Monthly Archives: December 2013

Marshfield Rotary “Winter Wonderland!”

Figi's Christmas Card

Gracing our Christmas 2013 home page and email is an image from the “Marshfield Rotary Winter Wonderland” in all of its evening splendor! Here’s the back story on this famous Wisconsin attraction.

2013 marks the eighth year for Marshfield Rotary Winter Wonderland – a holiday lights display in Wildwood Park and Zoo located in our home town of Marshfield, Wisconsin. This event serves two important purposes: collecting non-perishable food items for local pantries and providing a fun holiday experience for all who visit. In fact, Rotary Winter Wonderland’s huge light displays and activities attract thousands of visitors; many return time and again with friends and family.

Winter Wonderland 8There is no admission fee for Rotary Winter Wonderland; however, visitors are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items. In the past seven years, over 296,000 items have been collected and distributed to 22 food pantries in Marshfield and surrounding Wisconsin communities.

None of this would be possible without the help of the estimated 800 volunteers (including some Figi’s employees) who help the Rotary club set up and staff this event. Partner organizations providing financial and other support include youth groups, civic groups, and local businesses, including Figi’s Companies Inc. Volunteers begin setting up lights and displays in late October and complete their work just before the grand opening – the day after Thanksgiving. All lights and displays come down after New Year’s Eve.

Winter Wonderland 4As in years past, Rotary Winter Wonderland will continue to offer multiple breathtaking animated displays using over 1,000,000 LED lights set to holiday music. Even though over a million LED lights are used, electrical use is minimal because LED lights use a small fraction of the energy of conventional lights bulbs. The entire park’s energy consumption equates to only $10 per evening!

Winter Wonderland MapRotary Winter Wonderland is open from November 29th through New Year’s Eve, 5PM – 9PM nightly. Visitors may walk through, or drive through, the displays (see the map above).  In addition to awesome light displays, visitors are treated to many fun activities such as photos with Santa, Christmas tree lighting, scavenger hunts, karaoke, live music, snow sculpting and assorted children’s activities. Horse drawn carriage rides are also available on Saturdays from 6:00PM – 8:30PM.

Winter Wonderland 6Does your community have a similar event or holiday display? Let us know about it in our comments field. Thanks again for reading Gourmetmarket.com! Photo credits Marshfield Rotary.

Merry Christmas and best wishes for a safe and prosperous 2014 from your. friends at Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste!

Winter Wonderland 1

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Figi’s Top 10: Football Finger Foods (Part 2)

Halftime has ended and it’s time to kick off the second half of Figi’s Top 10: Football Finger Foods! There’s only a couple of weeks left in the regular season and then…the playoffs begin! Let’s take a look at more great finger foods for your football parties:

Deluxe Nut Mix and Jumbo Cashews6. Deluxe Nut Mix and JUMBO Cashews: sack your snack cravings with this Signature Gift! This gift has five all-time nut favorites! Deluxe Nut Mix is made up of more than 40% Jumbo Cashews; this mix also includes Natural and Blanched Almonds, Blanched Filberts , Large Pecans and Midget Brazils.  Specially selected for size, flavor, and freshness, our Jumbo Cashews are loved for their rich, sweet flavor and smooth texture.  Our Cashews are BIGGER and better than cashews found in stores. They are perfectly salted and sealed in tins right after roasting to maximize freshness. As finger food ideas go, this gift will definitely be a football party ‘game changer’!

Big and Super Big Beef Summer Sausages7. Big and Super Big Beef Summer Sausages: Party-goers will cheer when they taste our Secret Recipe Smokehouse Sausage in a Big 2 Pound Cut, or our Super Big 3 Pounder! Our Signature Summer Sausage harkens back to the taste and quality of an old-fashioned deli. These delicious sausages are slowly hardwood smoked and are made with choice beef and a perfect blend of seasonings. Choose from Original, zesty Garlic, Bavarian Style Beef, or Hot ’n Spicy.  These tasty sausages go perfect with Figi’s cheese, cheese spreads and your favorite crackers, fruits and breads!

