Summer in the City..

Montreal summers never seem to last long enough and the winters never seem to end!

As I write this blog, i am sitting in the park waiting for my daughter’s hockey game to begin. Along with cooler nights and earlier sunsets, this is a sign that fall is around the corner.

I want to hold on to the long and somewhat  carefree days of summer, so i am posting some of the  highlights of my summer in Montreal to help us remember why we endure the winters. I hope you enjoy the journey to my happy places !!

 

Tremblant hiking with family
Hiking “En Famille”

 

We started the climb up Mont Tremblant as a group of eleven…..

Top of the Mountain Selfie
Top of the Mountain Selfie

But only the two of us made it to the top!

I play hard…but also know how to sit back and relax…

Coktails by the lake
A day of R & R with some beer and wine

Dining options in our city are endless. We tried some new restaurants that don’t take reservations and didn’t even mind waiting for 30 minutes outside for our table.

And whenever the food trucks were gathered at a festival, we were there. From First Fridays, to The Flavours of Monkland Village  and The Comedy Fest.

BBQ ribs and mac and cheese seemed to be the winners this year! Last years top pick- The Philly cheese steaks served out of a hearse, were nowhere to be found!:(

Food trucks Montreal
Savouring Montreal’s food trucks!

And on a much smaller scale…a food truck we saw while in Vermont.

 

Stowe Food
Food truck Vermont Style

I always tend to drink and eat out more often in the summer…..so i also need to keep my body moving to maintain those habits and still fit into my bathing suit!

I biked,  hiked, walked, kayaked and ran.

Sainte Agathe Holiday
Kayaking with a view

But the best activity was with my daughter… the color run. What a blast!!

Color Run Montreal
Mother Daughter Time

For the first summer  in many years,  I didn’t get to the the ocean.  Luckily for us Montrealers we have lots of natural beauty and bodies of water to enjoy less than one hour from our home. We are truly blessed!

sunsetting on lake
my very happy place

Je t’aime Montreal!! <3

What is your happy place?

Cindy

 

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Put your mark on it!!

Whether it’s to announce the birth of your baby, thank patrons for their support or to create brand awareness….having a unique keepsake with your message on it will certainly leave a lasting impression!

This year we invested in our brand. We are currently using both the Cornucopia and Pellatt names together, adding our family name Pellatt to our family business.  When visiting clients, I left them a small gift: a branded USB key chain with our current digital brochure , a mug and a treat!

Leaving our mark!
Leaving our mark!

 

We have also helped our clients get noticed!

Our client hosted a conference whose theme was “Reach for the sun, moon and stars!” They wanted to send the participants a thank you gift that was a reminder of the event.

Silver plated paperweight with post it pad
Silver plated paperweight with post it pad

 

A very well established company was celebrating 150 years and collecting money to donate towards education. The theme of the event was “Imagine the next 150 years”.  To thank their supporters, they are giving out fortune cookies with customized messages.  We helped them compose the eight bilingual messages and coordinated the production all in a period of two weeks!

 

Announce that your baby is on the way or their arrival with good fortune!
Announce that your baby is on the way or their arrival with good fortune!

 

Toast a milestone with a glass of merlot or chardonnay without spilling a drop!  This “Drop Stop” wine pourer doesn’t alter the taste and can be used over and over again.

rop Stop" mylar wine pourer
“Drop Stop” mylar wine pourer

We know how important it is to reinforce your brand and identity in the minds of your clients, friends  and employees! We know that a gift from you should be a constant reminder of who you are – that’s why we can create gifts that fit the image of your brand, display your logo and share your message.

Whatever the occasion, at Pellatt Cornucopia we can help you leave your mark! We help you make it so easy to impress.

Cindy

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A Mother Daughter Team!

Pellatt Cornucopia is a family business, and I work very closely with my mother.  I am also a mother and my daughter and I are a team!

My daughter’s dream is to play hockey for team Canada, have 5 children and live in a big house!

Well, I want to help her get there!

