Friday, October 30, 2015

Cookie basket playing

For those of you who don't know, I have a small cookie business.  I currently supply 3 different shops with small amounts of cookies each week on commission - if they don't sell I bring them home and don't get paid.  The business has been building over the last year or so and I now have many regulars who will ask for certain kinds etc. and will buy a pack or two every week.  Bringing home unsold packets is becoming a rarity. 

Lately I have been asked if I can do gift baskets for people.  I am a bit torn by this prospect as my main philosophy with my cookies is that I want people to be able to buy them regularly and eat them like a daily snack, rather than an occasional indulgence.  This to me means reducing the price and also the pretty packaging.  I really hate all the rubbish that is associated with Japanese packaging.   But... I live in Japan where packaging is everything. 

Because I have been approached so many times I know there is a market for more beautifully wrapped cookies, so I have decided that I will take my business in two different directions - I really want to continue with the basic packs I have, but then add in a gift basket range too - on a make to order basis so I don't waste time and money on expensive packaging only to have to bring it home again. 

I love the idea of making things interesting, but every time I try to make proper baskets they end up looking very amateur.  So last week I took some cookies to a friend who is a florist to see if she could give me some basic ideas for making a basket look good.  Today she called me and told me she had so much fun thinking of ideas - playing around with arrangements etc. so I went to pick up the finished products.  I found it really interesting to learn a few of the small tricks of the trade - how to roll up a bit of extra paper to make things stand up, the tiny bit of shredded paper to tie it all, how to use cellophane effectively etc.

Now that I have the basics I will try with different sized bags of cookies etc. and properly drop the soft toys... I just can't justify an extra 100 yen for a soft toy that is likely to be thrown out anyway!  I hope to have a basic range ready just in time for Christmas - anyone who needs something a little different and very special to give to workmates etc... just let me know!


  1. Love your baskets, but I agree with dropping the stuffed toys. Maybe if you know the person a "something" that fits them. Here in the States the basket might contain something in line with the persons hobby or interest. Such as a cute notepad and pen, artist brush. Or even hot chocolate mixes, or teas. Just ideas. Glad you are back on blogging and feeling better.

    1. Thank you for your comment. I went to sleep dreaming of New Zealand tea or honey etc. being added to the baskets. Maybe one day!

  2. Anonymous10:51 PM

    Joanne, It's a wonderful idea. I love your baskets. But being in Japan, I think you would get better sales if you had something cute in the basket.. maybe you could make something simple out of felt, or something christmassy out of a pine cone or something.. just a thought, because as you say, you have regular customers, so may not need anything. Nancy in Tokyo