Author Archives: Mama Good

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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.

 

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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.

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Building a garden with the Tool Library, Modo, Victory Gardens & an awesome friend

05 Sep

Victory Gardens

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

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Social Enterprise + Chocolate Factory = East Van Roasters

26 Jun

An unassuming sandwich board peaks out past the edge of Vancouver’s Pigeon Park. At a glance, it appears to be an ordinary coffee shop. However, East Van Roasters is one of the most groundbreaking businesses to hit the streets of Vancouver BC.

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2013 Top 5 Local Gift Ideas for Guys

11 Jun

Last year, we brought you “2012 Top 5 Local Gift Ideas for Guys” and we decided to follow up with some fresh picks just in time for your last minute local father’s day shopping.

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coffee gift baskets

How Salt Spring Coffee Changed the Game

17 Apr

The best coffee in BC originated in the Gulf Islands beyond the shore of our rainy west coast. It all began in a quaint coffee shop on Salt Spring Island that was so delightful, it began overflowing with customers. As this little shop began growing, it took on a larger personality. The founders functioned as diligent parents and relentlessly reinforced the core values of the original vision: “Great coffee that doesn’t compromise the earth.”

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Unique Gift Basket Delivery in Vancouver: Top 3 Picks

04 Apr

 

As the Saul Good Gift Co. continues to grow, we have to stay focused on minimizing our environmental impact. One of the most important ways that we reduce our environmental footprint involves transportation and gift delivery.

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