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    Looking to spread some holiday cheer? Try our Spread the Cheer Candy Bag Package!

    Blog

    Lessons learned after one year of Covid!

    The pandemic has created a big shift for many small businesses, including us. Most of our business pre pandemic was been based in weddings, conferences, festivals, and other large gatherings so we needed to get creative in 2020 (and beyond!).

    While we've had so many challenges, we're still standing more than one year later, and are pretty darn proud (as we all should be)! Read on to see our most valuable lessons from this wacky year from the perspectives of Owner, Alyssa, and our Candy Manager, Carly.

    PIVOOOOOT (Ross Geller Voice!)

    Alyssa: This past year has tested this little business of ours like no other. We have had to pivot and reinvent more times this calendar year than we have in the (almost) 8 years since starting The Sugar Cube. It has been a true test of small businesses capabilities to roll with the punches and learn as you go!

    • Have fun with new products! This year we tested and released more new products than ever before, because we had to get inventive on how we bring the candy to the people without our truck - and because people are celebrating like never before (hello, drive by birthdays!).
    • When you find a product that works, stick with it! We have repurposed our successful new products for nearly every occasion and holiday. It makes things easy from a production perspective - but still keeps it exciting and fresh for all of our customers.
    • Once you can offer an easy gifting solution that people can rely on - you will gain their loyalty and they are likely to come back for future celebrations and occasions. As a business owner it not only makes the sales cycle much easier but this has actually allowed us to get to know and connect with our clients like never before!

    GET LEAN, GET SAVVY!

    Alyssa: We have learned lots of lessons (both good and bad) - but above all we have learned that creativity and perseverance can get you through. We have learned to do more with less including:

    • Running the show with less staff. When the pandemic hit we were in the midst of hiring our seasonal staff for our event season. Boy, did our world get shifted! Amongst the uncertainty and new restrictions we had to learn to run with 1/3 the staff we normally would. Thankfully as we hadn't hired our seasonal staff yet, we technically didn't have to do any layoffs - which we are very grateful for.
    • Due to protocols we had to stagger the shifts when people worked, and cut out majority of our in person pick ups. We shifted to offering FREE contactless delivery in order to keep both our staff and our customers safer. This came at an additional cost to us but was important for us to be able to encourage people to spread some joy during this tough time. It was an added cost that we think paid off ten fold in helping to bring some joy when people needed it the most!

    SET YOUR SPACE UP FOR SUCCESS

    Carly: I think I've rearranged the space about 10 times over the past year to accommodate the ever changing landscape and challenges we have come across.

    • Packaged candy would normally stay boxed up for truck events but it needed to work better for creating baskets and surprise bags in house so we needed to completely alter our warehouse setup to accommodate!
    • Similarly, we aren't doing Candy Buffets right now, so we have repurposed that space into a shipping station, since we are now shipping more product across Canada than ever before! 
    • Needs also shifted later that year from just me in the warehouse to having four of us in there for the Halloween-Valentine's season so we had to set that up differently to meet those needs. I feel that we've nearly reached a setup that will work long term but I'm sure I'll be doing some more shifting soon!

    GET COMFORTABLE WITH DIGITAL! 

    Alyssa: Digital isn't going anywhere anytime soon, and if nothing else, the pandemic has helped to show us how important it is to be a focus of our business. It was a much needed 'step back and work ON the business not IN the business' moment - and a good kick in the butt!

    In the last year we've done so much work on the backend of our business in order to make pulling orders and creating delivery routes a breeze!

    • We (Alyssa's husband) invested lots of time into building out a custom production schedule for Shopify which allowed us to easily to see what needed to be made on a day by day basis - streamlining how we made and pulled orders, saving us hundreds of hours!
    • It also helped us to predict what orders were coming up over the next coming weeks - this helped us to manage and order inventory at a more efficient rate and work ahead of schedule during the busy times!
    • We invested in a proper delivery routing system. With a couple of us out doing local deliveries at a time, we needed a solution that would more easily export from Shopify into a routing system and to make sure the routes were as efficient as possible.

    DON'T BE AFRAID TO THROW STUFF AT THE WALL AND SEE WHAT STICKS.

    Carly:  As mentioned before, we rolled out over a dozen new products last year, initially riffing off of our current products.

    • Advent Calendars evolved into Quarantine Calendars, Birthday Countdowns, Mother's Day Packages, and Weekly Survival Kits.
    • We also looked at gaps in what we were currently selling and came up with our Spread The Joy Packages, easily portioned candy bags to disperse however you see fit. Our Valentine's version with a card add on was so popular that we ran out of stickers right before Valentine's Day (more learning!).

