Basket Cases

Thinking Out of the Box for Corporate Gifts

Let’s face it. Taste in gifts is extremely personal, and it’s difficult to find something that every recipient would like. To avoid sending gift baskets that curl up noses and end up in the trash, consider the following options.
    Give something with artistic flair. Oviedo, Fla.-based Originality Inc. ( puts playful, fun gifts into containers such as paint cans, sacks or plastic boxes. “We take a theme or message and bring it a step beyond,” says Melinda Tomasello, principal/designer for Originality. For example, in the “Refreshingly Florida” package, kiwi chocolates and Florida-bottled spring water come in a beach bucket.
    Toronto-based SoulPaks ( offers gift boxes with five items, each stimulating a different sense. For example, one box might include a spiritual book, a relaxing CD, a box of chocolates, a wooden puzzle and an aromatherapy candle. Clients can customize by selecting from about 100 different items, says founder and CEO Aaron Adamson.
    For edible delights, Portland, Maine-based Aurora Provisions ( uses locally made items such as scones with wild Maine blueberry jam and lobster pot pies. Organic coffee and Aurora’s own handmade chocolates are other yummy options. For a gift to really wow, general manager Leslie Oster suggests planners “get as much info as possible about the recipients up front, so the basket is not generic.”