News Archives – Holiday Gift Baskets | The Sweet Basket

The Health Benefits of Chocolate

With the New Year come and gone, many of us are making good on a resolution to eat healthier. So what’s a chocolate lover to do? 

Good news. Research says you can have your cake and eat it, too. As long as that cake is chocolate.For centuries, chocolate has been used to treat diseases and maladies such as depression. Civilizations from Mexico to Europe have hailed chocolate as an aphrodisiac.

The U.S. government officially recognized its virtues in World War II, making the chocolate candy bar standard issue for the military. 

Chocolate’s scientific name, theobroma cacao, is literally translated as “food of the gods,” and we chocolate cravers don’t need any studies to tell us the power of chocolate in mood alteration. Its feel good chemicals have long been associated with feelings of love, safety, and comfort. Maybe that’s why Americans eat an average of 12 pounds of chocolate per year. 

Chocolate contains vitamins A, B1, C, D, and E, as well as potassium, sodium, iron, and fluorine. Now, researchers say those creamy chocolate confections may actually help us live longer, too.

Harvard researchers tracked nearly 8,000 males, with an average age of 65. Those men who enjoyed chocolate and candy lived almost a year longer than those who did not. Those who ate one to three candy bars per month had a 36 percent lower risk of death (compared to the people who ate no candy), while those who ate three or more candy bars per week had a 16 percent lower risk. 

Why? The researchers say they don’t know for sure, but that it might have something to do with antioxidants. Chocolate contains the same antioxidant chemicals as wine (phenols). In the chocolate bar, phenols help preserve the fat. In our bodies, phenol can help prevent atherosclerosis.

Like anything, chocolate is best enjoyed in moderation. Just one ounce of solid chocolate packs about 150 calories and can be as much as 50 percent fat. So, for your next chocolate fix, consider reduced fat alternatives, such as chocolate covered foods or chocolate syrup. 

Spa in a Cup!

We are so pleased to have recently acquired our lastest luxury brand- Tea 
Forté – a truly enchanting line of extraordinary gourmet teas.

Tea Forté is an award-winning specialty tea which captures the “Art of Tea”. Known for their signature silken tea infusers made by hand and using whole tea leaves creates a visually stunning way to prepare and serve tea.

Their blended high-quality teas of which, there are 37 varieties include black, green, white, oolong and herbal .Their sophisticated, culinary inspired blends include Mojito Marmalade, Apricot Amaretto, Blueberry Merlot, Kiwi Lime Ginger and Cherry Cosmo.

Featured exclusively in high-end retailers, gift shops, restaurants, spas and hotels worldwide, Tea Forté is a true contemporary tea experience!

See what Oprah has to say:

“If you’re a tea lover, this is about as good as it gets. Whole leaves
picked from the tea gardens of China are hand-packed in silken
pyramid-shaped infusers that give buds lots of room to bloom into a
spectacular cup of tea.” — Oprah

Stay tuned for our Mother’s Day Gift Collection featuring our exclusive line of Tea Forté gift ensembles!

Unique Baby Names!

You envision your child, who has yet to be born, to be the most beautiful, sweetest, most amazing person in the universe. Therefore, you’d like to give him or her a name that is truly unique-one that sets your baby apart from the rest. Since every child is a unique creation, it only makes sense that we might be prompted to give our children names that are special, even one-of-a-kind.

Still, you should exercise some caution when trying to give your baby a unique name. There are certainly some things you should try to consider, before placing that unusual name on the child’s birth certificate.

Stress the Positive
Your child’s name should conjure up pleasant memories. It should also carry a meaning that is truly special to you. Since your baby’s name may cast a long shadow, you will have to be especially careful when deciding on a name. You might mention some of your ideas to friends and relatives to find out their reactions. While you may not want to name your child based upon a consensus vote, it doesn’t hurt to have input from other people.

Think About Rhythm
Rhythm is highly important in music, so it should come as no surprise that it may have an effect on how your child’s name is perceived to be. In general, your baby’s first and last name, spoken together, should have a pleasing rhythm. Also, the number of syllables in your child’s first name should differ from the number of syllables in the surname. If you have a particularly common last name, an unusual first name may indeed be best for baby. When he or she grows up, it will certainly make it easier to find your offspring in the phone book!

