Tag Archives: business development

Title image with wine and champagne bottles and glasses

Are Wine, Spirits or Alcohol a Good Corporate Gift?

30 May

For those who enjoy alcohol a thoughtfully selected bottle may seem like the perfect gift.

And while that might be true for people in your personal life, it’s tricky when it comes to corporate gifts.

Alcohol is a controversial gift for reasons that may not be obvious. Consider how much you know about the person.

Two people with thought blue bubble above their heads

Assumptions can be risky when you don’t know any of the following information:

  • Personal struggles with alcoholism or addiction. Many recovering addicts aren’t necessarily open about their battles with alcohol, especially in their professional environments.
  • Challenging family history with alcohol. People with relatives that have a history of alcoholism may have strong aversions to alcohol.
  • Religion. Some of the religions that may avoid alcohol include branches of Christianity, Muslims, Jainism and Buddhists.
  • Personal preference. Some people avoid alcohol for weight loss, health, mental wellbeing and athletic goals. Others only like certain types of alcohol.
  • Corporate policies. Some workplaces have corporate policies about receiving alcohol.

Build Better Relationships With The Right Gift

Gifts are about building and nurturing relationships and you jeopardize that if the gift offends the receiver.

When gifting alcohol it’s important to be 100% certain that it will be well received. In a professional setting, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.

When selecting a gift for someone consider the purpose for the gift:

  • Is it for a business or personal milestone?
  • Are they a client or employee?
  • Is it going to a group or individual

By customizing the gift so it’s appropriate to the occasion, you’ll create a more meaningful experience.

hands receiving a gift with red bow on top

If the gift will be received in the person’s workplace, it’s an opportunity for them to also receive public recognition and feel special.

Obviously we are big fans of gift boxes. The experience of receiving a box, opening it and finding beautifully curated items gives people a prolonged experience of joy compared to opening a gift bag that obviously has a bottle inside.

What ever you decide, put yourself in the receiver’s shoes, how would you feel if you received the gift? Does it feel meaningful?

If you need help selecting a gift for any occasion, check out our gift guide below to help you decide the right type of basket for the occasion.

Gift guide flowchart

thumb_b the good.jpg

Why the 1% is not all bad…

08 Nov


Corporations get a bad rap. I won’t argue, there are corporations out there that maximize profit at any cost. Companies that constantly take for shareholder benefit without a broad understanding of the impact it has on people and the communities, in which it operates. This is not good business and doesn’t have to be the status quo.




As you may know, “incorporated” is not inherently a dirty word. More and more companies are understanding this. Businesses are learning how to thrive while doing good. The landscape is changing.




There is a 1% that’s doing some good. Certified B Corporations are a refreshing international movement building momentum throughout the business world. There are over 650 companies than comprise less than 1% of the business community. These companies include some of the most progressive and influential businesses on the planet. For example: Patagonia, Method and Ben & Jerry’s have declared loud and clear that caring for people and the planet is good for business. This “care” is not a bunch of confusing eco-jargon or greenwashing, it is the real deal. It is the sound of Certified B Corporations walking their talk.




In order to become a Certified B Corporation, your business must meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance. The certification process eliminates confusion while increasing confidence in consumers.




It’s simple: People like good products that do good. When a company is a Certified B Corporation, you don’t have to spend time scrolling through labels, jargon, seals and itty bitty fine print.  Unlike traditional corporations, Certified B Corporations are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their employees, suppliers, community, consumers, and environment. When you become a B Corporation, the impact of your company in relation to these categories receives a public score, which adds transparency and legitimacy to the movement.




B Corporations in Vancouver




Vancouver is a leading hub for progressive business in Canada and home to a handful of Certified B Corps we’d like to highlight for their leadership and entrepreneurial spirit. We appreciate that they see opportunities in the challenges we face in Vancouver. These innovative businesses seek to collaborate with allied businesses, in order to make our city a better place to live and work.




