Category Archives: Corporate Gifts Vancouver

Women’s Day: Good Gift Ideas that Create Jobs

06 Mar

Last Women’s Day, we had the privilege of coordinating a corporate gift program that told a great story and created jobs for women in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. We wanted to revisit this story to emphasize how much we love this sort of gift program!

 

It all began at the end of January 2012, when we received a call from Vichy Laboratoires. They wanted 500 unique corporate gifts for an International Women’s Day gift program.

 

Like many of our corporate clients, Vichy was seeking a way to increase the meaning in their gifts and find new ways to stand out amongst the standard corporate gift baskets and boxes of chocolates.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We were thrilled to step up to this challenge to create customized pens out of reclaimed wood and employ women from a social enterprise in our neighbourhood. The timeline for production was tight and the workshop filled the order with time to spare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This project shows how a thoughtful corporate gift program can create value in the community while creating a meaningful experience that tells the story of economic nourishment, sustainability and hard working Canadian women. A perfect gift idea for International Women’s Day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Local Organic Absinthe: Vintage Recipes & Urban Mythology

24 Jan

 

 

Since the early 1900s, Absinthe became a mythological character. It was said to be a hallucinogenic drug that was too dangerous to be legal. This outlawed libation has altered many great minds, including Van Gogh and Oscar Wilde.

 

The process of making absinthe is similar to gin production. It is traditionally made from flowers and leaves of grand wormwood. These ingredients are soaked in an alcoholic base and then the absinthe is redistilled. The wormwood contains thujone, which is hallucinogenic at extremely high doses. But the thujone level in absinthe is too low to be significant in terms of hallucinogenic properties.

 

 

  

A Recently Liberated Outlaw

 

 

 

The origins of commercial absinthe can be traced back to 1805 in Pontarlier in Eastern France. It was produced here until it was banned in 1915.

 

Absinthe has only been liberated from an illegal status in France and the US over the past 5 years. Absinthe is now perfectly legal in every country in which alcohol is legal.

Pemberton Distillery’s Unique & Authentic Local Absinthe

 

  

Photo by Valerie Stride from The Demystified Vine 

When Absinthe was released from the shadows of criminal exile, it travelled all the way to BC’s very own Pemberton Distillery. These fine folks were up for the challenge of making a local organic absinthe that is both authentic and distinct.

 

It is distilled from a base of organic potato spirits and a select blend of traditional Absinthe herbs including Grand Wormwood, Green Anise, Sweet Fennel, and special botanicals unique to the Pacific Northwest: wild gathered Devil’s Club Root Bark, Oregon Grape Root, Hops and roasted Hemp Seed.

 

Recipe #1: Death in the Afternoon

 

During a recent visit to Dandelion Records & Emporium (at 2442 Main St.), I discovered a book titled “Let’s Bring Back – The Cocktail Edition: A Compendium if Impish, Romantic, Amusing and Occasionally Appalling Potations from Bygone Eras” by Lesley M. Blume.

 

“Death in the Afternoon” is a recipe from this collection. It is named after Hemingway’s 1932 book about bullfighting.

 

Death in the Afternoon

In this recipe, brave souls are instructed to:

 

“Pour one jigger of absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink 3 to 5 of these slowly.” -Hemingway

 

It seems likely that these instructions will indeed create an experience that resembles death.

 

Recipe #2 : Absinthe Sazerac

 

We also found a great recipe for “Absinthe Sazerac” from Epicurious by Camper English. This recipe calls for Peychaud Bitters. However, we highly recommend the locally made organic cocktail bitters from Pemberton Distillery.

 

These cocktail bitters are brewed with potent local ingredients: Pemberton Potato Spirit, North Arm Farm Certified Organic Lovage, Certified Organic Herbs & Spices, Certified Organic Gentian Root and Lilooet Golden Honey.

