Let Them Know They Are Loved – Figi’s Fall Gift Basket Ideas

Personalized Grand Impressions Gift Basket from Figi's

Gift Baskets From Figi’s

Figi’s is well-known for its gift baskets; we have a wide-variety of baskets for every season and occasion.  I thought we give you a quick overview of some of our fall-themed gift baskets available now.  They’re a great way to show your loved-ones how much you care during this season of ‘thanks.’  Gift baskets from Figi’s also make great gifts for other people you’re ‘thankful’ for: co-workers, business associates, teachers and neighbors, for example.  You could even bring a a Figi’s gift basket to your family’s Thanksgiving dinner!

Cheese and Meat Gift Baskets:  we have dozens of meat and cheese gift baskets to choose from! Many Figi’s gift baskets combine snack-sized cheeses and meats with snacks, candy, chocolate, nut mix, crackers and more! And many of our gift baskets can be personalized with your special greeting.  Figi’s has the perfect combination of Wisconsin cheese and savory sausages for everyone on your gift list this fall!

Personalized Heartland Buffet Gift Basket from Figi'sPersonalized Heartland Buffet: a wide-variety of Wisconsin’s finest cheeses, sausages and snacks - delivered in a beautiful wire gift basket.  Mixed nuts and our signature beef sticks make for a well-rounded gift basket that almost anyone would enjoy.  Figi’s adds your personalized message, imprinted on the elegant red ribbon, for that ‘extra touch’ of love.

Personalized Grand Impressions Gift Basket from Figi'sPersonalized Grand Impressions Gift Basket: talk about making a ‘grand impression!’ This meat and cheese gift basket is loaded with over 4 pounds of delicious treats: sausages, beef sticks, Wisconsin cheeses, pepper crackers and Figi’s Signature Kave Kure® Cheddar Cheese Spread. But that’s not all; we’ve included gourmet popcorn, mixed nuts, cookies, caramel peanut clusters and chocolate hazelnut Lindor truffles! This gift basket would make a great gift for a family, a company outing or a corporate gift for a business partner – and you can personalize the ribbon with your own special message.

Thanksgiving Gift Baskets: We have a few fall-themed Thanksgiving gifts that would be perfect for a Thanksgiving celebration with loved-ones. Let’s take a closer look at a couple popular choices.

Autumn Abundance Gift Basket from Figi'sAutumn Abundance Gift Box: a new and very successful gift for us last year, this Thanksgiving gift box is loaded with Figi’s favorites, adorned in a nice autumn package. Snack sized sausages and cheeses, cake tortes and foiled leaf-shaped chocolates deliver a true fall feast!

Fall-icious Snacks Gift Basket from Figi'sFall-icious Snacks Gift Box: our fall sampler delivers the snack size treats your friends or family will love! We’ve packed in 18 sweet and savory choices: summer
sausages, assorted Wisconsin cheeses, creamy cheddar cheese spread, cake tortes, honey roasted peanuts and much more!

Gift Baskets for Women: how about a nice gift basket for the special lady in your life? Pamper your mom, sister or spouse with a ‘thank you!’ gift from Figi’s! As temperatures continue to drop, a nice coffee gift basket would really come in handy to warm the heart and soul!

Personalized Coffee Break Gift Basket from Figi'sPersonalized Coffee Break Gift Basket: wow – does that look good! It’s the ultimate coffee break! Our gourmet coffees include Breakfast Blend, Special House Blend, and Mocha Java. These coffees are nicely paired with chocolate chip shortbread, shortbread fingers, chocolate covered coffee beans, foil wrapped chocolate stars and creamy Black Forest petits fours.  We also include a personalized red ribbon to wrap up an ideal coffee gift for your special lady!

Personalized Celebrate Each Moment Mug from Figi'sPersonalized Celebrate Each Moment Mug:  technically not a gift basket, but this gift for her is a Figi’s exclusive reminding someone special to live life to the fullest as she starts each day.  She’ll love having her name on this mug which brims with Lindt chocolate truffles, a Belgian chocolate cookie, and Chocolate Supreme Cocoa. Specify up to 10 characters to add a name, and up to 10 characters to add “from” names to the back of the mug.

Gift Baskets for Men:  Thanksgiving time sometimes corresponds with hunting season in certain parts of the country.  Send your guy off to the woods with some ‘survival snacks’ from Figi’s  And there’s always football on TV several times a week at this time of year.  And where there’s football, there’s a need for football party snacks.  Figi’s can help you find the perfect snacks for your guy! Here are some unique gift baskets for men:

Macho Man Gift Basket from Figi'sMacho Man Gift Basket: a nice assortment of beer nuts, pretzel bites, dipping mustard and snack-sized cuts of Figi’s famous sausage! There are enough tasty snacks to last the whole game! The beer mug will come in handy as he relaxes with his favorite beverage.  It’s all wrapped up in a classy black basket and “#1 Guy” ribbon.