What are your favorite football party foods? Share your favorite tailgating recipe with us on Facebook!

California Pistachios8. California Pistachios: another customer favorite for those who like nuts and snacks. Figi’s huge Natural California Pistachios are rich and nutty, carefully roasted and lightly salted for that slightly sweet pistachio taste everyone loves. Their available in your choice of a handsome cotton bag with a holiday greeting, a brilliant red pail or tin, or shelled pistachios in a plaid tin.

Grandstand Gift Variety9. Grandstand Gift Variety: football parties were made for cheese and sausage…and a whole lot more; and there’s where this Figi’s Signature Gift comes in to play. This gift basket is immensely impressive, any way you measure it! Treat your whole football party with this massive gift basket that includes Figi’s Cheeses and Spreads, Smokehouse Sausages, Roasted Mixed Nuts, Chocolate Covered Peanuts, Creamy Chocolates,  Tortes and Petits Fours, Preserves and much, much more! This gift has everything to throw a championship winning party!

Caramel Pecan Clusters10. Caramel Pecan Clusters: here’s another game winning Figi’s Signature Gift to tackle your ‘sweet tooth’. Our Caramel Pecan Clusters are irresistible, with big chunks of crisp pecans wrapped in smooth, buttery-rich copper kettle caramel, and dipped in velvety smooth milk chocolate or deep dark chocolate.  Our Caramel Pecan Clusters are created with incredible attention to quality and taste; they are out of this world!

Overtime! Let’s throw in one more finger food must-have that’s party-perfect!

Bountiful Wisconsin Buffet11. Bountiful Wisconsin Buffet: a big football party needs to satisfy a lot of big appetites. Treat everyone to a taste tour of Wisconsin’s best! What’s truly great about this gift is that it contains cheese and sausage gifts as well as cheese spreads! You’ll be proud to serve up our Snack-sized Summer, Mettwurst, and other sausages, fresh from the dairy snack-sized Colby, Sharp Cheddar, Edam, and other cheeses and our house recipe Creamy Country® Cheese Spreads round out this impressive food gift basket. Available to ship Oct. 14th

If you missed our kickoff, be sure to check out part 1 of our favorite football finger foods too. We hope you enjoy the football season and you’re favorite team does well! Speaking of favorite teams: what is your favorite team? Vote now!

[polldaddy poll=7409546]

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Men, Ogres and Onions…Finding the Perfect Gifts for Men

Men, Ogres and Onions: what in the world does that have to do with finding the perfect gift for the man in your life? Well, a lot actually. Let’s set the stage for this blog with a short dialog (credit IMDb.com) from the blockbuster movie ‘Shrek’ starring Mike Myers (Shrek, the ogre) and Eddie Murphy (Donkey)…

Shrek: For your information, there’s a lot more to ogres than people think.

Donkey: Example?

Shrek: Example… uh… ogres are like onions! (holds up an onion, which Donkey sniffs)

Donkey: They stink?

Shrek: Yes… No!

Donkey: Oh, they make you cry?

Shrek: No!

Donkey: Oh, you leave ’em out in the sun, they get all brown, start sproutin’ little white hairs…

Shrek: (peels an onion) NO! Layers. Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers. (walks off)

Donkey: Oh, you both have LAYERS. Oh. You know, not everybody like onions. What about cake? Everybody loves cake!

Shrek: I don’t care what everyone else likes! Ogres are not like cakes!

We know that finding the perfect gift for the special man in your life can be a challenge. Men, much like Shrek…and onions, have layers and there isn’t a ‘one-size-fits-all’ gift that will be just right for all men. So, how do you sort through all the available gifts for men to pick the one item you think he’ll love? Easy – start peeling back the layers of that onion by asking him some of these simple questions:

1)      What was that tool you said you could really use for that project you were working on?