Absinthe Sazerac

 

1 1/2 cups ice cubes

 

1 cube or 1/2 teaspoon sugar

 

4 dashes Peychaud Bitters

 

1/4 cup (2 ounces) rye whiskey

 

About 1/2 teaspoon absinthe

 

1 thin strip lemon peel

 

Chill an old-fashioned glass by placing 1 cup ice inside and set aside. In second old-fashioned glass, stir together the sugar, bitters, and ½ tsp water until sugar is completely dissolved, about 30 seconds. Add rye whiskey and remaining ½ cup ice, and stir well, at least 15 seconds. From first glass, discard ice, then add absinthe. Coat the inside of the glass with the absinthe by rolling the glass horizontally in your hands, discard the excess. Strain rye whiskey mixture into chilled, absinthe-coated glass. Squeeze lemon peel over drink, making sure oils fall into glass, then drop peel into drink, and serve.

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3 easy steps to meaningful & stress-free holiday corporate gifts

17 Oct

 

You have listed “organizing holiday gifts” on your office to do list. That’s a great start! However, it is easy to let it wait until the last minute and end up frantic to find the perfect gift for your top clients, partners and employees.

 

Your boss and team are relying on you! What are you going to do?

 

Standing in a line at Costco with a dolly full of gift baskets doesn’t need to be your fate on a Saturday afternoon in mid-December. We know you can do better than that! In fact, it is our job to execute your corporate gift basket program with style and grace, so that you and your business look good. In order to help you prepare for this process, it is our pleasure to equip you with 3 steps towards stress-free corporate holiday gifts (listed below)

 

Step #1 Start with a list of gift recipients

 

Who do you want to appreciate? Create a list on our custom designed spreadsheet. Are the gifts going to offices for people to share? Or to individuals? Make that clear to your gift basket company of choice. This information is essential to designing the optimal gift experience.

 

Step #2 Define the message and meaning of your corporate gifts

 

Everyone has a budget, we understand that and can relate. We want to help maximize your return on your gift basket program. There’s more to value than price and just because it’s expensive doesn’t mean it’s good. The basis behind corporate gifts is to appreciate people and build relationships.

Remember: Thoughtless gifts can sometimes do more harm than good.

 

Step #3 Download a copy of our 2012 Holiday Gift Guide

 

This guide is chock full of easy to share gift ideas. (click here to download)  These gift ideas are designed for sending to offices and contain exquisitely curated confections that make the most discerning palettes drool.

 

 

We have Gourmet gifts baskets for executives. Craft beer gifts for guys. Awesome holiday gift baskets for sharing in the office.

 

 

 

We wish you the best of luck! If you need any further guidance, please feel welcome to give us a call:

 

1-800-848-6102

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Business Value of “Thank-you”

09 Sep

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At some point in your life, you have likely experienced the nourishing quality of being thanked for a job well-done. It is also likely that at some point, you have experienced the depleting experience of not being appreciated. Did you know that psychological research has verified that saying “thank-you” can help increase the quality and efficiency of employee performance?

 

 

 

This topic of work-place gratitude came to mind when I heard a recent discussion on CBC radio about good bosses versus terrible bosses. One woman called in to say how much she appreciated it when her boss wrote the words “thank-you” on her pay cheque. “Sometimes getting paid isn’t enough.” explained the caller. “It is nice to have a personal acknowledgement of a job well done.” she said.

 

 

 

In our fluctuating economy, it may seem practical to reduce spending on gifts. It may seem as if gifts are a luxury expense. However, it is important to step back and really acknowledge the true value of appreciating workers and clients. It is also important to evaluate the cost of not saying thank-you. When relationships are not nourished and reinforced, they can become brittle and lead to lost clients or a high turn-over of employees.

 

 

 

According to research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology of the American Psychological Association, employees are likely to be more helpful to others and to work harder when they are thanked. There were several experiments conducted that verified this conclusion. In one study, researchers found that a mere expression of appreciation more than doubled the likelihood that the study participants would provide help again.