Woodsy Snack Basket from Figi'sWoodsy Snack Basket: savory Figi’s sausages, plus beef sticks and assorted snack-sized cheeses! Stone wheat crackers, dipping mustard, mixed nuts with and white cheddar popcorn are all included in a rustic faux birch bark basket!

Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more Thanksgiving gift and dinner ideas!

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My Birthday with the President

Figi's catalog

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste Catalog 1996

What’s a 1996 edition of the Figi’s catalog have to do with “My Birthday with the President” you ask?  Well, we will get to that, I promise.  It should also be pointed out this story isn’t about my personal birthday, nor does this involve the current President.  Curious, isn’t it?

I have had a lot of fun researching company history as part of our 70th Anniversary celebration this year. I love most any kind of  history and trivia and so I was eager to review as much Figi’s ‘nostalgia’ as I could.  Reviewing old photos, news clippings, marketing materials and ‘employee newsletters’ gave me a new insight and connection to our company.  I was really interested in learning more about the people who helped shape Figi’s over these 70 years, especially our founder, John Figi. I never met Mr. Figi, but he’s a legend around here.  Our company still bears his name 70 years after he founded it; Mr. Figi retired 32 years ago and it has been 13 years since his passing.

Even though Mr. Figi had retired as President of Figi’s in 1982, he still kept ties with the company he started back in 1944.  One example of his ongoing connection was an article he authored for the January/February 1997 edition of our “Figi’s Facts” employee newsletter.  It’s a fun short story about a golf game Mr. Figi had with former president Gerald Ford; a birthday present for Mr. Figi arranged by his son, Todd.  So where does the catalog fit in…? You’ll see.  Here are some excerpts from Mr. Figi’s short story; I hope you enjoy it:)

A Birthday to remember: golfing with President Ford

By John Figi

The Fords live just a few miles away (from my home in California) so it was convenient for (President Ford) and his Secret Service personnel (to meet me).  At 11:30 AM, two Secret Service people arrived to check out the club house and immediate area. At noon, President Ford arrived accompanied by two more Secret Service men. I was told he has protective service 24 hours a day, drawing from a pool of twelve people.

President Ford and I are about the same age (he is 83) and it was my birthday. We rode in the same golf cart. Two of the Secret Service Agents rode in a gold cart always 50 yards behind us.  We made a $2.00 bet on our game.  After nine holes, we stopped for lunch at the club house and split a sandwich; neither of us was very hungry.  I took sandwiches to the Secret Service agents who stayed outside the club house.  I said, “You guys will be taking off those Khaki vests very soon.” It was over 80 degrees outside.  An agent said, “No way, you would not believe the hardware we have in these jackets!”

After we finished our round, I paid the $2.00 wager I lost and invited President Ford to our home  and he graciously accepted.  We visited for about a half hour while the Secret Service stood guard outside. (My wife) Irene asked if we could have a photo with him…I handed him a Figi’s catalog…I hope you noticed it in the photo.

John and Irene Figi with President Ford 1997

President Ford is a fine, down-to-earth person and a good golf competitor.  Even though I lost $2.00, I enjoyed my birthday treat!

We’ll be back soon with some Thanksgiving and Christmas gift giving tips for you.  We’ll also have a post regarding an upcoming promotion to support our troops overseas.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more helpful tips on holiday gift giving!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 4 – Trivia

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste Founder’s Week – 70th Anniversary!  In this, our fourth installment, we have some fun Figi’s trivia and photos for you, so let’s jump right in, shall we?

Question 1: 70 years ago, Ann & John Figi started their “Cheese of the Month Club” (eventually becoming Figi’s, Inc.) in a small Marshfield, WI apartment. They mailed 1,500 postcards (see image below) to doctors, lawyers, dentists and others they believed would be interested in mail order cheese gifts.  How many orders did John and Ann’s initial mailing of 1,500 postcards produce? a) 43 b) 558 c) 226 d) 110

Figi's Cheese of the Month Club

Cheese of the Month Club Ads

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you know: Ration stamps issued by the US Government had to accompany Figi’s orders/payments during WWII?

