I’m Cherri Boone and I do gift baskets. I’ve put a lot of different things in gift baskets. One of the things that I’ve found is that people aren’t very organized. So today we’re going to get you organized for Christmas. This is your Christmas wish list from Grand Gourmet. I’ll through a few extra tid-bits in here. The first of which has nothing to do with baskets, but for those of you who were here when I spoke a couple times ago, I went on a tirade about eating shark fin soup.
You will be happy to know that hunting sharks is outlawed in Japan now. They are not going to do shark fin soup anymore. Anyways, we do a lot of different kinds of baskets. As things have progressed people don’t want just chocolate. They want seasoned chocolate with a little chili pepper, a little bit of caramel. They want dark chocolate, not just 1%, not 50% but there must be 6 different percentages of dark chocolate.
I mean, there’s stuff that’s 89% dark chocolate. The bar actually walks by itself it’s that strong. We can put all of that stuff in your basket but you got to give us a little time to get it. We’re not going to stock our inventory and then throw it away. If there is something you wanted to do at Christmas time, let me know now. Let’s say you want to do a basket with green chili salsa in it. Could I get it?
Yes. However I’m not going to go down and buy it for $9 at Gelson’s. So give me enough time ahead to prepare. Maybe you want organic. What is organic? 100% organic products are not treated with bio engineered products, pesticides or with anything that could harm you. People pay a lot for that because it comes outside the regular distribution chain.
If you have something that’s labeled organic, 85% of that is made with an inorganic material. If it says, made with organic ingredients, that actually has to be 70% organic and the other 30% is regulated. You can’t put melamine in a made with organic products. I should say now that as long as I’ve been in business, I’ve really tried not to use any food from China or any of those countries where you just don’t know what the manufacturing process is like.
I do like Belgium chocolate. The Belgium are not going to put melamine in their chocolate. French food is to die for and they are not going to screw up their national treasure. We don’t keep a lot of that stuff on hand, but there are a few products that we do that are really good. Most of the products in my baskets are made in the United States and I try to do most of it from California because we have an economy to support. I’ve become friends with many of the manufacturers over the years because I’ve been in the business for over twenty years.
I go to the fancy food show once a year. First time I went I said this will be a snap. You have to picture the L.A. Convention Center, with rows and rows and rows. There are a thousand vendors. After the first row I was dead. It gives me a lot of knowledge about food. I’d like to tell you about all the different kinds of people that you could give a basket to. Probably the biggest category in here would be your clients.
I have 2 or 3 people in this group who every year who spend anywhere from $20 to $100 on client gifts. One of them is Termite Terry, he’s probably the most savvy marketing person I’ve met. He may kill termites, but his marketing program is really good. He takes his coffee mug and puts it in a basket which every year we come up with a different design. He takes those little baskets and does a face to face and he keeps getting repeat business and repeat referrals.
That’s the way to market. It doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg. So he’s been doing it for five or six years. You can do that to, you can do 30 of them you don’t need to do 100. You can do 3 of them for your very best clients. Take a really nice basket in for the owner or the office. Let’s say if he likes golf or something we can come up with some really nice things that pertain exactly to him. Or we could just get him something right out of the brochure.
The thing is when you do that they remember you and they like you. We try and give them a basket that they can use for the next time. For mail or something like that. Most people have a lot of baskets in their garage. So we’re starting to lean away from just baskets using boxes or containers they can use on day to day basis. You have client A’s and client B’s. Get your pens out and right this down. You have parents, what are we going to get mom and dad? They are all on their special diets where they can’t have a lot of sugar or salt.
We can actually make them a low sodium basket that’s tasty sometimes we’ll put things in it like a book or a picture frame in it. Just give us a family photo or anything at all and we can put it together for you. We also do gourmet baskets that are really gourmet. If you want caviar or French wine give it to us we can put it in there foe you. There are some really exotic things that we can get for you and it makes it fun.
Do you remember those chocolate covered ants that they gave us. What were they thinking? but we could get them for you if you really wanted to put them in. Termite Terry does not do that by the way. This stuff on the end of your table, open it up and put it on your eggs. You’ve got your sisters family. With organic healthy stuff because she won’t let a slice of white bread in the house. We can do that. We can do gluten free. We can do Hanukkah baskets, we can do kwanza baskets if you know anyone who celebrates kwanza. We do Kosher, we do all sorts of different things.
If you need any kind of gift donation, we can get that from any organization too. Before I go I’d like to talk about naughty baskets. You can do chocolate paint, candy cuff links. We do all sorts of things. This is a little house we can fill it with all sorts of stuff for you. We could do a big tray of chocolate covered goodies. This box of brownies is perfect for clients. The only problem is whoever opens them is going to hide them. They are only $30 a box. If you see anything in the stores that you want let me know and I’ll see if I can get it for you.