    I think this year has also made us more open to trying things. The idea for our Carrot Candy Bags came from some pastry bags we had in our packaging stash that Alyssa had been wanting to get rid of for a while. We posted a sample on our Instagram Stories and have had to order more to make sure we could keep up with the demand! It's always exciting when you can successfully repurpose things!

    YOU CAN HAVE IMPACT EVEN IF YOU'RE "JUST SELLING CANDY."

    Carly: Last summer, we were sending candy packages to medical clinics all over the city for a client. I went to drop off one of these gifts and the person tending the front desk was stunned upon receiving the gift and immediately started crying.

    I ended up sitting with her for a couple of minutes while she confided in me that they had been open seven days a week since March and the stress and burnout was pushing them to the breaking point. This small token of appreciation meant so much. It was a $5 CandyGram - THAT is the effect that small gestures can make for someone - you never know what they're going through!

    We're not out there on the front lines or in the labs, but we're can support in other ways by...

    • Helping kids have fun birthdays even if they couldn't celebrate with their friends...
    • Giving someone peace of mind that they can enjoy some delicious candy that's allergen free...
    • Connecting people who can't be together right now to celebrate or grieve...
    • Thanking the people who are working around the clock to help keep us all as safe as possible with a little treat to help get them through their shift...

    ...and we think that's pretty freaking awesome!

    YOU GUYS ARE AMAZING AND WONDERFUL AND WE LOVE YOU!

    Alyssa: We've all been struggling this year on some capacity, but we at The Sugar Cube are SO thankful for all of you who have kept us in business and busy! Every single order, share, shoutout, and review SERIOUSLY means the world to us! We would not be surviving this pandemic without each and every one of you. So THANK YOU! 

    When you shop small and local you are truly making an impact - and keeping roofs over peoples heads and food in their fridge.




    Gift Ideas to Show Appreciation to Your Team!

    MARK YOUR CALENDARS
    Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 18-24
    Administrative Professionals' Day is April 28
    Nurse's Appreciation Week is May 10-16 
    It's always a good day to show some love to your team or clients! Read below for our favourite gifting options that are perfect for sharing with a big team or to show your office manager how much your appreciate them.
     

    Spread The Joy Package with Note Tag Add On

    We've come up with a bunch of themed candy mixes that you can add matching cards to. They come with cheesy sayings with a space on the back of the card for you to write a short message or you can hand them out as is!
     

    Baby CandyGrams

    A classic option with delicious candies that are great for any occasion! Want to have your logo added or a special message? Send us an email to candy@sugarcubeyyc.com

    Gigantic CandyGram

    Gigantic CandyGram
    Select this option for a kilogram of candy that will be sure to make someone feel pretty sweet! Want to make this feel a little more special? Upgrade to our Gigantic Gourmet CandyGram!

    Candy Basket

     
    Not sure what your Administrative Assistant likes? We have lots of fun different goodies packed into our Candy Basket. It's also a great option to share with 2-3 people!
     
    Looking for more ideas? Want to set up a corporate account? Send us an email to candy@sugarcubeyyc.com

    Sweet Activities for a Hoppy Easter!

     

    Tis the season for mini eggs and teaching your kids to eat candy they found on the ground in your backyard! We've stocked up on lots of fun Easter treats for you and your family to share - or keep to yourself. 

    You can check out our entire Easter Collection at the link HERE but scroll down for some of our team's favourites that will make your Easter weekend even SWEETER!

    Something to Colour: Easter Basket with Personalized Colouring Sheet from The Oak Village and Crayons from Calgary Crayons

    This basket comes with a Carrot Cake soda, special Easter Cotton Candy Tub, fun Easter-themed candies, and some of our other favourite treats! You'll also find a colouring sheet with your child's name from The Oak Village and Three Egg Shaped Crayons from Calgary Crayons. 

    Please add the name of the person receiving the basket in the Staff Notes section at checkout to have the name added to the colouring page!

    This is an item for Pre-Order until March 19 and will be available for local delivery or pickup the week of March 29. If you place other items with your order, your entire order will be deferred until March 31.

    Click here to grab yours!