WWII Ration Stamp

WWII Ration Stamp

 

 

 

 

 

Question 2: The world’s largest cheddar cheese made a stop at Figi’s during our 20th Anniversary celebration in 1964, before going on to be displayed at the World’s Fair in New York.  About how many pounds did these mammoth Wisconsin cheese weigh? a) 1,000 pounds b) 10,000 pounds, c) 25,000 pounds d) 35,ooo pounds. Find out here:

World's Largest Wisconsin Cheddar Cheese

 

 

 

 

 

Question 3: John Figi opened a retail store in 1947, where was this store located? a) Marshfield, WI b) Madison, WI c) Green Bay, WI d) Milwaukee, WI

Did you know: Figi’s Cheese was taken on Mount Everest expedition? Read about it here.

Figi's Cheese Gifts on Mount Everest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Question 4: In which year did Figi’s start offering our Signature Kave Kure® Cheese Spread? a) 1944 b) 1959 c) 1982 d) 2010

Question 5: Which is Figi’s most popular gift – year, after year, after year? a) English Butter Toffee b) Grandma’s Fruitcake c) Holiday Feast Cheese and Meat Gift Basket d) Kave Kure Cheese Spreads

Best Selling Figi's Food Gifts

Best Selling Figi’s Gifts

 

Question 6: Which well-known illustrator created the depiction of cheese being taken to the post office in a red wagon (shown below is the original as it still hangs in our corporate office – it holds a clue to the answer)? a) Charles M. Schulz b) Norman Rockwell c) Robert Charles Howe d) John James Audubon

Cheese Gifts Delivered

The Legend of the Figi’s Red Wagon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are our Figi’s Trivia Answers; how did you fare?

Question 1: the answer is “a” 43 orders – humble beginnings…and we’re glad Ann and John didn’t give up! That’s how it all began. The young entrepreneur and wife, Ann sorted orders, cut 200 one-pound wheels and 70 one-pound blocks of cheese on the kitchen table, sealing it in cellophane heated on the stove, and penciling in the addresses. Dinner was usually perched atop the finest Colby, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses packed high in the family refrigerator!

Question 2: the answer is “d” about 35,000 pounds – that’s a lotta Wisconsin cheese!

Questions 3: the answer is “a” Marshfield, WI…where our single retail store still resides.

Question 4: the answer is “b” 1959.  Check out these fun facts from 1959!

Question 5:  the answer is “c” Holiday Feast Cheese and Meat Gift Basket – our most popular gift! Full of Wisconsin cheese, sausage, fruitcake, candy gifts and more!

Question 6: the answer is “c” Robert Charles Howe.  He was an American visual artist born in 1954 in the style of Norman Rockwell. Several of his works have been sold at auction, including ‘Back to School Supplies, Saturday Evening Post cover,’ in 2012 for $7,500. Mr. Howe died in 2002.  It is said John Figi took his initial Cheese of the Month Club orders to the post office in a red wagon, as depicted in Mr. Howe’s illustration.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 3 – Employee Party

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste 70th Anniversary! Founder’s Week is off to a great start! We already have two customers who have one $50 Figi’s eGift Certificates and employees that have won prizes, too!  If you missed our post on what Founder’s Week is, including how John and Ann Figi started our company at their kitchen table, you can read all about it here.

New today and for today only! 70 cent shipping on select Figi’s gifts found here; don’t miss this special Founder’s Week promotion!

Figi's 70 Cent Shipping

Also, be sure to check out our limited-time Founder’s Week Sale – loaded with our very best selling customer favorite gifts. Get Holiday Feast, Fancy Holiday Cookies, Creamy Country Fudge and more here at 20% off – this week only!

Founder's Week 20% Off Sale

Here are a few photos from yesterday’s Founder’s Week events at Figi’s:

Figi's 70th Anniversary Cake

One of Figi’s 70th Anniversary cakes

Managers Serving Cake

Figi’s managers serving cake

President's Address

Figi’s President Jim K. addressing employees

#FigiStrong Bracelets

#FigiStrong bracelets given to employees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figi's Employee Trivia Contest 1

Figi’s employees hunt for trivia contest answers

Figi's Employee Trivia Contest 2

A $300 gift card is up for grabs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be sharing more news and photos with you very soon. Be sure to visit our special Anniversary page at figis.com for more Figi’s history, photos, a video and more.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 2 – Founder’s Week

Figi's Gifts in Good Taste - 70th Anniversary 2014

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Welcome back to our blog series on the Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste 70th Anniversary! If you missed our previous 70th Anniversary post, it can be found here .  As we mentioned in our first post, Figi’s is celebrating its 70th Anniversary with special week-long event we’re calling ‘Founder’s Week,’ running October 19th through the 25th.  Founder’s Week will consist of special events, giveaways and promotions for our wonderful employees and customers. Without you, Figi’s would not have made it to 70 years – thank you, everyone!