All men like tools, but not all tools are for all men. For some men, a laptop or mobile device is the perfect tool for researching sports scores, hiking trails or restaurants. For other men, a hammer, an electric saw or a drill helps get the job done. And for other men a blender, an iron skillet or a stainless steel knife set might be the perfect culinary accessory. Gifts for men are unique to a man’s individual tastes, skills and hobbies. If you don’t ask, or at least drop subtle hints for clues, you’ll never know exactly what he wants.

If you’re looking for a simple gift that any man would appreciate, consider a multi-purpose pocketknife. With a wide variety of tools all together in one handy unit, it defines the essence of “Gifts for Men”.  And if you order yours from Figi’s, you can also get it personalized! 

Figi's Personalized Pocket Knife

2)      Where did you buy that (insert item name here) that you like so much?

Men are creatures of habit. When they find something they really like, whether a mechanic, a burger or a line of clothing, you can bet they will return to the same place repeatedly to find the same quality and service again. Even if you don’t know what specific item to buy for your man, visiting his favorite store is a good place to start. Chances are, the combination of your ingenuity and his personal preferences will result in the just the right gift.

And speaking of combinations, Figi’s has the perfect mix of sweet and salty gifts for men, including this decadent tin of Chocolate Bliss

Figi's Chocolate Bliss Gift

3)      What do you want for Christmas?

If you’ve tried the two previous questions and still don’t know what to buy for the man in your life, try the direct approach. Why beat around the proverbial bush when you can just go right to the point? Your man will appreciate your directness and you’ll get easy answers, so it’s a win-win outcome for both of you.

This question appeals to your man’s aggressive side, much like Figi’s Macho Man Gift Basket.

Figi's Macho Man Gift Basket

Remember, not all men are created equal and not all gifts for men will work for every guy. Like ogres and onions, sometimes you need to peel back the layers with appropriate questions to find the perfect gifts for men!

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Figi’s Tips for Healthier Holiday Eating

Packed with social gatherings, celebrations and family events, this is the time of year to eat, drink and be merry!  Unfortunately, for many of us it also becomes a time for over-indulging and weight gain.  With the hustle and bustle of shopping, parties and heightened time constraints, healthy eating and exercise have a tendency to get pushed aside.  The average American gains between 7-10 pounds during the holiday season.  To enjoy this season without packing on those extra pounds, we offer some simple tips:

  1. Eat Regularly. Don’t starve yourself all day in anticipation of an event/party as the likelihood of eating everything in sight once you get there increases.  Even better, before going to your event, eat something small such as a piece of fruit or raw vegetables so you are not tempted to overdo it.
  2. Skip the Appetizers. Appetizers are oftentimes loaded with calories and tend to be over-eaten. Try skipping the appetizers altogether or seek out a healthy alternative such as fruit, vegetables or a small portion of Nuts that can satisfy your appetite until the meal is served.
  3. Bring a Healthy Dish. When going to a party, preparing a dish lower in fat and calories will help you and everyone that attends have a healthier option. Some healthy suggestions include shrimp cocktail, vegetables with a low fat dip or an assortment of Dried Fruit.
  4. Don’t Eat Just to be Polite. Don’t feel like you have to indulge each time food and drink is offered to you. If you are not hungry or are not in the mood for a drink, simply say, “no thank you.” Remember, it is not your responsibility as a guest to sample all items on the food table.
  5. Alternate Alcoholic Beverages. Alcoholic drinks can add a lot more calories to an already rich, high-calorie menu. Holiday favorites like eggnog are especially worth dodging as one cup typically contains over 300 calories. Additionally, try alternating each drink with a water or seltzer.     
  6. Limit your Assortment. Brian Wansink, PhD and author of Mindless Eating, suggests “Putting only two items on your plate when you go to the food table. Return as many times as you like, but only take two items each time. Variety stimulates appetite and if you limit your choices to just a few items and stick with them, it will be easier to control than eating a little bit of 20 different dishes.”
  7. Be Picky. In conjunction with tip #6, only take the foods that you truly enjoy and/or foods that you don’t have the opportunity to eat the rest of the year. Don’t pass up Grandma’s Fruitcake or that Divine Baklava if you love it and won’t see it again until next year! 
  8. Don’t Clear your Plate. Don’t feel obliged to eat every morsel on your plate. Instead, when you feel full you should simply stop eating. Perhaps the more proactive strategy is to limit the portions put on your plate from the onset.
  9. Chew Gum. When you don’t want to eat, pop a piece of gum into your mouth. Works well when you are cooking too!
  10. Keep Exercising. As always, exercising prevents weight gain and can help relieve the added stress the holidays can bring. If you don’t have the time to get to the gym, try to fit in at least a 15 minute walk each day.