 

 

 

In another experiment, when a manager took time to say “thanks” to students for their fundraising efforts, the simple expression of gratitude resulted in an increase of more than 50 percent in the number of calls that the average fundraiser made in a single week.

 

 

 

In a recent article, Leveraging the Power of Thank You, Susan R. Meisinger recounts  the story of her husband, who worked for thirty years and only received acknowledgement for his work when he was about to get laid off. Her husband was elated when a senior executive said in passing, “On behalf of the company, I’d really like to thank you for your 30 years of service.” In a matter of seconds, this hard-working man received an overdue feeling of accomplishment.

 

 

 

We hope that these examples will encourage you to feel confidant that your acts of gratitude have excellent, long-lasting business value and ROI. Be sure to check out our “Top 5 Tips for Meaningful Appreciation” in our previous post The Art of Appreciation: how to value people in the workplace. If you have any other ideas or comments in relation to work-place gratitude, please feel welcome to share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

 

 

 

 

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Chocolate Logos: A Unique Corporate Gift Idea

07 Jun

 

Corporate gifts can create a fun and meaningful touch point for businesses. We love coming up with gift programs to help our clients stay top of mind with their gift recipients. Why not go beyond ordinary formalities and give a memorable experience that creates a conversation?

 

 

 

We were approached to put together a corporate gift program to launch a new brand and website. The company wanted to give a unique gift that displayed the creative pursuit of their new identity. On their behalf, we sent out branded organic chocolates to their top clients and prospects. In addition to being delicious, organic and ethical….These chocolates were a fun and compelling way to create a water cooler conversation about this innovative company.

 

 

 

 

The gifts were filled with delicious locally made branded organic chocolates, each one hand-made by a local Vancouver artisan and customized with client logos. Using only the finest fair trade organic chocolate, each box is easy to enjoy and share among co-workers.

 

 

 

 

Customized packaging and greeting cards were used to help tell the story and communicate the new brand identity. Design was done by the Vancouver based agency St Bernadine. We’re really happy with how everything turned about and hope these corporate gifts put smiles on faces throughout Vancouver, Canada and the US.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Modo Mojo: A Super Awesome Vancouver Gift

05 Apr

We are excited to welcome Modo into the world of gifts with their new program “Modo Mojo”! At the Saul Good Gift Co., we think that Modo Mojo is a great gift, because Modo is part of how we deliver gifts and radiate happiness. When we are making local Vancouver gift deliveries, we are usually driving one of the many fine Modo vehicles. As a small local Vancouver business, we like to reduce excessive expenses and reduce our carbon footprint.

 

We are proud to promote car sharing as a great way to roll. We are also proud that Saul likes posing as one of the Modo poster children.

 

Modo is taking over Vancouver…whether you like it or not. This trend is unlike other fleeting Vancouver fads, such as tights for pants, UG boots and moustaches. It is more of a permanent fixture in Vancouver…like yoga, hockey, backyard chickens, and the folk fest.

 

There are over 300 business members carsharing through Modo. The video above breaks down some of the reasons why it is such a great resource for us. Check out the massive list of local Vancouver businesses and nonprofits using modo.

  

With over 184 locations, Modo makes it easy to cut down on car usage…so that you only have to use a vehicle when you need one. You can switch up your vehicle selection depending on the occasion. From minivans for soccer games to hybrids to heavy-duty trucks for home renos…A Modo membership has got you covered.

  

Spread the eco-friendly, reusable love and give the gift of some “Modo Mojo”

 

We are super happy that Modo has created an easy way to give the gift of Modo Mojo. This is an awesome gift for anyone in Vancouver. Mojo can be purchased in any amount and it can be used towards carsharing payments or sign-up fees. It can be given to members or non-members

 

 

 

 

 

1. Mojo for Existing Members

 

All you have to do is contact Modo (phone number is 604.685.1393 and email is info(at)modo.coop) with the following details:

  • Recipient’s first and last name (or Modo member number, if you know it);

 

  • Dollar amount you’d like to purchase.