Saul Good’s Vancouver B Corp Top Picks




Salt Spring Coffee has shown how a small start up coffee roaster can influence an industry. I’m not a coffee snob, but I know what I like and what tastes good. In fact, I’ve built my business on it. Salt Spring Coffee makes great coffee. Their Metta Espresso has made a place in my life each and every day. On a community, operational and supply chain level, Salt Spring Coffee is leading the way while making exquisite gourmet coffee. Learn more…




Alterrus Systems (also known as Local Garden). A unique company that has developed revolutionary technology for local food production. By better using vertical space in greenhouse and hydroponic technology, their food systems grow more food and keep it close to home. Their first greenhouse is currently under construction on the rooftop of a downtown Vancouver parking garage and we’re excited to see how they progress! Learn more…




Mills Basics. Our local independent office supply company. In 2006, I got to know Brad Mills and his family business when I was part of an MBA team that helped Mills launch a line of green office supplies. It didn’t take long to realize that the value they created was a lot more than the pens and paper they provided to local businesses. Mills Basics is a landmark on the edge of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and has been committed to employ local area residents for decades (long before anyone was talking about corporate social responsibility). This company is a great example of good business being done by good people, who do good work. Learn more..




Tyze. I recently heard this amazing woman named Donna Thomson speak about how she’s used her Tyze network to improve the efficiency of complex health care provided to her son. Tyze Personal Networks is a technology company rooted in social innovation. The tools they’ve developed help facilitate a private community that is centred around one person. This network can consist of neighbours, friends, families and care professionals. This is the type of social innovation that can significantly improve the efficiency and quality of care in the Canadian health care system and beyond. Learn more…




The Saul Good Gift Co. receives a B Corp Award






Since 2006, the Saul Good Gift Co. has been putting a lot of love into our gifts. We are proud to have brought gift baskets into the 21st century. We are also proud to be one of the founding Canadian B Corporations. Initially, we used the B Assessment as a tool to improve our business and we continue to challenge ourselves to improve. Earlier this year, we re-certified as a B Corp and were thrilled to see our score raise from 88 to 116 ( an improvement of 32%). We were even more excited when we found out that we won the 2012 Race For The Top Award! This award acknowledges the most significant score improvement out of all re-certified B Corps!




The B Corporation movement is worth watching and talking about. You can also become apart of it and “be the change”!  With 650 certified B Corps in the World, the movement is growing strong. As of January 2012, there are B Corporations in over 50 industries, representing a diverse multi-billion dollar marketplace. From South America to Mongolia to Africa, the momentum is building!



The Business Value of “Thank-you”

09 Sep


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.





good company vs.jpg

Proud to be a Founding Canadian B Corp Company

16 Jan


When a company is a B Corp, it provides certainty. It allows us to know the difference between “good” companies and good marketingI was first introduced to B Corp back in 2007. At the time, I was a wide-eyed MBA student…only a month away from completing my MBA program in sustainable business at BGI.


One of my classmates, Mary Rick (@maryrick) was organizing a Balle Conference in San Francisco and she encouraged our class to attend. I decided to travel down with classmates and check it out. When I made this decision, I didn’t realize that we would be witnessing a pivotal point in history.


At the Balle Conference of 2007, the launch of Benefit Corporations was announced. The vision of this new movement is to “create a new sector of the economy which uses the power of business to solve social and environmental problems. This sector will be comprised of a new type of corporation – the B Corporation – that meets rigorous and independent standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency”.


The Saul Good Gift Co. became a founding Canadian B-Corp member. As a member, we are grateful to stand among many great companies throughout North America and watch the B Corp vision become reality.


Since the latest B Corp developments in California, the founder of Patagonia spoke to the media about what this development means to him personally, “I hope that five years from now, ten years from now, we’ll look back and say this was the start of the revolution. The existing paradigm isn’t working anymore—this is the future.”

– Yvon Chouinard, Patagonia




When the Saul Good Gift Co. joined the B-Corp community, we made a declaration that the directors of our company will always consider the environment and community in addition to profit. We disclose information related to our environmental and community impact, in addition to how we work with employees, customers and our transparency. This helps us to set the bar for what it means to be a progressive business.


California is one of six US States shifting corporate law, in order to facilitate social and environmental progress through Benefit Corporations. On Friday, January 13th, 2012, The Stanford Daily explained, “In a ‘middle ground’ between [for-profit and non-profit] extremes, a new type of corporation is emerging, with California the latest but surely not the last state to legally enshrine so-called ‘B Corp’ status.”


I look forward to seeing more businesses join this movement! So much has happened since 2007. Hopefully, the progress of B Corp will expand exponentially and we will see some legislation shift in Canada.


Guess Who's Coming to Our LOCO Business Mixer Tonight?

