Thursday, August 9, 2012

Becoming Sensitive to Gluten

 by Shannon Schilling
Sitting down for a gluten-free break
gluten-free staff member

When I was diagnosed with gluten hypersensitivity a year ago, at first I thought that I would never be able to eat anything good again. Thankfully, I was wrong.

People with gluten hypersensitivity, gluten intolerance, or celiac disease are unable to properly digest the gluten protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. As a college student, I ate a lot of gluten prior to my diagnosis so cutting it out of my diet completely felt a little like the end of the world. All the things I loved - pasta, bread, baked goods - gone!

Although my school's dining services did their best to serve me, I sometimes still felt like I was not eating enough because I did not have enough options. In addition, I would see all my friends eating gluten-filled foods, making me feel like an outsider, something no one wants to feel like when they are miles from home! It took a lot of willpower for me to stick to my diet and not give in to the gluten peer pressure.

Eventually, I discovered (and am still discovering) many great products that are gluten free. However, most of the items can be expensive for a college student's budget. So even though it's been a year, I still find myself stressing about food and health as well as schoolwork and a busy schedule.

When I started working for Bonnie a few months ago, she mentioned that we would do taste tests for new products before putting them into a basket, and I had to break the news about my diet. As we discussed the rising amount of gluten-free products in the marketplace, we realized we had an exciting opportunity: make gluten-free baskets.

Gluten-Free Dips from Rothschild Farm
As luck would have it, we discovered that some of our products were already gluten free, such as many dips from Robert Rothschild Farm. But we went searching for more products and not just gluten-free items, but good gluten-free items. I think there is a common misconception that something labeled gluten free does not taste good, but I try every day to find products that disprove this.

We found a number of great-tasting gluten-free products and I was very excited to be able to use some of my expertise at work and I think Bonnie was excited to once again have a taste-test partner.

Gluten-Free Care Package
We decided to make two gluten free baskets: the Gluten-Free Care Package, designed for the GF college student with plenty of nutritional and energy-boosting snacks, and the Gluten-Free Goodie Tray, a slightly healthier version perfect for any occasion.

I wish that I could say our baskets would be safe for those with celiac disease, but due to how some of the products were processed and packaged, we've decided to only recommend our baskets for people who are just gluten intolerant. 

Gluten-Free Goodie Tray
What I have learned from a number of other gluten-free people is that not everyone has the same level of sensitivity and not everyone reacts to gluten in the same way. Therefore, if you are interested in purchasing a gluten-free basket, I encourage you to speak to the recipient about their allergy and to call in and speak with me. I will not claim myself an expert, but I do have some experience in this area and I would love to work with you to make sure that you are getting exactly what you need.

I definitely enjoyed putting these baskets together with Bonnie and I am excited to get to send them to people who struggle with the same thing that I do.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gluten-Free Guinea Pig

We'd like to send a special shout out to human guinea pig Rebecca Shaw at Affordable Care Health Clinic in Gahanna for taste-testing some of our new gluten-free products today!

Rebecca Shaw outside the Affordable Care Clinic
The more we learn about the gluten-free life, the more we realize how important it is to read every label, even the fine print. Therefore, we've been doing our homework to determine which products are suitable for individuals with gluten intolerance versus those with celiac disease.

Stay tuned for more information on our new gluten-free baskets!

And don't forget to check out the Affordable Care Clinic, opening Aug. 20!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Honoring Maeve Binchy

Maeve Binchy

This morning we were saddened to hear about the recent death of Irish author Maeve Binchy, whose books we have been ordering and enjoying for years. Binchy passed away July 30, 2012 at the age of 72 after a brief illness, but the stories that she created are sure to live on as over 40 million copies of her novels, short stories, plays, and works of nonfiction have been sold around the world.

Not long after we learned the news, a shipment of new books arrived, including Binchy's latest novel Minding Frankie. This book is about Noel, a young man who reluctantly agrees to take care of a baby girl, Frankie, (with the help of some family and friends) after her mother and his former flame passes away.It is a book full of heartwarming characters in the cozy and charming world that Binchy often created in her novels.

Receiving the new book was a bittersweet moment as we look forward to reading it, but also acknowledge that this is the last new novel we can order from such a talented author.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Fun and easy recipe for summer entertaining

Products from one of our most popular vendors, Robert Rothschild Farm, are often used as ingredients for appetizers or desserts, and we've selected an easy and delicious recipe just for you.

Chocolate Pear Tarts
from Robert Rothschild Farm


Cinnamon is the perfect complement to pears and chocolate in this elegant appetizer or dessert.


Robert Rothschild Farm Mini Fillo Shells
Robert Rothschild Farm Dark Chocolate Sauce
Cream Cheese or Mascarpone Cheese
Pears, diced
Cayenne (optional)


Blend together the diced pears and cream cheese with the Dark Chocolate Sauce. Spoon into mini fillo shells. Top with cinnamon and cayenne, if desired.

Other recipes can be found at

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Let's toast to summer.
With summer approaching, chances are your social calendar is quickly filling up. If you are looking for a wine to please, we've selected a few options that can entertain with style without breaking the bank.

$10.99 on promo until 7/28

Emeri De Bertoli's Pink Moscato

If you're in need of a bubbly wine, think pink. This sweet, rose-colored moscato is full of fresh fruit aromas and a velvety taste of strawberry and musk.  Emeri Pink Moscato is a fun, sparkling wine that can be enjoyed on its own for a toast or paired with desserts and fresh fruits. In the words of Emeri De Bertoli, "Don't wait for the celebration, be the celebration."