 

 

2. Mojo for Non-Modo Peeps

 

Be sure to give your mojo gift to someone who is eligible to join Modo.(19 years of age and good driving history). If you know for sure that your gift recipient will join Modo, give them a call (phone number is 604.685.1393 and email is info(at)modo.coop) with the following details:

  • Recipient’s first and last name and contact information including phone number and email address;

 

  • Dollar amount you’d like to purchase.

 

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SOLEfood CSA Shares are a Nourishing and Unique Local Gift

23 Feb

 

When we find local, organic gifts that are meaningful and unique, it is our duty to report these findings to you. We recently discovered a great local gift that nourishes the gift recipient while healing Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

 

 

 

Why are CSA shares from SOLEfood an awesome gift?

 

 

 

1) Nourishing your gift recipient with a weekly supply of fresh, local and organic produce:

 

 

 

The fresh delicious food can be picked-up from the farm, from the farmer’s market or it can be delivered by Shift Delivery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2) Creating jobs and economic health in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side:

 

 

 

SOLEfood employs residents from Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. When you purchase a SOLEfood CSA membership, you make a commitment to the farm and the farmers at the beginning of the season by paying in advance for a portion of the farm’s products throughout the season. This guarantees the farm a market for its products, provides members with fresh food at a discount, and fosters responsible relationships between farmer, eater, and the land where the food is grown.

 

 

 

 

 

 

3)  Feeding hungry folks who can’t afford organic produce:

 

 

 

SOLEfood creates high end produce that is purchased by some of Vancouver’s finest restaurants. They also use this produce to nourish non-profits and local families who can’t afford expensive organic food. If folks cannot afford the bountiful goodness of fresh organic SOLEfood, they can become eligible to have food credits. When you sign up to become a member, you can choose to contribute to the low-income share program. This program provides low-income families with a $100 credit to spend on SOLEfood Farm fruits and veggies.

 

 

 

4) Building Community:

 

 

 

When Saul Good visits SOLEfood, the farmers talk about community and being a part of something larger than themselves. We get to see the community surrounding the farm expand into farmer’s markets and connect directly to local families.

 

 

 

5) Greening Vancouver’s inner city.

 

 

 

The SOLEfood Story: It Began with an Empty Lot and an Idea

 

 

 

The SOLEfood Inner City Farm began with an idea and an empty asphalt lot beside the Astoria Hotel in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. The only signs of greenery were tenacious tufts of grass pushing through cracks in the concrete. Alongside the emptiness, there was a Cold Beer & Wine Store, a bar, and a hotel. There was prostitution and drug abuse that generated steadily from the emptiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was hard to imagine that this space would one day become a source of healing for our city. The SOLEfood inner city farm is more than a green initiative, It is healing our city through job creation, economic stimulation, nourishing food, and community building.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the beginning it was all about creating opportunities for people to gain skills, nourishment and employment, turning an empty lot into a productive positive space. As the conversations unfolded throughout our community and the Strathcona Business Improvement Association, Seann Dory picked up these ideas and ran with them. He worked relentlessly to translate these ideas into tangible reality.

 

 

 

On Saturday, October 31st, 2009, a group of fifty volunteers woke up bright and early, in order to build raised garden beds and green houses for the SOLEfood inner city farm. The sun generated warmth that day. Sean Dorrey rolled up his sleeves alongside the swarm of inspired volunteers. He grinned from ear to ear as he dug his hands into soil that was merely a possibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

City Councilors, such as Andrea Reimer understand the multifaceted benefits of inner-city farms, “The movement is all about finding ways to provide people with the framework they need to feed themselves, rather than simply giving them food. And that’s very cool.” -Councilor Reimer

 

 

 

 

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2012 Top 5 Local Gift Ideas for Guys

09 Feb

 

1. Local Artisan BEER

 

 

 

 

 

Locally made BC artisan beer is a classy way to say that you care. We are proud to feature Phillips in our beer gift basket “Hard Days Night”. These delicious hand-crafted creations carry a story of hard work and Canadian entrepreneurship. Instead of a standard gift basket, this gift is presented in a solid reusable box made from beautiful BC pine beetle wood by a Vancouver social enterprise.