In April 2012 I drove from Montreal to Burlington, Vermont with my daughter to watch   Canada’s Woman’s hockey team play in the finals of the IHF against USA.

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Team Canada won and we were proud and pumped. At midnight that same day, we crossed the border with our patriotic faces. My daughter turned to me and said ”Thanks Mom this was the best day EVER!!”.  At that moment, I realized how important it was for us to have our special time together doing things we both enjoyed or were willing to explore.

Balancing work and family can be pretty hectic, leaving very little energy or time to do fun stuff.  What I have learned is that the laundry and clean kitchen can wait. The dirty clothes and dishes aren’t going anywhere….but our children grow up quickly and will soon be off to university.

When was the last time you went to the park and went on the swing, sea saw or slide?

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While picnicking at Mount Royal with family from out of town, I tried the monkey bars…and failed miserably. My daughter got all the way across and I didn’t.  She tried giving me pointers but I just couldn’t hold up my weight!! But at least I tried. I pushed my limits and have continued to do that with her.

If my 13 year old can go rock climbing or kayak in the ocean, then so can i.  Her enthusiasm and lack of fear, has pushed me to overcome my apprehensions and fears and get out of my comfort zone.  And once I reached the top of the rock climbing wall, I felt accomplished!!

A big part of what we do together is on the adventurous side:

Going on thrill rides

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Skiing above the tree line

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Riding a Gocar to tour a California city

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But we don’t do this on a regular basis. We also have our rituals:

Thursday night date night watching Grey’s Anatomy

Saturday morning spinning class

And of course there is all the time we spend in the car driving to arenas!

Being a mother can sometimes be a thankless job….. long hours, little recognition and no financial rewards.  Having children tests your patience and pushes your limits, but most importantly  being a mother has enriched my life.

This Mother’s Day, take a moment to reflect on what being a Mother means to you and how you inspire your children and how they can enrich your life.

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Happy Mother’s Day!

Cindy

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Valentine’s Day Treat!

Everyone wants to feel the love! As a kid, we always celebrated Valentine’s day with our family. There were many years when my parents would be out of town and my sister and I  would stay with my Aunt ,Uncle and cousins and together we would celebrate Valentine’s Day.

My Aunt always made this a special day for us. It started off with a card in the morning, a surprise treat in my lunch and the “piece de resistance” was always dessert. A heart shaped cake and chocolate fondue.

Many loves have come in and out of my life since then, but family is always a constant. And now that i have my own family , i have continued the tradition of celebrating with my husband and kids and followed in my Aunt’s footsteps to some degree.

Here are my Valentine’s Day customs…

  • everybody gets a small chocolate treat
  • family dinner
  • Heart shaped homemade dessert
  • Chocolate fondue

I started this tradition when my 17 year old son was just 2.

Our first Valentine’s Day cake that we made together for “Daddy” looked something like this, but was before the digital age…..so pics are somewhere in boxes!!

Source: Thefuntimesguide.com
Source: Thefuntimesguide.com

 

But everybody’s favourite is the chocolate fondue made with Toblerone chocolate.

Fondue Tasting!
Fondue Tasting!

Its easy to make and so yummy!!

  • 100g of your favourite chocolate
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Melt chocolate over low heat, add the cream and blend over heat.

Remove from stove, pour into fondue set and enjoy!!

This year i  decided to try making the fondue with gourmet chocolate that we put in our gift baskets instead of the Toblerone. I tried 3 different chocolates, which meant a lot of taste testing for the family! It was like Valentine’s Day came early and three times this year!!

Using the same recipe as I have always used, i just replaced the chocolate with  three of my favorite chocolates.

Lindt Chocolates

“Lindt” dark chocolate with Fleur de Sel

“Laura Secord” milk chocolate toffee crunch

“Lindt” dark chocolate caramel and Fleur de sel

For dipping : strawberries, bananas, tangerines, apples, marshmallows and my favourite Sara Lee pound cake( which i have not been able to find this year!!).