Needless to say, there’s a lot going on at the Figi’s offices! For several weeks now, the Founder’s Week planning committee and eCommerce team has been brainstorming various ideas for celebrating our company’s 70th Anniversary.  All of the planning and hard work has concluded and we’re ready to kick off the fun!

The Founder’s Week planning committee has secured special anniversary banners, cakes, assorted raffle prizes and created a trivia contest based on special company history boards developed for Founder’s Week.  Mike F. works in Figi’s eCommerce and had this to share: “Our trivia contest will be a fun and easy way for employees to learn about our rich company history. These boards do a wonderful job of chronicling Figi’s through the years, using original news articles, photographs, marketing materials and more. Lisa K. (Figi’s Marketing) did a great job putting these boards together!”

Figi's Company History Board

A Figi’s Company History Board Developed for Founder’s Week

The eCommerce team has developed special email promotions and giveaways for customers.  I’m not supposed to reveal the email promotions, but I can say we’ll have a site-wide sale, special product markdowns for a limited time only and a few lucky customers are going to win $50 Figi’s eCertificates! If you haven’t signed up to receive emails from Figi’s, you can do so here.  You don’t want to miss out on our daily promotions October 19th – 25th!

Founder's Week email

Here are some of the Founder’s Week events for Figi’s employees: trivia contest (employees completing a trivia forms receives an extra entry for the $300 Walmart gift card grand prize drawing), assorted gift cards from local businesses given away daily, cheese & sausage platters for each department, cake celebration and presentation by our President, our VP of Marketing / Merchandising and others, sea salt caramel treat day for all departments and more!

Chris R., eCommerce Manager at Figi’s, shared the following about Founder’s Week: “In a nutshell, Founder’s Week to me is about remembering where we came from and building on the foundation of the past to create an even better future for the company, our associates, our customers and our community. We are honoring those whose dedication in the early days of Figi’s paved the way for us to be here today.”

70th Banner 1Figi's History Displays 1

Cheese and sausage trays

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We will be sharing photos of the fun employee events and winners with you very soon. Be sure to visit our special Anniversary page at figis.com for more Figi’s history, photos, a video and more.

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Figi’s 70th Anniversary Part 1

70th Anniversary Logo - Figi's name

Figi’s Gifts in Good Taste – 70th Anniversary 2014

Wow! 70 years of delivering millions of Gifts in Good Taste across America! We wanted to say ‘thank you!’ to all of our customers over the years and hope you’ll entrust your holiday gift giving to us for another 70 years. To show our appreciation, and to celebrate our first 70 years in business, Figi’s will be running several special promotions the week of October 19th, during what we call ‘Founder’s Week,’ so you’ll want to check our website and Figi’s emails to see our exciting Founder’s Week specials – created especially for you! If you are not receiving emails from Figi’s, you should sign up here; you don’t want to miss Founder’s Week’s email promotions!

How it all began 70 years ago…

It’s 1944: a young entrepreneur and federal cheese inspector named John Figi, wanted to make Wisconsin’s finest cheese available through the mail using a “Cheese of the Month” concept. Using a phone directory, John and his wife, Ann selected 1,500 addresses of people they though would be interested in their club.  John and Ann mailed postcards to the 1,500 addresses, introducing the club and soliciting orders; while only 43 orders came in, it was a great beginning!

Figi's Cheese of the Month Club

Cheese of the Month Club Ads

John and Ann personally sorted the orders, cut 200 one-pound wheels and 70 one-pound blocks of cheese on their kitchen table, sealed the cheese cuts in cellophane they heated on their stove, and packaged the orders.  The finest Colby, Cheddar, and Swiss cheeses were packed high in the family refrigerator.

At that time, John didn’t have a way to get his customers’ orders to the post office.  But that wasn’t about to stop John; he borrowed a red coaster wagon from a friend and used the wagon to deliver all 43 packages to the post office.  The rest, as they say…is history. “Cheese of The Month” changed to “The Wisconsin Cheese Club” in 1947; the company changed it’s name to “Figi’s, Inc.” in 1961.

Cheese Gifts Delivered

The Legend of the Figi’s Red Wagon

Next week’s blogs will showcase our Founder’s Week promotions and company-wide celebration of our milestone anniversary.  Be sure to visit our 70th Anniversary page at figis.com where you’ll find company history and photos, a special video and two commemorative collectibles.