 

 

 

Phillips beer was created from the vision of Matt Phillips. He began in a small dark warehouse above a metal shop where he built his own bottler and put labels on by hand. Matt eventually crafted his way to award winning mastery.

 

 

At the Saul Good Gift Co., we respect the history of Phillips beer and we appreciate the fresh crisp taste of locally made artisan goodness!

 

 

2. Herb Grower Made from an Up-Cycled Whiskey Bottle

 

 

 

 

 

This is Jack. Once upon a time, he was a regular old whiskey bottle…and then he became an awesome up-cycled, self watering vessel for growing herbs. All that you have to do is put water in the bottom…and then it waters itself!

 

 

 

In addition to reducing waste, these up-cycled bottles create job opportunities for Vancouver residents. It is awesomeness with meaning. You can find Jack hanging out in Gastown at the Old Faithful Shop (320 W Cordova St. Vancouver, BC)

 

 

3. Local Organic Chocolate (100% curly bow free!)

 

 

 

 

 

Giving chocolates to a guy requires thought: You don’t want it to be ordinary and you don’t want it to be an over-packaged curly bow disaster.

 

 

Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Over the years, we’ve tasted our way through countless bars and truffles to find the very best organic fair trade chocolate B.C. has to offer. Reap the fruits of our “labour” with this delicious gift basket.

 

 

Add a meaningful story to the chocolates you give by ensuring that they’re organic, fair-trade, locally produced and packaged in forest friendly classiness. With our chocolate gift baskets, deliciousness meets responsibility in a gift that’s Saul Good.

 

 

4. Terrariums from the Olla Urban Flower Project

 

 

 

 

Terrariums are such a cool way to show your love. These glass creations are enclosed replicas of natural environments (deserts, rainforests etc.)

 

 

As you may know, Olla is a phenomenal social enterprise in Vancouver’s Downtwon East Side. Each arrangement is local, organic, environmentally responsible and socially responsible. Read more about Olla in our post, “Local Vancouver gifts as organic living art: Why we love The Olla Urban Flower Project”.

 

 

5. Tour of the Pemberton Distillery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Try giving the gift of a day trip to BC’s best artisan distillery. It is a beautiful, fun and educational experience. Call the Pemberton Distillery in advance to book a guided tour. You get to learn about the magic of making handcrafted organic gin, vodka and whiskey. You might even get to meet the Willy Wonka’s of BC spirits (Tyler Schramm).

 

 

Read more about Tyler and the Pemberton Distillery in our post, “Local and Organic Alcohol Gift Ideas: The Pemberton Distillery Masters Handcrafted Spirits.”

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Local Vancouver gifts as organic living art: Why we love The Olla Urban Flower Project

25 Jan

 

 

The Olla Flower Project was created by Megan Branson and Dionne Finch. According to Megan, these two women wove together a true obsession for plants and flowers with a vision: A small business committed to community engagement and sustainable flower production.

 

 

 

 

 

Flowers are a great gift that activates a multi-sensory experience of beauty. Although flowers are a gift that rarely fail…Do you ever wonder how can we take this traditional gift to the next level of creativity, thoughtfulness and meaning? Olla flower arrangements carry a great story and unique beauty.

 

 

5 Reasons why we love the Olla Urban Flower Project

 

 

1. Creativity: These arrangements are living art. When someone receives an Olla creation and places it in their home or office, they are given the gift of great conversations. Each person will have their own interpretation of what they see. Olla’s designs “focus the eye on the beauty of each botanical element whether it be a minimalist or opulent arrangement”. In addition to bouquets, Olla creates terrariums, living walls and many other objects of beauty.

