Gift of San Diego is a local business that rolled out in April of this year. Even with the looming pandemic, Marla Farrage and Melody Gillson knew they had something special. Gift of San Diego is a specialty gift basket service that guarantees all of their products are made or distributed in San Diego.
The idea came about when Melody heard from a homeowner at the Coronado Shores that guests were looking for something special, unique, and local, to celebrate birthdays or anniversaries. Melody has a special events background and brought in Marla, her friend of twenty years who has a business and finance background. Together they have both the experience and the creative drive for their venture. Currently, the small business allows Marla and Melody an outlet to explore their creativity and feel good about putting each basket together themselves. Marla shares their vision for 2021, “like most businesses, we hope it gets around by word of mouth. We plan to have steady orders and for it to expand across San Diego county.”
After beginning with specialty baskets, the pair then introduced welcome baskets. Many homeowners in Coronado rent out their homes or condos, like at the Coronado Shores, through online sites such as AirBnB or VRBO (per Coronado municipal code, rentals must be for no less than 26 consecutive days). Marla and Melody saw this as an opportunity to partner with Coronado businesses and provide their products for local home rental property management companies. Marla elaborates, “We love to partner with Coronado businesses and put a Coronado beer (for example) in the basket along with a brochure or offer for that company. It’s a win-win-win, we supply the baskets, and the businesses get customers. With guests staying for thirty days, they are likely to frequent Coronado businesses many times.” This also can elevate a guest’s experience in the rental, making them more likely to return or recommend their stay to others.
Another avenue Gift of San Diego promotes is Thank You baskets. “We have had a doctor’s office use us to send Thank You referral baskets to other doctors.” The possibilities are endless. Marla shares, “We are very very open to customizations, e-mail us!”
For template baskets, the best way to order is direct through the website. For Coronado deliveries, a three day lead time is best, four days to service greater San Diego. In addition to customers wanting to purchase baskets (for others or themselves!), Marla and Melody encourage local businesses to reach out to potentially have their products featured in a basket. “We want to help local businesses during the hard times, they need our support”.