Pronunciation Guides
While you may think it interesting to have your baby’s name pronounced in an unusual way, it could make life unbearable for your child on down the road. For instance, if you name your baby girl “Maria” but pronounce it “Mariah,” your child will have to constantly correct people. As an alternative, you might consider an unusual spelling of a common name, such as Karyn or Caren – which make for unique baby girl names.

Investigate Your Family Tree 
If you’re looking for an unusual unique baby name, you might try investigating the various branches of your family tree. You might find that your great-great grandfather or great-great grandmother had a distinctive name-one that is seldom used today. In this way, you are forging a link to the past, while also providing your baby with a distinctive identity.


Going Green is Going Well!

As companies pledge to go green, The Sweet Basket Company is doing its part to help preserve the environment. Reduce, reuse and recycle has become our latest motto! Our aim is to minimize our impact on the environment.

Packaging Materials:

We, at The Sweet Basket Company use only recycled boxes when shipping our gifts. We also use recycled paper for packing our gifts to ensure they arrive in its original condition unlike many of our competitors who use styrofoam chips or air-filled shipping bags.

We also use recycled paper to fill the base of our gift containers instead of styrofoam.

Green Office:

All office supplies used at The Sweet Basket Company are biodegradable. We use only recycled ink cartridges, recycled printing paper and envelopes, folders, post it notes, etc.

We have reduced our paper transactions by going electronic. Our clients receive their invoices, receipts and quotes via email to avoid waste of paper.

Using Energy Star Compliant equipment in the office allows us to reduce energy consumption.

With the services of R.C.I. Waste Management, our waste recycling containers allow us to dispose of all office and warehouse waste both reliably and efficiently.

Cleaning Products:

The Sweet Basket Company uses only Eco-Friendly cleaning products. These non-toxic and bio-degradable products help reduce the amount of pollutants going into our streams and rivers.

Assembling & Shipping Facility:

The large number of windows (over 20) in our 18,000 square foot facility allows us to reduce the amount of electricity we consume to light our work space. Our temperature-controlled warehouse allows us to create a more productive and healthy work environment for our employees.

Gift Designs:

The Sweet Basket Company recognizes the importance of helping the environment and maintaining its creative edge. We are now making a conscious effort to use beautiful accent pieces to enhance your home or office rather than traditional wicker baskets. Adding both functionality and aesthetics our gourmet baskets will allow the gift experience to last forever.

Great Gifts for Family and Friends… even that hard to please neighbor!

The holidays is the perfect time to recognize special friends and family with a thoughtful gift. 

At The Sweet Basket Company, we work hard to develop a selection of quality gifts to fit any budget and taste! Choose from a wide selection of gourmet  gift baskets, gourmet and wine baskets, Godiva chocolate holiday assortments, coffee and tea specialty baskets and more!

Using beautiful holiday planters, gift towers and accent pieces we are confident your recipient will take notice of your special gift.

Our easy to use and secure website will make your holiday shopping quick and easy with one click of a mouse. Our order now, ship later service allows you to save time and money! Simply place your gift order and we will take care of the rest!

View some of our favorites!

Our Holiday Classic is sure to capture the magic of the holiday season ! Features delicious cranberry lemon snowballs, salted chocolate caramel cookies, old fashioned chocolate fudge, rich Cappuccino drink mix and more!

Our Holiday Sweets gift basket is sure to receive rave reviews! A decadent selection of sweet treats includes chocolate enrobed almonds, café latte beans, Godiva chocolate, Ghirardelli hot cocoa and more!

Our Sweet Tidings gift basket is sure to deliver a wealth of tasty treats to that special someone! Features delicious Italian almond cookies, Café latte barista blend, Wolfgang Puck European-style coffee, Ghirardelli caramel chocolate, Moravian chocolate dipped sugar cookies and more!

We’ve truly earned our reputation for quality and customer service. The Sweet Basket Company is proud to be the recipient of the prestigious Canadian Consumer Choice Award for business excellence for the second consecutive year. Thank you to all our customers who voted for us!

Read our Client Testimonials to see what our clients are saying about us!

Writing the Perfect Baby Gift Thank You Note

You’ve gotten a beautiful baby gift, what do you do now? The most appropriate thing to do when you receive a gift in the mail is to notify via phone or email that you have received the gift.

With a new baby at home it might be difficult to immediately send out handwritten thank you notes and most people will understand, but a simple call or email to inform them that you received the gift will be most appreciated. 

