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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Out with the old and in with the new!

Its been a while since i have posted something and here is why: We moved out of our Little Italy location into new digs in Ville St Laurent. After 24 years in the same place, you can imagine this was a HUGE job!

24 years in one place, we had accumulated lots of stuff: documents, product samples, bad buys, marketing materials and so much more!

We were shredding, reminiscing, reorganizing and of course packing up.

The shredder was working on overtime as was the shredding machine!

 

PELLATT CORNUCOPIA BLOG
Shredder working overtime!

 

Boy does it feel good to lighten the load! Along the way we discovered old marketing materials that were a real blast from our past.

 

Pellatt shopping  bag

Circa 1950

 

Our family has been in the food business for over a century. Our shopping bags were branded back then! This was pre10 digit telephone numbers, call,waiting and cascading lines!

 

Pellatt Cornucopia Passover gifts
Passover Mailing 2001

We even involved the forth generation in our advertising before they were old enough to object!

 

Pellatt COrnucopia gift baskets move
Nixa and Wendy

Our loyal and dedicated staff were working hard packing up the warehouse while they were still producing baskets for customers orders.


We were all working overtime packing up and getting the new place ready so that the transition would be smooth and we wouldn’t have to be closed to business for even a day.Pellatt Cornucopia Blog

Setting up our new warehouse

D day minus 10 days and its looking good. We were getting excited to set up our improved warehouse space.

 

 February 23 was the big day!

 

Pellat Cornucopia moving day
Moving Day


8 am:  As I drove up to 85 de Castelnau Street West for the last time and saw two moving trucks parked in front , my eyes swelled with tears. This move was now a reality!!!

 

PEllatt Cornucopia Blog
Nothing Left!

 

9:30 am: Six big movers and one and a half hours later, our warehouse was empty and one truck was full!

Pellatt COrnucopia Move
First Loaded Truck

 

2 pm:We are officially in our new location at 1150 Beaulac

 

Pellatt COrnucopia new offices
My new office

My desk is in and there is absolutely no clutter…… For now!

 

Pellatt Cornucopia NEW WAREHOUSE
New and Improved warehouse space


And now the work begins. The movers have left and the rest is up to us. Time to unpack and fill the shelves.

 6:20pm: After a strenuous 4 hours ,the warehouse is 85 percent set up. Enough for us to call it a day.

Pellatt Cornucopia New warehouse
Up and Running

 

Sunday  February 23: a day of much needed rest

The move is behind us now and we are thrilled to be in our new space.

I am happy to say that only once in the last two weeks have I headed towards our old offices in little Italy instead of our new ones in Villle St Laurent.

We would love for you to come by our new digs!

Hope to see you soon,

 

Cindy :)

 

 

 

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Chanukah For Dummies!

 

Remembering the dates for Jewish holidays is never easy. Changing year by year, it can be hard to keep track. Luckily, we are here to remind you that Chanukah (or Hannukah, or Hanukkah) begins Saturday December 8, 2012 at sundown. For those of you new to the traditions, we have compiled a short cheat guide to the Jewish Holiday of Lights.

Or, if reading isn’t your thing, these fine acapella singers put together a version of “Dynamite’ to  tell the story of Hanukah

 

Brief History

Chanukah is an eight-day Jewish holiday that celebrates the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the second century B.C. after it was destroyed. The Jewish people had risen up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt. When it was time to rededicate the temple, there was only only enough clean olive oil to keep the menorah’s candles burning for a single day. However, the flames continued flickering for eight nights. This miraculous event inspired the yearly eight-day festival also known as the Festival of Lights.