FONDUE

My favourite is the “Lindt” dark chocolate fleur de sel. I found the “Laura Secord”  toffee crunch way too sweet but was my daughter’s fave.  With the “Lindt” caramel and sea salt chocolate, the caramel pieces are too sticky and don’t melt.

What kind of chocolate do you use? What do you dip in your chocolate fondue?

With lots of sweet love,

 

Cindy

xoxo

 

 

 

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8 days of Chanukah gift giving! November 27- December 5, 2013

There are many different interpretations as to why we celebrate Chanukah for 8 days. The one that I was always taught was that there was only enough oil to burn for 1 day and it lasted 8. This miracle was a gift to the Jewish people which may be why we give gifts for Chanukah, but why is it some people’s tradition to give one gift every day. Didn’t the oil that was supposed to be enough for one day last eight ?

My 8 rules for Chanukah gift giving

As with all Jewish holidays, Chanukah never falls out on the same date each year. The benefit to this, is that you have eight chances to get a Chanukah gift to your Jewish friends, collegues or clients. That being said, make sure that you give the gift during Chanukah.(#1)

Chanukah calendar 2013
8 days of Hanukah

Don’t send a gift adorned with Christmas decorations or with Christmas wrapping and a Christmas greeting card. Happy Holidays is a safe bet if you are unsure whether your clients celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Kwanzaa. When trying to woo a client or impress a potential client, the last thing you would want to do is offend them! (#2)

No need to give 8 gifts…one will suffice! (#3)

Hannukah gelt
Chanukah Gelt/Chocolate coins

Kids always like to get Chanukah gelt (money) whether its chocolate money or the real thing. If your tradition is to give 8 gifts, then gelt is a no brainer for one of the eight gifts.(#4)

Rule # 5: Only give money to family. DO NOT give money to neighbours, clients, coworkers or friends.

Since Chanukah very often falls in mid to late December. I usually spend more time at the office then at home and I cannot always celebrate with my family all eight days. :( And some years there is a big item on my children’s wish list. Rule # 6, try to give children the gifts that they want and don’t be hung up on the 8 day tradition. However if you must, here are some small gift ideas that won’t break the bank and are probably things you are already paying for anyways.

  • Movie passes
  • I-tunes gift  card
  • Tim Hortons gift card
  • Dreidels
  • Books
  • Their favourite chocolate

As with most Jewish holidays, food always has a role and Chanukah is no different. Since we are celebrating the miracle of the oil that burned for eight days , we traditionally eat fried foods like donuts and potato pancakes(latkes). Food gifts, especially gift baskets are a great gift to send if you are invited for a Chanukah party or to wish your Jewish clients a Happy Chanukah. Do not send them a smoked ham or turkey! (#7)

Every year our family(cousins, aunt and uncles) get together for a Chanukah party. We do not exchange gifts, but instead we do a gift exchange. Some years we do it Chinese auction style so the gifts have to be somewhat generic and other times we  do a “secret Santa” style exchange. Either way everybody gets to unwrap a present. Be thankful and grateful for what you receive and remember that somebody went out of their way to buy the gift!(#8)

What are some of your holiday gift giving rules? traditions? do’s and don’ts?

Happy Holidays!

 Cindy

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Sneak Peak at whats new at Pellatt Cornucopia!

Pellatt Cornucopia Montreal Blog
Autumn in Montreal
source: www.cruisesaintlawrence.com

Fall is in the air. Thanksgiving and Halloween are around the corner which means that very soon it will feel a lot like Christmas. I am not looking forward to the snow and frigid temperatures that go along with it(UGH!!),but i am very excited about all of the new basket creations we have designed this year.

Believe it or not, we have been working on our holiday collection since June. Visiting trade shows in New York and Toronto and meeting with current suppliers. Designing, assembling, pricing and photographing over 50 new gift baskets.

Pellatt Cornucopia gift baskets photo shoot
Ready, set, shoot!

Its always great when your vision becomes a reality, but sometimes its an epic fail!!

 

Pellatt Cornucopia Gift baskets holiday 20
Work In Progress!