Having been in the gift business for over five years, our company receives numerous emails and phone calls each week from customers wanting to verify that a gift we sent on their behalf has been received. Some go so far as to ask us to phone the recipient because they are too embarrassed and don’t want the new mom or dad to feel bad for not thanking them sooner. 

After the thank you phone call or email, a follow up handwritten card in the mail within a month or so will also let the person know that you appreciate the gesture. Take another step by adding a photo of the newborn with the gift incorporated in the photo.

The handwritten note should include first and foremost a line of appreciation for the thoughtfulness of the time and energy taken to select a gift for your baby. It should then be followed by a description of the gift itself and how helpful, cute, useful or original the gift may be. Let the gift giver know that you’d love for them to meet the baby in person and thank them again for their generosity. The closing signature from you personally is appropriate. 

Here is an example of a quick, thoughtful note:

Dear Jane,
Thank you so much helping us welcome Baby Jack into the world. We just love the new bib, burp & blanket gift set . These personalized treasures will come in handy at every phase. Thank you again for thinking of us. We hope you can meet Baby Jack in person soon.
Love, Julie

Technology is a convenient time-saver for a new parent, but nothing compares to reciprocating the kindness of a friend or family member with a handwritten thank note.

How to Give the Gift of a Lifetime

Giving that special someone a special gift can be very difficult. Depending on the situation and occasion, it can be a very tricky thing. You want to do the right thing, but if you’re not careful, it can backfire. As many have found out, you need to give this some considerable thought. 
But everyone wants to give the “right” gift. What makes up a great gift? In my experience, a great gift:

A great gift doesn’t necessarily have to cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to be great. But also understand that getting a gift that is cheap can show how much “you don’t care.” Before you start to shop and buy, also consider the following:Is truly unique, personal and creative;

  • Demonstrates to the recipient the thoughtfulness and caring that went into securing the gift;

  • Evokes emotions from the recipient whenever it is used, seen or thought about; and

  • Makes the recipient truly feel special

1. Who is the recipient? Is it your spouse, significant other, sibling, parents, relative, close friends, neighbor or business associate? 
2. Next, what is the occasion? Holiday, birthday, anniversary, graduation, wedding, engagement, promotion, a “just because” occasion, or “I-need-to-get-out-of- the-doghouse-occasion?” 
3. Be yourself. The gift is from you, so make sure it shows it. But be appropriate, and be sure the gift is something that the recipient will relate to and enjoy. 
4. Try to avoid excessiveness. Simple gifts tend to also be very well received. 
5. Don’t wait until the last minute. It only gives you too little time to get a great gift, and also shows how much you don’t care.

Being creative is a fantastic way to ensure getting the right gift. People love it when it’s obvious their gift required some imagination and creativity. So as you’re going through the “what do I get them” process, remember that a little bit of creativity, uniqueness and personalization will go a long, long way! 

The true measure of a great gift will be seen in the eyes of the recipient when they get it. You’ll know it, you’ll feel it, and you’ll feel great yourself when you’ve given the “Great Gift”! 

Chocolate Glossary!


A chocolate-coconut cordial made in Sierra Leone.

Known as the best type of chocolate for baking,
it is made from chocolate liquid which has been cooled and molded into blocks. Also Known As: Unsweetened Chocolate.

A dark chocolate containing a minimum of 35% chocolate liquor as a general rule. In spite of that ruling, bittersweet usually contains about 50% chocolate liquor. Semi-sweet chocolate falls more into the 35% range. Can be used interchangeably with baking chocolate. Also Known As: Semi-sweet blocs, squares, bits. 

Cocoa butter, the fatty part of chocolate, can solidify into different crystalline forms at different temperatures. This means that untempered chocolate is vulnerable to changes in temperature. Chocolate must be tempered to stabilize it before use, or crystals may form, causing what is called “bloom”. This can appear as a white film on the surface of chocolate, and in some cases the chocolate may become soft or crumbly. While bloom is unwanted, it is not harmful and chocolate with bloom is still safe to eat. 

Cocoa powder which contains at least 22% cocoa butter. 

The cacao tree (Theobroma cacao) is a native of South America. Its fruit is a large pod which can contain many imbedded seeds. The pod is fermented, then the seeds are removed, cured and roasted. The end results are called nibs. Cacao has a high fat, carbohydrate and protein content. Besides chocolate, cacao is used in the preparation of cosmetics and medicines. 

The most common type is creme de cacao, and is found in many chocolate-based drinks. There are also many other specialty chocolate liqueurs available.