We thought it would be fun to jump in the time machine and travel back to our 20th Anniversary…a time when Figi’s shared the spotlight with the world’s largest cheese and the 1964-1965 World’s Fair.

Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration

John Figi Figi's 20th Anniversary

John Figi

Live Music Figi's 20th Anniversary

Live Music

Cheese Tasting at Figi's 20th Anniversary

Cheese Tasting

 

 

 

 

 

On a Saturday evening in 1964, 800 guests attended Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration in Marshfield, Wisconsin; our headquarters remains in Marshfield to this day. The grand affair consisted of a tour of the Figi’s facilities, cheese and wine tasting, and the opportunity to view, get this…a 34,951-pound cheddar cheese created for the Wisconsin Exhibit at the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair. That’s over 17 tons of cheddar! This mammoth cheddar, known as the ‘Golden Giant,’ was made for the Wisconsin Cheese Foundation for the express purposes of promoting Wisconsin cheese around the world. At what better place to promote Wisconsin cheese to the world than the World’s Fair in New York City!

World’s Largest Cheese a.k.a The ‘Golden Giant’

World's Largest Cheese

Pictured above is the Golden Giant. It was on display during Figi’s 20th Anniversary gala before embarking for New York City. Now that’s one big block of cheese! The Golden Giant was manufactured by Steve’s Cheese near Denmark, Wisconsin (not far from Green Bay). The cheese making process took 43 ½ hours of continuous work by a crew of 25. The crew included four Wisconsin cheese makers who had won the famed ‘World’s Champion Cheddar Cheesemaking’ award. Approximately 170,000 quarts of milk was used to make this mammoth cheese; it was the largest single piece of cheese ever made! The Golden Giant’s dimensions were 6 ½ feet wide, 5 ½ feet tall and 14 ½ feet long. While most mammoth cheese are made cylindrical, the Golden Giant was made rectangular so it could be transported by refrigerated trucks and train cars.

In April of 1964, the Golden Giant was loaded into a special glass sided trailer and transported by diesel tractor to the New York World’s Fair – Wisconsin exhibition area. Interesting trivia: the semi trailer and a replica of the Golden Giant cheese are still on display in Neillsville, WI – just a few miles from the Figi’s corporate office. Here’s a photo:

World's Largest Cheese

Touring with the ‘Cheesemobile’

It is estimated that the Golden Giant was seen by 12 million people during the two years of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair. After appearing at the Fair, the Cheesemobile toured the United States, stopping at major cities, various expositions, fairs and shopping centers, carrying the story of Wisconsin cheese to the nations. And to think: the Golden Giant debuted right here in little Marshfield, Wisconsin at a Figi’s 20th Anniversary Celebration!

Thanks for reading our blog and for a great 70 years! Oh, and if all this ‘cheese talk’ has made you hungry, like our mouse friend below, check out our fantastic selection of cheese gifts and gift baskets here.

Largest Cheese Cartoon

World’s Fair Image Credits: www.nywf64.com

Do you have a favorite Figi’s memory you’d like to share? Share with us in the Comments below or join the conversation on Facebook & Google+.  Thanks again for reading our blog; we’ll be back soon with more 70th Anniversary updates!

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Support a Soldier Overseas and Figi’s APO FPO Gifts

Figi's Patriotic Cookie TinFor a limited time, Figi’s is offering a special promotion on our Patriotic Cookie Tin. Through June 26th, 2014, you can order one tin for just $19.99 and a second one for just $9.99 (plus shipping); the second tin will be sent to a soldier overseas.  This unique opportunity is made possible through a partnership with “Support Our Troops” and you can learn more about their wonderful work here.  In case you’re wondering, our Patriotic Cookie Tin is filled with the following cookie varieties: Chocolate Chip, English Toffee, Cranberry White Chocolate, Oatmeal Raisin, Fudge, Almond, Jelly Star, and Sugar - all in a tin that celebrates America!  Again, there’s just a few weeks left to participate in this special promotion, so act fast and thank you for your support.

Figi's Patriotic Cookie Offer

Did you know? Figi’s offers many great gifts that can ship APO FPO? In fact, our summer catalog makes it easy to find these gifts; just look for the special “star symbol” as shown below.

APO FPO Symbol

If your shopping figis.com for APO FPO gifts, you can find them under our “Holidays and Occasions Gifts” category as shown below; click here to see our current APO FPO gifts assortment. It’s loaded with delicious gifts for your solider including: taffy, beef sticks, pistachios, cashews, cookies, candies, cakes…we even have some cool t-shirts available!