 

And others times you feel like you have hit the mark! And that’s why it takes so long to create and design our line of gift basekts.

Here is a peak at some of the new collection that will be available at the end of October.

Pellatt Cornucopia gourmet gift baskets

 

 

Pellatt Cornucopia chocolate Gift baskets

If you can’t wait till then to do your holiday shopping, we have introduced some new products this year that are available to order only until November 8th for delivery anytime after November 15th. You know what they say… “the early bird catches the worm”.

I am looking forward to sharing our new gift basket collection to you in a few weeks.

Happy Halloween and Happy Thanksgiving!!

Cindy

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Summer Discoveries!

My blog has been on holiday mode this summer, but I haven’t! It’s been a busy summer for us at Pellatt Cornucopia. We have travelled to trade shows in NY and Toronto to find new gourmet foods, chocolates, containers, baby stuff and so much more!

 

Jacob Javits Center
NY Fancy Food Show- Jacob Javits Center

I ate my way through NY for two days; sampling cheeses from France, chocolates from every corner of the world, olive oils from Italy, Spain, Turkey and California, cookies like mamma makes, savoury snacks and chips made from not only potatos but veggies like kale, beans, lentils and the list goes on and on. Hungry yet?

The Candian Delegation
The Canadian Delegation

As always, our visit wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Canadian pavilion, and as you can see it was hopping!

Here’s a peak at some of the delicious new treats that we have chosen for our 2014 collection.

Part of our 2014 selection
Part of our 2014 selection

 

A SNEAK PEAK OF 2014 COLLECTION
A SNEAK PEAK OF 2014 COLLECTION

 

SNEAK PEAK AT WORK IN PROGRESS FOR 2014
SNEAK PEAK AT WORK IN PROGRESS FOR 201

Some of the products have already arrived and can be found in our newest  Rosh Hashanah collection.

 

BROWNIE EDGES
BROWNIE EDGES

Do you ever find yourself nibbling the crunchy ends of the brownie pan?

Well Seth Greenberg and his daughter  do and as a result,  he has reinvented the brownie with his brownie edges- the crispy ends.

A PINT OD DECADENCE
A PINT OF DECADENCE

Like ice cream, i can eat a whole pint of these!

Dufflet Belgium milk chocolate clusters of cranberry pumpkin seed pita chip pieces, sponge toffee bits and rice crisps. A little bit of salty with the sweet. miam miam!

 

NATURALLY SWEET
NATURALLY SWEET

A little less decadent, but addictive none the less are these apple and honey lavash crackers from Pita Break. Bet you can’t eat just one!

That’s enough of a tease for now. Stay tuned and keep checking back on our website and the blog to see whats new.

What would you like to see in our 2014 collection?

Cindy

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Delish Tealish Smoothie!

After months of waiting we finally received our order from Canadian made Tealish for some of their yummy teas. Part of my job is taste testing. As I had sampled the teas months earlier at a trade show, my taste buds needed a refresher and so i took some inventory home and now I am totally hooked.

Pellatt Montreal Blog
My favorites!

 

A few months go, I eliminated coffee from my daily morning routine…..and yes i survived!! Now I start my day with a cup of the sweet macaroon green tea.  The pineapple, coconut, vanilla and hazelnuts offset the bitterness of plain green tea. Mmmmm good!

With some lemon meringue rooibos tea still left in the pot one morning, i decided to experiment and add it to my morning smoothie. The result was delish and now i am making the tea just to use in the smoothie.

 

Pellatt Montreal Blog
Blueberry Peach Iced Tea Smoothie

 

Iced Tea Smoothie Recipe

Pellatt Montreal Blog
Makings of a delicious smoothie

1/2 cup coconut water

1/2 cup Tealish Lemon Meringue

a handful of kale

1/2 -1 cup frozen blueberries

1/2-1 cup frozen peaches

protein powder

fresh mint leaves

 

I cant wait for breakfast!!

Whats your favorite smoothie recipe?

Cindy

 

 

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Grand Prix Montreal F1 – Custom Design

Its Grand Prix weekend!!

