Have you finished your shopping yet this year?
As small business owners not only do we need to buy for the growing list of family members, but this is an important time of year to thank our clients for doing business with us. They are, after all the reason we can afford to go shopping in the first place!
It is so important to say “Thank You” and acknowledge your clients with a small token of appreciation that your corporate gift giving should be part of your marketing plan and a legitimate line item in your marketing budget. And don’t forget birthdays, anniversaries, new babies and other milestones are excellent opportunities to show you care.
But during the holiday season it is all about food and chocolate is the de facto corporate holiday gift. According to Forbes.com, the top gift category is gourmet food and wine. Market research from the firm Packaged Facts found that $2.7 billion worth of food was presented as corporate gifts in 2009, a 3.8% increase over 2007.
Chocolate is that universal gift that you can’t go wrong with. When I have spoken with my clients before about memorable gifts they have received, 9 times out of ten it is the food gifts they remember. I remember sitting in a client’s office when she received a box of chocolate covered strawberries. You would have thought the woman won the lottery. During the holiday season, the different offices I’ve been in are always buzzing about the food. In fact one of my clients sends an email to everyone in the company when a new food gift is delivered!
Last year, I received a box from Christophe Artisan Chocolatier as a gift from a colleague. Not only was the chocolate delicious, but I was impressed by the packaging and how pulled together everything was. It felt like I was unwrapping a small piece of heaven.
When I traveled to Charleston, South Carolina in October, I was able to meet Carly & Christophe Paume the owners of Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier and I was delighted to discover they are a husband/wife team as well. All the chocolates are handmade by Christophe. All are preservative-free and most are gluten-free.
One of the highlights of my trip was attending their holiday showcase where I was able to sample many of their chocolates. While the most popular corporate gift items are their 9 and 18 count boxes, I fell completely in love with the White Chocolate Rocher.
When I left Charleston to travel back home to New Hampshire, I was disappointed that more than likely I wouldn’t have another taste of this amazing chocolate until I visited again in the spring, but that is no longer an issue since Christophe Artisan Chocolatier-Pâtissier has launched an ecommerce site. Now I can order all the Rocher I want online!
When giving gifts this time of year it is important for me to consider whom I am supporting with my purchase. I like to support fellow small business owners. Learn more about this delicious small business by visiting their website www.christophechocolatier.com and friending them on Facebook. And if you are in Charleston, SC be sure to visit one of their two shops downtown and in Mt. Pleasant.