Figis.com APO FPO Category

Finally, here’s our special salute to veterans and active duty service men and women in the Figi’s family…thank you one and all!

Figi's tribute to veterans and active duty friends and family

If you have a shout out to soldier or veteran, use the comments field below or connect with us socially on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.  As always, thanks for reading Gourmet Market!

 

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Graduation Gifts for 2014 High School and College Graduates

Graduation Ceremony

Graduation season is fast upon us! I can still recall the pride…and sadness I felt watching my daughter graduate from high school last year.  I was so very proud of her and yet, I was awash in memories of her life racing through my mind; I kept wondering “where did 18 years go!?” I imagine many of you have similar experiences, or will, as you prepare for 2014 graduations.  Not only do you have the ceremony to prepare for, perhaps you’re hosting or attending a graduation party?  By now, parents of graduates would have booked a hall or pavilion, created and mailed RSVPs, contracted for food and beverages and purchased decorations.  While Figi’s doesn’t specialize in most of those graduation party necessities, we can help with graduation gifts and food gifts for your celebration.

So, whether your student is receiving a high school diploma, GED, Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree - we’re both honored and excited to help you celebrate your graduate’s accomplishments with special graduation gifts from Figi’s! Here are a few of our favorite gift ideas for the young men and women getting ready to throw their graduation caps in the air this year.

Graduation Memorabilia

Graduation Memorabilia GiftsSpecial memorabilia are a great way to capture a moment in time; a significant milestone – like graduation - can be captured and remembered for years to come. More than simple souvenirs or trinkets, personalized memorabilia serve as treasure keepsakes that spark warm memories and emotions born from the successful completion of the graduate’s great achievement. These are the kinds of keepsakes which last a lifetime!

Personalized Graduation Gifts

Personalized Graduation Gifts | Figi'sA great graduation gift should express your pride in the graduate; both in who they are and in how far they have come to reach this point. You see, it takes great deal of dedication to complete a 4 year degree. Through it all, graduates are often changed by their efforts – shaped by time & toil into someone who is ready to take on life’s new opportunities.

With that in mind, one of our favorite ways to commemorate such a special time is with our personalized wood pen set. Personalized graduation gifts offer a means to tailor your gift to the personality of the graduate, and the pen itself serves as a symbolic reminder to always continue pursuing their education.

Graduation Gift Baskets

Graduation Gift Baskets | Figi'sPerhaps the best gift a graduate can receive is the celebration itself! Whether your graduation party is a grand affair with extended family, friends, gifts & food…or a more intimate gathering of close family and friends, a graduation gift basket filled with delicious snacks, treats, & finger foods is an easy way to get any party started right. Try a hearty snack selection of Wisconsin cheeses & meats, or bring something sweet to share, such as our famous petit fours from Figi’s!

Do you know someone who has or is getting ready to graduate but you’re not sure what to get them? Share with us on Facebook or Google+ and we’ll help you find the perfect gift!

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Cheese Blog Series: Everything’s Better with Cheddar!

Aged Cheddar Cheese from Figi'sWelcome to the first installment of the Figi’s Cheese Blog Series! In this series, you’ll learn about the flavor, versatility and history of different types of cheeses; we’ll also give you cheese pairing options, answer common cheese questions and give a few recipes along the way.  Our series begins with cheddar.

Foodies, and those for whom eating is a more casual affair, agree: cheese makes many dishes more delicious.  Of all cheese options out there, cheddar is arguably the ‘cheese of choice’ for the largest number of people.  It’s easy to see why: cheddar offers flavor variety; from mild to rich and sharp.  Add cheddar cheese to a bland dish, and voilà!  Loads of taste!  Add cheddar cheese to an already flavorful dish, salad or sandwich to enhance other ingredients.

What kinds of cheddar are there?  There are many varieties of cheddar available; here is a breakdown for you:

  • Fresh unpressed (cheese curds): Unripened curds, straight out of the vat, have become very popular - especially in our home state of Wisconsin. We especially like them battered and deep-fried!  Cheese curds are a healthy snack…when not deep-fried :) and they nicely compliment fruit and veggie trays.
  • Mild: This cheddar is soft and mild in flavor as it ripens for a short time; typically for three months.
  • Medium: This cheddar is more firm in texture and tastes a bit like hazelnuts.  It typically ripens for four to nine months.
  • Sharp: This cheddar has a firmer, dryer and more granular texture.  This cheddar ripens for nine months to two years and as its name indicates…tastes ‘sharp.’  Some would say this cheddar is slightly sour or bitter in taste.
  • Extra Sharp: Because this cheddar ripens from two to ten years, it has a strong ‘sharp’ flavor.  The older the cheddar, the more crumbly and more difficult to slice it becomes.