Remember, the real meaning of the holidays is about spending quality time with family and friends. So enjoy that time with the ones you love, but attempt to incorporate healthy food choices, make time for exercise and limit (not restrict) those favorite holiday foods. Your mind and body will be grateful!

Do you have any holiday eating tips to share? We’d love to hear from you. Use the comments field below or join the conversation of Facebook and Google+.  Thanks for Reading Gourmetmarket.com!

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Figi’s Top 5 Corporate Gift Giving Tips

Buying gifts for your clients, coworkers, or employees during the holidays can seem like a daunting task. With so many options out there, how do you find the perfect gift that sends the right message? You want to show your appreciation both for the person and the professional connection you have come to trust and rely on, but want to avoid overreaching or being perceived as too forward.

With over 60 years in the gift-giving business, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to show your appreciation with professionalism and class during the holidays. Follow these tips on how to choose the best corporate gift baskets and keep everyone happy on your list this year.

1. Ethical Gift Giving

Figi's Corporate Gift BasketsThe absolute first thing to consider when shopping for corporate gifts is how the gift will be received. Lavish gifts like cars, vacations & jewelry are obviously inappropriate in most cases, but even some more reserved gifts can raise a few eyebrows around the office if their intentions are unclear. For this reason we always recommend sending gourmet food gifts to your clients and business partners – with food you are still free to send a warm thank you or unique sign of appreciation that can be tailored to the recipient’s tastes & personality, but won’t raise any concerns over the ethical motivations of the gift.

2. Corporate Restrictions

A majority of Human Resources departments place restrictions on both the type & value of gifts their employees are allowed to accept. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to reach out before sending professional gifts to avoid the risk of the ever-awkward gift return. Every company has different rules, but a safe bet is to keep the value of your gifts for any one employee less than $25 dollars. For larger teams, the expectations for appropriateness vary, as does the price accepted.

3. Personalize your Gift

Figi's Personalized Corporate GiftsNow that you have the “fine print” top of mind, it’s time to think about who you’re sending the gift to. Whenever your gift not only holds a lot of character on its own but also reflects the personality of your recipient, it sends the impression that you care about the person and you have taken time to understand their style.
When choosing a gift, ask yourself what you know about the person you’re sending it to. Does he/she has a sweet tooth you could satisfy with gourmet, chocolate covered gifts, or an open personality that would welcome a tin of holiday treats to share? Base your decision first and foremost on their personality & you can’t go wrong!
If you want to add a special touch to your gift, add a personalized message through a card, ribbon or tag. Doing so shows that this gift was specifically chosen for them. Check out our collection of personalized gift baskets for ideas on making your gift basket a bit more meaningful.

4. Food Allergies & Aversions

Figi's Jumbo CashewsKeep in mind that not all food gifts are appropriate for everyone, particularly in an office setting. Even if you know your gift recipient doesn’t have an allergy to common ingredients like nuts & dairy products, it’s possible that someone they work closely with on a day to day basis can’t be near the stuff. Make sure you reach out and ask about any allergies or workplace considerations before you send your food gifts. On a similar note, we recommend you avoid sending particularly strong-smelling food gifts into an office space. No one gets thrilled to sign for a “Lindenberger Lover’s” cheese & tuna gift basket at work!