    Something to Play: Grow and Co's Easter Gift Set

     

    Our friends at Grow and Co have created the cutest Easter Gift Set that will become a treasured keepsake for years to come. Each set comes with a personalized Easter Bunny Gift tag with 3D bunny tail, a personalized tic tac toe game and a 400g candy carrot from THE SUGAR CUBE! (so you know it's good!)

    Click here to see Grow and Co's Easter Gift Set!

    Something to Solve: Easter Scavenger Hunt

    Easter Scavenger Hunt

    Save the issue of having Easter Eggs go forgotten in the garden and found by critters the next day! Complete with fun riddles and delicious treats, all you have to do is hide each treat in their designated place and let your kids have a fun adventure searching!

    Each Scavenger Hunt comes with...

    - One of our Easter Cotton Candy Tubs

    - A 100g Candy Bag

    - A Baby CandyGram

    - A Weird Soda Bottle

    ...And 6 more delicious treats! As well as a printed copy of our Easter Scavenger Hunt.

    Click here to see our Easter Scavenger Hunt

    Something to Create: DIY Wreath Kit from Catherina Loves Petals

    This DIY Wreath Kit will make for a fun afternoon of creating this beautiful wreath and putting it up for display! Better yet, it's also part of our EGG My House Fundraiser, so you'll be supporting a great cause!

    We are raising funds to help support Robin Milne and her two young children, Isla (6 years old) and Lochlan (4 years old) as they deal with her battling Stage 4 terminal metastatic cancer. You can learn more about the fundraiser and how you can support at the link below!

    Click here to learn more about Catherina Loves Petal's DIY Wreath Kit and the EGG My House Fundraiser!

    Something to Share: Spread The Hop Candy Bag Package

    There's no need to keep all the Easter fun to your own house! This special 'Spread the Hop- Candy Bag Package' comes with whatever amount of our $3 Easter Themed Candy Bags you'd like.... so you can spread some Easter joy to those around you (and keep some for yourself maybe!).

    They are great for you to have on hand to give to:

    - Front line workers at the hospitals risking their lives for us 

    - Grocery store workers who are working around the clock

    - Delivery drivers who are getting us all the things we need

    - Neighbours who might need a little pick me up

    - Anyone that you might think is feeling lonely right now!

    Click to see our Spread The Hop - Candy Bag Package here!

     

    Keep Little Ones Busy on Valentine's Day!

    With babysitter and date night options still limited, it looks like we're in for a Valentine's Day at home this year! If you're struggling to come up with ways to keep your kids entertained while you try and have a romantic evening with your partner, we have some ideas for you! We've come up with a few candy themed activities and shouted out a couple other activities put on by some of our favourite local businesses. 

     

    Read our suggestions below and leave your own in the comments!

     

    Cookie Decorating Kit in Collaboration with 8Cakes!

    Cookie Decorating Kit

    We've joined up with 8Cakes YYC again for some more cookie decorating! Guaranteed for at least an hour of fun decorating and eating! Each kit comes with 6 cookies, two bags of premade icing, and a bag full of candy for decorating! Gluten Free and Vegan Options Available. 

    Our Valentine's Day Cookie Kits start shipping February 3rd. Click here to order yours!

    Can't wait until February? Order our Unicorn Cookie Decorating Kits, exclusive to January 2021! Click here to order!

     

    Little Larch All Natural Play Dough

    A fun activity for little kids that's also good for the planet! Little Larch is committed to creating fun playdough and other play products that allow kids to engage in open ended play. Their dough is completely free of synthetic dyes and artificial scents. Instead, they use colours from veggies + minerals and calming essential oils. 

    Check out Little Larch and their online store here!

    Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt

    If you've tried our Halloween Scavenger Hunt before, you know how much fun these can be for kids and adults alike! Simply hide each treat according to each clue, then hand over the hunt to the kids and let them figure out the clues to find each sweet!

    Buy our Valentine's Scavenger Hunt Here!

    Pinnovate Crafting Kits

    Have some crafty kids? From Bubblegum Machines to Painting to String Art, Pinnovate has something for everyone! They have tons of kits for all ages and interests on their website! 

    Click here to check out Pinnovate!

    Northern Reflections Augmented Art Tour in Inglewood

    Maud

    This art exhibit centralized in Inglewood brings augmented reality to transform displays. Download the AUGLE app and grab some hot chocolates while you stroll around with your family and check out the magic of the augmented reality murals. 

    To learn more about Northern Reflections, check out the link here!

    Valentine's Day Activity Kit

    Can't decide if you want a Cookie Kit or a Valentine's Day Scavenger Hunt? Get both and get an extra special candy themed activity!