Why is some cheddar cheese white and other cheddar cheese yellow?  Some think a cheddar’s color indicates it’s flavor (sharpness).  Color has no bearing on a cheddar’s flavor.  All cheese typically is white or off-white; the orange or yellow coloration found in cheddar is the result of…well, I found a good article on that topic for you here.

Cheddar GorgeWhere did cheddar cheese come from?  England – specifically, the Cheddar Gorge!  Sounds ‘made up’ but that’s the truth.  Farmers in Somerset, England began making a distinctive cheese in the 12th century.  Cheddar cheese was stored in the caves of the Cheddar Gorge (shown above – photo Wikipedia), as the caves kept the cheese at just the right temperature and moisture level for aging.  Pretty interesting!  I learned that back then, cheddar’s flavor was tainted by an undesirable bacteria that developed because milk could not be refrigerated.

Then, in 1857, a guy named Joseph Harding standardized a process to suppress the growth of this undesirable bacteria.  Mr. Harding’s process became known as “cheddaring.”  In short, cheddaring gets rid of flavor harming bacteria and keeps the desirable bacteria that give cheddar its distinct flavor.    

The ‘Big Cheese’ gets all the cheddarKing Henry IIHistory tells us in the year 1170, King Henry II of England (photo superstock.com) purchased 10,240 pounds of cheddar cheese at a farthing (a quarter of a penny) a pound.  King Henry II declared cheddar to be the best cheese in all of Britain.  Henry II’s son, Prince John, reigned from 1199 and 1216; he continued to buy cheddar for royal banquets.  A few hundred years later during the time of King Charles I, parliamentary records show that all cheddar cheese was purchased before it was made, and in fact, was not available outside of the king’s court.

Nowadays, you don’t have to be royalty to enjoy cheddar – thankfully! Cheddar cheese is made and distributed around the globe.  Some of the very best is made right here in Wisconsin and can be found at Figi’s!  So enjoy your cheddar cheese – it’s fit for royalty!  Shop all of our excellent cheese gifts here.

How long can I keep cheddar cheese in the refrigerator?  Here’s a short, informative article about storing cheddar cheese to maximize its shelf life here.

Can I Freeze Cheddar Cheese? It depends on the cheese and who you ask. Learn more here.

Wine and Cheese PairingSuggested Cheddar Pairings:

Wine: Red Zinfandel, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Reisling, Merlot, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon.

Food: Apples, grapes, cherries, pears, nuts, dark breads, whole grain crackers.

Beer: Ciders & Fruit Beers, Stout, Bock, Pale Ale, Brown Ale, Porter.

I found a really nice resource for pairing cheese with food and beverages at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board’s website hereSimply select your cheese variety to match up with complimentary wine, spirits and food!

Wisconsin Cheese Pairing Guide

Is it safe to eat moldy cheddar cheese? It depends on a few factors such as block cheese vs. shredded and the size of the cheddar block. Learn more about this from the Mayo Clinic here.

Be sure to check out our Classic Aged Cheddar and our Mix ‘n Match Cheese & Sausage where you can put together your own cheese and sausage tray - including our delicious cheddar. Our 4-way Cheese Horn is a great way to enjoy cheddar with other cheese varieties for a unique, bold taste on sandwiches or crackers.  Finally, if you would like a spreadable Wisconsin cheddar, try Figi’s Signature Kave Kure Cheese or Creamy Country Cheese Spreads and Logs!  Our spreads will be available for purchase again in September.

Mix n Match Cheese and Sausage from Figi'sClassic Aged Cheddar Cheese from Figi's4-way Cheese Horn from Figi's

 

Country Cheeses SpreadsCreamy Country Cheese Logs

 

 

 

I hope you enjoyed our exposé on cheddar.  Our second installment will look at another popular cheese who’s identity we’ll keep secret until the appointed time.  We’ll throw in a recipe or two as well.  Thanks again for reading Gourmet Market.  Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any cheese pairing or cheese recipes ideas you have; we’d love to read them!

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Figi’s Fresh Flavors for Spring Pt. 2

Spring is here cartoonWelcome back to Gourmet Market’s look at some wonderful spring gifts from Figi’s.  If you missed Fresh Flavors for Spring Part 1, you can read it here.

