovation amongst a community of change-makers in an actively hosted, shared work and event space.” It seems that their vision has been manifesting quite nicely!

 

 

The HiVE has created an environment for members to get to know one another. From movie nights to meet ups to potluck crepe lunches, there are many opportunities to build community. Jamie Bryant (our Director of Happiness) has prepared to bring Chocolate Arts’ hazelnut spread for crepe day! We also appreciate the abundance of indoor bicycle parking! And ‘The Big Lebowski’ screening last Friday evening was a bonus way to end off our first week at the HiVE.

 

 

Sharing Growth & Creating Jobs for Social Enterprise

Since the Saul Good Gift Co. was launched in 2006, it was our vision to work with Starworks. This phenomenal local social enterprise is a great fit given the social value they create in the community. Over the years we’ve worked with them on a project basis and are excited to transition all our packaging and warehousing needs to their inspiring social enterprise in the coming months.

 

Starworks was established by a non-profit organization – The Developmental Disabilities Association (DDA) and they have partnered with the United Way of the Lower Mainland. They do not receive any government funding for the program. All revenue is redirected back into the business to employ more workers and fulfill it’s mission to provide meaningful employment to adults with developmental disabilities.

 

As we step into this next phase of our business we’re excited by the opportunities ahead while honoring all that we’ve learned. The changes we’re making help us to increase the goodness in each and every gift basket we produce. We hope that you will continue to join us and share our stories on this fascinating new journey. Thank you for being a part of the story!