Chanukah Vocabulary

Chanukah gelt

Gelt – the direct translation of this Yiddish slang is money, however at Chanukah it refers to both a coin shaped piece of chocolate and the money given to you by Bubby (Grandma) and Zaydie (Grandpa)

Dreidels Pellatt Cornucopia Chanukah blog
Source: Bnot Torah

 Dreidel – a spinning top with four sides, each with a Hebrew letter ? (Nun), ? (Gimel), ? (Hei), ? (Shin), which together form the acronym for “?? ???? ??? ??” (Nes Gadol Hayah Sham – “a great miracle happened there”)Menorah/Chanukiah: Both a menorah and a chanukia are candelabrums. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but if we are getting technical, a chanukiya is one kind of menorah. The main differences being that a chanukiyah has nine candle holders, one set above the others and is used for Chanukah. The menorah has only seven branches used in the ancient temple before its destruction.

Pellatt Cornucopia  Chanukah menorah
source:bje.org

Menorah/Chanukiah- Both a menorah and a chanukia are candelabrums. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably but if we are getting technical, a chanukiya is one kind of menorah. The main differences being that a chanukiyah has nine candle holders, one set above the others and is used for Chanukah. The menorah has only seven branches used in the ancient temple before its destruction.

Pellatt Cornucopia blog potato latkes
Source; The Shiksa

 Latkes – potato pancake fried in oil. Recipes and origin stories differ but one thing that is certain, these greasy snacks are delicious.

Check out the Montreal’s Gazette’s baked version of the potato pancake

 

Christmas Envy

 

Pellatt Cornucopia Chanukah sweaters
source:Geltfiend

Okay maybe jealousy is not part of the holiday, but it is so hard to not want Christmas lights, ornaments and a cozy Santa sweater to cuddle up in. Lucky for us Getlfiend.com has solved one of these envy-evoking desires by creating a line of awesome Chanukah Sweaters that will light up any party you attend.

Sour cream vs apple sauce: Every family celebrates the holiday a bit differently. One of the age old debates is how to top your latkes – sour cream or apple sauce? Let us know what you and your family do at @pellattMTL

 

 

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Pellatt Cornucopia Gift Baskets celebrates 100 years!

“Small businesses are the heart of Canadian communities…Small business owners are reputable and know their products intimately. They are often family-run, handed down from generation to generation. When you buy from a small business, you support local families and local jobs. Small businesses matter to our economy, to our communities, and to our friends and neighbours.” – Canada’s Small Business Saturday

 

Two years ago, Small Business Saturday was introduced in the U.S. The goal was to encourage shoppers to head to local merchants across the country. Last month on October 20th, Canada had its first Small Business Saturday.

Pellatt Store St  Denis Street
St Denis Street 1950s

 

As a local and family-run business we value the importance of this movement. It is under the same principles that we at Pellatt Cornucopia are going back to our roots. We will soon be dropping Cornucopia from our name, focusing on promoting the Pellatt brand that all began with Max Pellatt on Prince-Arthur Street in 1912.

 

What started as just a grocery store in a residential neighbourhood, quickly became a community fixture where neighbours met and chatted, exchanged recipes and planned family events.

Pellatts Cornucopia
A Vintage Piece- Matches

Fast forward to the early forties when the storefront moved to Saint-Denis Street and Max’s son Jack Pellatt took over the family business and introduced gift baskets.

Customers loved the tasteful presentation and trusted the quality of the products. Pellatt’s baskets were being brought to family and friends for all occasions.

Fresh Fruit basket
1970s style fruit basket

 

In 1975, Jack’s son Fred and his wife Joy, took the original idea further and expanded the business into Cornucopia, a successful gift basket company that offered the dazzling combination of baskets and arrangements offering food, toys and beauty products evolved into a year-round service.

 

 

Cornucopia gift baskets montreal
Cornucopia’s first business card

Twenty years later, daughter Cindy joined in, bringing even more energy to the company.

Pellatt Cornucopia Family
Joy, Cindy and Fred

Four generations later, our website is our storefront. Our medium has changed, but our connections and relationships with clients remain. Just like Max Pellatt proudly displayed his name on his storefront, we are now putting it on our baskets and gifts.

It is our way to celebrate 100 years of family business.
This is our seal of approval and our legacy of excellence.

Joy, Cindy and Fred

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