The idea of giving a gift basket to a family member, friend, coworker, or colleague during the holidays or for any special event has always been a part of my life. My grandfather, Raymond Contri, opened a gift basket and specialty foods shop called Contri Brothers Gift Basket in Birmingham, Alabama, 41 years ago as an expansion of the family grocery business begun in 1925. Since then, the Gift Basket has remained in the family managed at some point in time by my father, uncle, mother, aunt, and cousins.
I've been fortunate to have attended many food shows and developed relationships with various companies, PR agents, and purveyors of specialty foods and food related items. Based on some of the favorites I've found, as well as some of the staffs' favorite products and recipes, I was able to create 10 different themed baskets featuring everything from Italian and wine to spices and cookie decorating. What I love most about giving a gift basket is the opportunity to be thoughtful and to find the perfect items to fit your recipient's needs.
If you have any favorite basket themes or other personalized gift ideas--please share!