06 Dec

Local business is about knowing your neighbours. When I moved to Vancouver in the fall of 2004 I connected with some remarkable people who knew the value of building a vibrant local business community. When LOCO BC emerged a couple years ago, I got involved right away. It has been an honour to invest time and energy into LOCO and watch it grow through collaborative efforts. Through this growth, LOCO has begun to draw a larger crowd of innovative business leaders and entrepreneurs.Tonight is a great opportunity to celebrate and connect with other like-minded folks in our community!

Over the last month we’ve been bringing together Vancouver’s finest locally owned producers, vintners, chefs and artisans to contribute to this years LOCO holiday party. Over the last 5 years, Saul Good has gotten to know the best of the best local suppliers through our gift basket business. We are looking forward to indulging in the delights served by these featured businesses.

  • We’ll Be Serving Handmade Local Treats

There will be phenomenal appetizers from Gone Crackers and Dundarave Olive Company. There will also be a wide selection of treats to keep your palate satiated: heavenly Parisian macarons from Kitchening With Carly, blissful confections by Cocolico (featuring their sweet & salty pretzel nut mix, drizzled in burnt caramel sauce).

  • We’ll Be Pouring Local Artisan Drinks

Our friends at the Pemberton Distillery kicked down their locally produced organic vodka and gin made from, you guessed it, local Pemberton organic potatoes. Wine from Clos du Soleil. For those of you who don’t want alcohol, SIP will be serving their superbly sophisticated soda.

  • Top 3 Reasons Why I Love Being LOCO

  1. I love Vancouver! This city is a hot bed for innovative entrepreneurs and unique small businesses. Our markets are full of talented artisans.
  2. It’s all about relationships. Business connections are good…But, it is much better to have connections derived from shared values for our local Vancouver community. We can see the big picture. It isn’t just about individual successes. It is about collective accomplishment.
  3. It’s fun.

A big shout out to: PacBlue Printing, Salt Spring Coffee, Eclipse Awards, MODO Car Co-op, Belmondo Skin Care, SHIFT Urban Cargo Delivery, UGM and Vancity Credit Union!


How Paul Hawken Inspired the Creation of Saul Good Gift Co.

16 Nov

Last night, Paul Hawken spoke at Vancouver’s historic Orpheum Theatre. The room was packed with social entrepreneurs and inspired Vancouverites, who want to improve the world for our children, and our children’s children. I was happy to see some great local characters in the house! There were students and alumni from Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI), local business leaders, (Salt Spring Coffee, Climate Smart, SHIFT Urban Cargo Delivery, Save on Meats, Recycling Alternative), investors (Renewal Partners), non-profit leaders (LOCO BC, SOLE Food Urban Farm, Hollyhock, SFU Woodwards) and local manufacturers (Crown Skis).

Last night was a meaningful evening for me, because Paul Hawken inspired me to embark on the path that led me towards creating local, eco-friendly and socially responsible gift baskets in Vancouver BC. This path began during my undergraduate degree when I was a wide-eyed idealistic Environmental Studies student at the University of Victoria. As I learned more about the state of our planet, I became increasingly daunted by the challenges facing my generation. Although I was well-versed in the problems, I was unsure of where I could find solutions. In the Spring of 2001, I was lucky to read a transcript from a presentation by Paul Hawken.

Hawken’s work helped me to realize that business is an ideal opportunity to address social and environmental issues. He provided a framework for proactive solutions and inspired me to investigate opportunities for strategic change. On a finite planet with limited resources, how can an exponentially growing population survive in a system that continually depletes the Earth’s assets like we’re living off the interest? Innovative solutions are urgently essential.

After studying Hawken’s work, I shifted my path towards sustainable business and enrolled in the Bainbridge Graduate Institue (BGI). This unique graduate school allowed me to dig deeper and explore solutions to social and environmental problems. Through innovation in material, energy and resource use, business can create value beyond profit. In addition to environmental solutions, it is important to look at our planet as one interconnected system and examine how we treat each other.

As humans, we are not separate from the environment and we must find ways to treat each other like precious resources, that cannot be carelessly harmed and mistreated on behalf of financial “gain”. Social enterprises can create important solutions through green jobs, living wages and social justice.

Last night’s inspirational evening was hosted by Vancity Credit Union. In addition to hosting Paul Hawken, Vancity was celebrating 65 years of investing and doing business in Vancouver. This last spring I made a commitment to shift my business banking to a local credit union. I’m proud to announce that we’ve recently started doing business banking with Vancity. As the Saul Good Gift Co. continues to grow, we look forward to nourishing and strengthening relationships throughout our local economy and community.

For more photos from the Paul Hawken event, please click here.