This is the basic building block from which all chocolate and cocoa products are developed. It comes from ground nibs. Also Known As: Chocolate Liquor.

A shop or a candymaker that creates and sells chocolate confections. 

Seeds from the pod of the cacao tree (Theobroma cacao), native to Amazon forests. The center of the cocoa bean is called the nib, from which chocolate is made. 

The vegetable fat contained in a cocoa bean. It is a yellowish-white fat. It is removed from chocolate liquid by using high pressure. 


The portion of chocolate liquid that remains after most of the cocoa butter is removed. It is an unsweetened powder. Different types of cocoa powder include breakfast cocoa, medium and low fat cocoas, and Dutch process cocoa. 

Raw unprocessed chocolate is not yet ready to eat, because it is too gritty. To make it smooth, liquid and rich, it is rolled and kneaded until it achieves the desired state. Special machines designed to perform this action contain rollers that are shaped like conches, giving the process its name. 

A blend of sugar, vegetable oil, cocoa powder and other products. Vegetable oil is used in place of cocoa butter to reduce costs, and to cause it to melt easily and then harden quickly. It is really more of a chocolate-flavored candy, not a true chocolate. It can be used to coat fruit bits, and for other decorating purposes. Also Known As: Compound or Decorator’s Chocolate. 

For a chocolate to be couverture it must contain at least 32% cocoa butter. Some couverture chocolates contain up to 39% cocoa butter. The addition of this extra cocoa butter give it the right texture and consistency to be used for hand-dipping chocolates. It can also be used to enrobe a candy, which means that the chocolate is poured over the candy to coat it. Also Known As: Coating Chocolate, Enrobing Chocolate 

Cocoa powder which has been treated with alkali to neutralize acidity. The process creates a darker, milder chocolate. 

Ganache is used to glaze cakes, or can be beaten until fluffy to use as fillings for truffles and other candies. It is made by mixing chopped semi-sweet chocolate with boiling cream, then stirring until smooth.

Cocoa powder containing less than 10% cocoa butter. 

Cocoa powder containing between 10% and 22% cocoa butter. 

Milk chocolate is made by combining chocolate liquid, extra cocoa butter, milk or cream, sweetening, and flavorings. This chocolate is generally considered the best for eating, because of its sweetness. 

A wooden stick with rings attached to the bottom. It is used to whip chocolate drinks to make them foam on top. 

After cocoa beans are fermented and roasted, the nibs, which are the center of the bean, are ground and become chocolate liquid. The high fat content is what allows them to become a liquid. 

Semi-sweet chocolate is created by blending chocolate liquid with varying amounts of sweetening and extra cocoa butter. Flavorings may be included. Semi-sweet chocolate is available in bar form, but is usually sold in pieces or chips. Semi-sweet contains between 15% and 35% chocolate liquor, cocoa butter, sugar, lecithin, and vanilla. It may be used in recipes that call for bittersweet or sweet chocolate, but is not interchangeable with milk chocolate. Also Known As: Semi-sweet blocs, squares, bits, chocolate chips, morsels. 

Made by mixing chocolate liquor with sweeteners and extra cocoa butter. Flavorings may be included. Sweet chocolate is usually molded into bars. It contains a minimum of 15% chocolate liquor. 

A method of preparing chocolate so that it will not develop fat bloom. Chocolate that will be used for dipping or coating must be tempered, which also gives it a glossy quality, free of streaks. The classic tempering method is to melt chocolate until it is lump free. Then 1/3 of the chocolate is poured onto a marble slab, spread and worked back and forth with a metal spatula until it becomes thick and reaches a temperature of about 80 degrees. This chocolate is then added back to the remaining 2/3 of the melted chocolate and stirred. The process is repeated until the entire mixture reaches 88-92 degrees for semi-sweet chocolate, 84-87 degrees for milk or white chocolate. Care must be taken not to over temper chocolate, which brings it back to its original state – grainy and susceptible to fat bloom.

Chocolate liquid which has been cooled and molded into blocks. This is the best type for baking or cooking. Also Known As: Bitter Chocolate. 

Not a true chocolate, since it does not contain cocoa solids. It is a mixture of sugar, cocoa butter, milk solids, lecithin, and vanilla. If cocoa butter is not mentioned, the product is a confectionary or summer coating, not white chocolate. You need to be careful when melting white chocolate because it is more fragile than true chocolates.