5. Size of Gift

Figi's Corporate Gift VarietyIf you are planning to send a gift intended for a team to share, remember to think proportionately. A single bag of California pistachios is likely not going to cover a team of 8, while a Bountiful Wisconsin Buffet is probably a bit too bountiful for a team of two! Check the size of the gift’s dimensions as well as the net weight for a better idea of how large your gift will be, then plan for the number of people you expect to share.

Need help choosing the perfect gift for your business partner or associate? Call your Figi’s Business Giving Consultant at 800-555-2590 or connect with us on Facebook or Google+ and share your corporate gifting questions – we’ll do our best to point you in the right direction!

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Who You Gunna Call? Doorbusters!

2013_doorbusters

Many companies offer doorbusters over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend; we took it to the next level!  Figi’s has Daily Doorbuster Deals through December 17th, 2013!  We’ve marked down some of our best Christmas Gifts, Gift Baskets, Bakery, Cheese and Meat Assortments and more – for one day only. In fact, we’ve had Daily Doorbuster gifts on sale at 50% off or more and many of these gifts sell out quickly.  It’s best to shop early for best selection and to check back each day to see the new collection. Our homepage will have a Daily Doorbuster link every day through 12/17/13 where you can view and shop the latest selection.

Figi's Home Page

Further, some of our latest catalogs published some of the Daily Doorbusters, so you can see what’s ‘coming up’. Some examples include:

Five Santa SnacksFive Santa Snacks -retails for $29.99, but on December 10th, it will be available at figis.com for $20!

Personalized Christmas BearsPersonalized Christmas Bears – retails for $24.99 each, but on December 11th, this gift will be available at figis.com for $16!

Merry Christmas Peanut BrittleMerry Christmas Peanut Brittle – retails for $22.99, but on December 12th, it will be available at figis.com for $15!

Figi’s Daily Doorbusters are a great way to stretch you gift-giving dollars and stock up on your favorite food gifts. So don’t forget to shop early and often for the best deals and selection. Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday from Figi’s and Gourmet Market!

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25% Off* – No Minimum!

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We’d like to make you aware of a terrific deal we’re offering through 12/06/13, midnight CST. If you haven’t finished…or if you’re like me… haven’t started, your Christmas Gifts shopping yet, we have 25% off* all Figi’s products! Even or Sale and Doorbuster items are eligible and there’s no minimum order amount! Some exclusions apply – see the disclaimer for details.

Also, we’re running new daily Doorbuster deals through 12/17 /13, so check back each day to see what gifts are on special markdown. We’ve had some gifts at up to 50% off!

This is a great time to order Christmas Petits Fours, Fruitcakes, Gift Baskets for Men, Gift Baskets for Women, Christmas Cookies, Fudge, Corporate Gifts and whatever else your friends, family and coworkers enjoy – they’ll be glad you did! Heck, why not treat yourself; you deserve it 🙂

But hurry – this offer ends soon and many gifts are selling out. Shop early and often for best selection.  Click here to view our online catalog; you can even shop from it!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste!

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Help Us Design a Christmas Ornament!

2013 Limited Edition Red Wagon OrnamentEvery year, our resident artist designs a new Little Red Wagon Christmas Ornament for our customers and last year, we received dozens letters (some with sketches) regarding ornament design ideas. This fun tradition is based on the story of Figi’s beginnings. In his first year selling mail order cheese, our founder John Figi, is said to have transported packages to the post office in a borrowed ‘little red wagon’ (read more about the legend here). Since 1944, the ‘Little Red Wagon’ has become a symbol of our commitment to customer satisfaction.

Many of our customers collect Little Red Wagon Ornaments from Figi’s: they make a very merry display, whether on a tree or on a mantel! We’ve featured many different wagon ornament themes over the years. This year’s Christmas ornament design (as see above) was suggested by our cat-loving customers. Isn’t it meow-velous?  Here’s a look back at some of our recent Little Red Wagon Ornaments:

2012 Ornament 2011 Ornament 2010 Ornament

Do you have an idea for an ornament you’d like to share with us? We’re looking for your ideas for next year’s design! So put on your thinking cap and click here to suggest a design for our 2014 Little Red Wagon Ornament!

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