 

 

 

 

2. Local and organic: Every stem used in each flower design is sourced from an urban farm/garden, a local farm/greenhouse, or it is from a Fair Trade/Veriflora certified farm. Arrangements feature flowers from British Columbia’s interior: Bathtub Gardens in beautiful Pemberton Valley and Okanagan Fair Flowers in Similkameen valley. Olla has also worked with the SOLEfood urban farm in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side.

 

 

 

 

3. Socially Responsible: Olla is a social enterprise that is accountable to the community. It is a business that is designed to generate jobs and prosperity in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. In addition to generating socio-economic goodness, Olla spreads beauty throughout the community with re-purposed bouquets. When a corporate event is over, Olla helps prolong the life of the flowers by redirecting them towards organizations operating in the DTES.

 

 

 

4. Environmentally Responsible: All green waste is sent to local composting projects and Olla is working with suppliers to decrease packaging. Flowers and foliage are local whenever possible and certified organic.

 

 

 

 

5. Unique and long lasting: My bouquet can last up to a month if the water is refreshed and the stems are trimmed every few days. It can also become an awesome dried arrangement that lasts years. There is an abundance of uniqueness that expands beyond these bouquets. Check out the Olla Flower Project in person!

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Non-Material Gift Ideas that Make a Big Difference

30 Nov

In our previous post, 5 Tips For Successful Corporate Gift Baskets, we discussed how gifts communicate with gift recipients.“A great gift is like a great conversation.” What do you want to say? How do you create a meaningful gift experience that tells a story?

If you want your gift to communicate a narrative of charity, we suggest Survival Gifts by UNICEF or Christmas Meals by the Union Gospel Mission (UGM). These two charity gift programs have a key strength in common: they directly connect your donation with the donation recipients you seek to assist. Your donation becomes targeted, tangible and more meaningful.

Give Locally: Give the Gift of a Warm and Nourishing Christmas Meal from the Union Gospel Mission

Down the street from the Saul Good office, there is a Union Gospel Mission. When we walk past their facilities at meal times, there is often a long line of folks with empty tummies. It is interesting to see a wide array of diversity. Some people are young. Some are elderly and some of them seem to be wrapping up a day of underpaid manual labour.

The UGM Christmas meal program is so much more than a meal. The staff go above and beyond to create an experience that builds community and brings joy to people who might otherwise spend the holidays in an ongoing state of struggle. Large event tents are assembled and high end meals are served to over 2000 Downtown Eastside residents. It is not simply a gift of food. It is a gift of dignity, warmth, community and connection. Although a holiday meal will not fix all hardships, it provides mental, emotional and physical nourishment.

Give Globally: Give Gifts of Survival from UNICEF

Why not give the gift of saving a child’s life? UNICEF has designed a brilliant program that allows you to purchase gifts that address specific issues. For example, The Family Survival Food Pack is carefully crafted to deliver the most effective and efficient assistance that starving families require. The pack includes a nutrient-packed ration bundle, that staves off malnutrition in children. This pack contains: 15 Plumpy’Nut® Packets, 20 Therapeutic Milk Sachets, 40 Micronutrient Powder Sachets, 50 High Energy Biscuits.

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Additional Examples of Survival Gifts from UNICEF:

  • Local Water Pump

Where children are thirsty, where babies die for lack of hygiene, where girls must forgo school to find water, abundant local water is a magical, transformative gift. Contains: 1 Water Pump for a community.

  • Winter Survival Pack

Give struggling children what they urgently need to survive – protection from diseases, essential nutrients to build strength, and clean water. Contains: 100 Micronutrient Powder Sachets, 85 Measles Vaccines, 85 Polio Vaccines, 500 Water Purification Tablets.

  • Urgent Aid

Make the greatest impact! When you choose this gift, we’ll put your contribution to work where the need is currently most critical. You’ll play an invaluable role in bringing life-changing nutrition, education and relief to the children who need it most, wherever they are in the world.