Nuts and Snacks Gifts: With the weather improving, you’ll see more people dropping by for a visit – both expected and unexpected.  Be ready with some delicious and ready-to-eat snacks from Figi’s!  Our snacks are also perfect for when you just a need a quick handful of something yummy to hold you or the kids over until mealtime. Whatever the reason, nuts and snacks gifts from Figi’s are a favorite you can depend on.  Here are a couple of spring favorites we highly recommend:

SSweet Cravings Snack Tins from Figi'sweet Cravings Snack Tins: With this snack gift, the more you buy, the more you save; which is great, because there are so many great snack varieties to choose from in this gift! Everything from candy corn to bridge mix – it’s all good!  So go ahead – mix and match these fun and flavorful varieties.  Buy some for you and give some away as gifts!

Delicious Dried Fruit from Figi'sDelicious Dried Fruit:  Delicious snack sized varieties of dried kiwi, papaya, pineapple, banana and apricot are a tasty treat anytime! This is another buy more – save more gift from Figi’s; they’re ideal for personal consumption and for gift giving!  Click here to see all Figi’s nuts and snack gifts.

Mother’s Day Gifts: Hmmm…what would mom like for Mother’s Day? We’ve all been there!  The answer generally is found in ‘anything from you sent with love and care’ and Figi’s can help you accomplish that with ease!  Chances are, Figi’s has just the gift mom would love, sent from you. We have a wide variety of special gifts you can’t find anywhere else!  With Mother’s Day just around the corner, get the ‘moms’ in your life a special Mother’s Day gift basket delivered from Figi’s.  We have the perfect gift to share your thanks and appreciation with the ladies that have sacrificed so much for you and your family.  Here are three customer favorites personally selected for you.

Happy Mothers Day Petits Fours from Figi'sMother’s Day Petits Fours: Delicate layers of rich chocolate and yellow cake with luscious apricot, lemon, and chocolate buttercreme fillings, all coated with sweet white creme and chocolate icing.  In a word: yum! Our hand decorated petits fours will spell out your heartfelt “Happy Mother’s Day!” wish sweetly!

Mom's Coffee and Sweets Basket from Figi's Mom’s Coffee and Sweets Gift Basket: A Mother’s Day best-seller, this gift basket is loaded with sweets your mom will love - in the perfect amount for a coffee break; the mug and coffee are included!  The inclosed card and pin capture you sentiments perfectly (see below).  Our entire Mother’s Day gifts collection can be found here.

Mom's Card

ersonalized Sunshine Basket from Figi'sPersonalized Sunshine Gift Basket: Gift baskets make for great gift options because they often contain a mix of food gift choices; plus, many of our gift baskets include a personalized ribbon for an extra touch of class.  Our Sunshine Basket is filled with comforts that will nourish the body and cheer the soul: flower cookies, camomile tea, white clover honey, two fabric sunflowers, a green mug, soups, cheese, crackers and more!  Shop all of our remaining gift baskets here.

In honor of Mother’s Day – Figi’s Staff:

Linda B. with Mom – Figi’s Creative, Linda R. with Grandchildren – Figi’s Data Services, Linda S. with Granddaughter – Figi’s Copywriter and Mary F. with Grandchildren – Figi’s Analyst.

Linda BLinda RLinda S

Mary F

Graduation Gifts Graduation season is also coming up quickly.  Honor your graduate’s milestone with a graduation gift from Figi’s.  Figi’s personalized graduation gifts serve as lasting keepsakes; mementos of the day the your graduate will look back on for years to come.  We also have delicious graduation party food gifts including cakes, cupcakes, desserts, and snacks.  Check off your party list now, and get the celebration started! 

Personalized Graduation Throw from Figi'sPersonalized Graduation Throw:  Nothing says you care like a personalized gift from Figi’s.  One of our favorites is this unique throw; it’s the perfect keepsake your graduate will treasure for years to come! This is a soft 100% cotton throw that’s machine washable.  It measures 46″ x 60″ and is made in the USA.  You can personalize your graduate’s name and school name, up to 3 lines, 24 characters and spaces per line.

Graduates Keepsake Owl from Figi'sGraduate’s Keepsake Owl:  Another unique gift for graduates, this wise old owl is a beautiful glass memento of graduation day. It comes in a white satin fabric wrapped box with golden accents and reads, “Now graduation day has come, that degree belongs to you. Hope success will follow you, in everything you do.”  Shop all Figi’s graduation gifts here

Thanks again for reading Gourmet Market. Don’t forget – you can stay connected with us on our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ pages.

Please use the comments field below to share any spring gifting or recipes you have; we’d love to read them!

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