Montreal Grand Prix
Source:Grand Prix Montreal

Every June since 1978 with the exception on 2009,  Montreal has hosted the Canadian Grand Prix/F1 race. The event brings tens of thousands of visitors to our amazing city and generates millions of dollars in revenue to local businesses of all kinds including us.

Are Formula 1 fans interested in buying gift baskets while in town? Kind of…

Large companies bring their clients to Montreal for the event and wine, dine and entertain them for the entire time that they are here. Those large corporations want to ensure that their guests have everything they need for their stay here and that the weekend is as memorable for them as possible, and that is where we come in.

Our client wanted to showcase our city and province and all the local flavour, but at the same time, they wanted the guests to have food they could eat while they were here and not souvenirs for them to take home. This was a challenge! We can’t send smoked meat and poutine with an Orange Julep!

Here is what we came up with for their 2012 F1 gifts

Grand Prix Montreal gifts

2012 Grand Prix gift bags

 

This gift bag is filled with Montreal bagels,Felix and Norton cookies, maple nuts, Christophe Morel chocolates, fresh fruit, maple popcorn and curd cheese! We also coordinated it with their event colors.

It seems that the bags were a hit, because they wanted to repeat them again, with the addition of 3 bottles of Gatorade. I am venturing to say that the addition of Gatorade is either to replenish their electrolytes following all the partying or to hydrate them while out in the heat at the track! Either way, we were able to design a bag with similar products for this year’s event!

2103 Grand Prix gift bags
2103 Grand Prix gift bags

We wanted to introduce some other local products to the guest, so this year we included Nutra Fruit dark chocolate cranberries and La Fourmie Bionique’s granola bars.

Our  job at Pellatt Cornucopia is to design and present a gift that will WOW the recipients and represent the client. This means that for every client we have to create something unique just for them.

Another mandate that we got from a client hosting guests in Montreal for the Grand Prix was to create a gift so that the guests would have a worry free weekend. Our solution: a basket with sunscreen, sunglasses, a company branded sun hut, bottle of champagne, a book about the Grand Prix, the hosts favorite peanut brittle and lots more all in a leather CD box.

Wouldn’t you like to be treated to a jet setting weekend in Montreal and the Grand Prix?

What are your weekend plans?

 Cindy

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How Its Made: The Gift Basket!

Have you ever wondered how these are made?

baby baskets Montreal

There are multiple steps in getting one basket designed and to the consumer.

Step One: Shopping

Attend trade shows in Toronto, Montreal and New York and buy, buy buy!!

Step Two:Designing

Choose the basket or container and all the goodies that you want to fill it with.

 

Behind the scenes making a gift basket
The Back Store
Baby baskets Montreal
The pieces of the puzzle

Step Three: The Assembly

This is where the magic happens. Where a bunch of products turn into an impressive gift basket that will simply wow the recipient.

Work in progress baby basket
Work in progress

Here a body suit takes on a shape, a blanket gets dimension and slippers are filled.

Some days the magic works on the first try and other times, we have to keep reworking the presentation until we are satisfied with the final look.

Baby basket in the making by Pellatt Cornucopia
Almost done!

Our talented employees work hard to make sure that each basket is up to Pellatt Cornucopia standards.

Baby girl gift basket
Assembly is complete

Step Four: The Finishing Touch

Wrap, bow and sometimes box!

Pellatt Cornucopia brand
The accesorries

Every basket is finished with our signature bows that are hand made and  color coordinated with the basket and its contents. A personalised greeting is attached and the basket is ready to go!

Pellatt COrnucopia baby basket finished
The Final product

Step Five: Deliver

Gift baskets on delivery
En route

Although we are based in Montreal, we can deliver our gift baskets across Canada and the USA.

For Montreal deliveries, within four hours of placing an order, the basket can be in the hands of the new mom, birthday boy or whomever the lucky receiver is.

And that’s how a Pellatt Cornucopia gift basket is made!!

 

Cindy

 

 

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