$11.99 on promo until 9/1
                                                  IL Prosecco from Mionetto 

IL Prosecco, "The" Gentle Sparkling Wine, is the Italian answer to champagne. This straw-colored wine filled with apple, pear, and citrus flavors  is fresh and crisp,  serving as a palate cleanser. The wine's acidity level makes it a perfect balance for rich foods, cheeses, and dishes with cream sauces, but it is a great compliment to any meal.

$5.99 on promo through June
 oot's Pinot Grigio 
 Crisp and refreshing, this white wine is perfect for casual summer entertaining. Pinot Grigio is sweet with a mixture of blossom and citrus aromas and tart green apple and white peach flavors.  Goes great with poultry, seafood, spicy foods, and a hot summer night.

$6.99 on promo until 9/1

 Funky Llama Malbec
This fun, great-value wine comes from Argentina, which is known for its Malbecs. Deep red and  plumy, Funky Llama is bursting with robust flavors and notes of cherry, blackberry, and pepper. It's light on the palate with a fairly smooth  finish, perfect for a summer day or  backyard barbecue.

*Subject to Ohio Wine Laws.
Prices reflect a $2 handling fee for adding to baskets and are subject to change due to monthly fluctuations from distributors. Non-Alcoholic alternatives available. You must be 21 years or older to purchase gift baskets containing wine. Adult signatures are required on all wine shipments.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Never Underestimate the Value of Small Business

Today's post was inspired by a brief Twitter chat. I logged onto Twitter this morning and noticed this question from Social Media guru @chrisbrogan:

Why do people who choose their business and customers choose to serve clients with little/no money?

While it was hard to decipher the context behind this question, I felt compelled to answer with:

Baskets by Bonnie @basketsbybonnie

clients with little/no money can be a valid market if your business can be the best at filling their needs.

To which Chris responded:

- er, um, but if they don't have much money, how do you survive?

My two-tweet answer:

It is possible to be profitable serving low-budget clients if you can effectively serve large numbers.
Also some clients can start small but over time become big. It depends on your business model. Don't under estimate small.

My visceral reaction to this question was as a small business owner. I remembered a situation with a vendor when I was just starting out in my business and I required extra time and expertise from my sales representative. Initially she was very helpful and then suddenly stopped communications. When I finally got hold of my sales rep, she apologized and explained her situation.

Apparently my sales person was told by the owner of the company to not waste any more time with me. Her boss had written me off as a bad prospect. She also confessed that she was not happy with her managers and was leaving soon for another job. As a result, I ended the relationship.I found a better company to replace this vendor. 

A few years later, as my business had grown, I was approached by a new sales person from my old vendor. There was nothing they could say to get me back as a customer. I have continued to do business with the better vendor for over 18 years.

There are rewards to providing your customers with great service, no matter what their size. In addition to becoming a good source for Testimonials, they tend to grow on with you!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My Funny Valentine

We aim to please and love when we get nice feedback from our customers. The following is a response from a new client that wanted to surprise (and embarrass) her boyfriend at work.

Thanks Bonnie! This looks great! He absolutely loved it and was rather embarrassed by the whole thing. haha!!

I will be using your services again and let my friends know about your company.

Thanks again for being so accommodating.

 We love our work and emails like this make it all the more rewarding. Keep those cards and emails coming!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taste Test

Part of our responsibilities at Baskets by Bonnie is to test new products. We tested these dips right before lunch. The Roasted Eggplant & Pepper Hummus pairs nicely with the Sea Salt Pita Bites and the Artichoke Pesto is wonderful on the Three Cheese Panetini.

I could not stop "testing" and made this my lunch for the day!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Custom Solution: Herb Capital Basket

 Although we have a wide selection of gift options on our website, some situations call for a customized solution. This was the case for the Gahanna-Area Chamber of Commerce. They were in need of a gift basket for a conference that was representative of the city of Gahanna also known as the "Herb Capital of Ohio".

We were brought a cache of products such as herb-infused bath and body items  from the Herb Education Center and wine from WyandotteWinery to create an eye-catching basket. To help pull together this theme, we used a metal planter, added a book on Cooking with Herbs and Spices and a pair of canvas gardening gloves. The tulle wrap added a nice earthy-feel.

The result is a one-of-a-kind basket that showcases the city of Gahanna.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Be Mine!

"Valentine's Day: the holiday that reminds you
that if you don't have a special someone,
you're alone."
from Lewis Black - The Huffington Post

Valentine's Day is one of those awkward gift-giving holidays. Choosing the right gift can make or break a relationship. On this February 14th, we can provide a gift for every stage of romance.

Choose from our website or we can CUSTOMIZE your gift to make it just right for your Valentine. Whether it's a new found love, a marriage proposal or a bitter breakup, Baskets by Bonnie can help you navigate this tricky terrain.
Be Mine...on Valentine's Day For relationships old and new...we have the perfect, sweet gift for you!

This Valentine's snack tin 
filled with sugary treats.
And a cute bean-filled animal
can not be beat.
Wrapped with love 
and a fuzzy-warm note, 
Tis a gift that will keep 
your relationship afloat.

Cute reuseable snack tin