    Grab your Valentine's Day Activity Kit Here!

    Home for the Holidays: Four Locally Made Christmas Shoots to Inspire Holiday Cheer!

    We'd usually be spending this time of year busy with holiday parties and fun winter events! With all of those dreams gone out the window, we've been thinking how we can make our at home Christmas celebrations just as special as the ones we'd normally be taking part in.

    Let us take you through four mini celebrations inspired by a winter together at home! If you're looking to put a twist on old traditions, create new ones, or just want to really go for it this season, we hope these get you into the Christmas Spirit!

    Make sure to take a look at all of the local businesses mentioned in the beginning of each shoot! If you're looking for some sweet Christmas goodies from us this season, you can click HERE to check out our selection!

    Traditional with a Twist: Writing Letters to Santa and Sipping on Cotton Candy Hot Chocolates

    Candy: Sugar Cube YYC

    Clothing: Honey Dew Shop

    Party Supplies: A Little Confetti Shop

    Cookies: Black Dog Bakery

    Jewelry: Rosie Joan Jewelry

    Clothing: North Star Jerseys

    A full afternoon of winter activities lay ahead for Brittany Kolba and her family! Letters to Santa need to be sent to the post office by December 10th to get to the North Pole in time. It's also a great opportunity to have little ones write letters to Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and other friends and family who you'd normally be spending the holidays with. 

    The family is decorating cookies from Black Dog Bakery and having some extra fun hot chocolates with sprinkles, Candy Canes, and Gingerbread Cotton Candy! Once this ends, she can kick the kids outside to drop their letters in the postbox and burn off their sugar rush. 

    This fun party supplies from A Little Confetti Shop ties the whole thing together! How often can you coordinate your cookies with your plates?! 

      How would your child put a tub of our special Holiday Cotton Candy to use? Let us know in the comments! Here's our top three guesses!

      • Create a stylish hairstyle for their gingerbread people
      • Let it melt into their Hot Chocolates and stir with a Candy Cane
      • Shove a fistful into their mouth

      Merry and Bright: An Afternoon Spent Building Gingerbread Houses

       

      Photos & Venue: @dunfordgirls
      Styling & Balloons: @littlechicparties
      Paper items (Activity placemats, Santa Letters, Invite) & Treat boxes: @hollylovespaper
      Florals & Wreath Placeholders: @catherinalovespetals
      Table & Chairs: @mypartygenie
      Sugar cookies: @sugarbakerscookieco
      Gingerbread houses, Cakesicles & Hot Cocoa Bombs: @8cakesyyc
      Gingerbread houses & Candy: @sugarcubeyyc
      Wrapping paper & Gift Tags: @elisemareefehr
      Paper Partywares & Gold Fringe: @alittleconfettishop

      The little ones are gathered all around the table building our Gingerbread House Kits, made in collaboration with 8CakesYYC. Little Chic Parties made the space pop with a bright balloon tree and Catherina Loves Petals added some lovely floral accents. Can you spot the Joyful Santa Boots in the photo above?

       

      Grownups are there to lend a hand in assembly and in case anyone needed more treats to adorn their house with, we had a Candy Platter standing by with lots more sweets! 

       

      Click HERE to get one of our Gingerbread Kits while they're still available!

      Baby, It's Cold Outside: A Sweet Winter Picnic

      Planning & Styling: Simply T Events - @simplytevents
      Photography: Mackenzie Kelly Photography - @mackenziekellyphotography
      Custom Furniture & Rentals: Primrose Lifestyle - @primrose_lifestyle
      Venue: Primrose Lifestyle - @primrose_lifestyle
      Florist: Chic Botanicals and Events - @chicbotanicalsandevents
      Table Rentals & Decor: Simply T Events - @simplytevents
      Cake and Treats: Ginger & Spice Cakery - @gingerandspicecakery
      Calligraphy & Crafts: Bonafide by Jess - @bonafidebyjess
      Candy: The Sugar Cube - @sugarcubeyyc
      Goodie Bags: Bonafide by Jess - @bonafidebyjess, The Sugar Cube - @sugarcubeyyc, Potter & Grace - @potterandgraceco, The Baesic Stitch - @thebaesicstitch

       

      The weather in December might get a little frightful so we decided to bring a bit of warmth indoors. With tons of florals from Chic Botanicals and Events, candles, and lots of soft pink and white decor, Simply T Events fooled us into thinking we're in a summer paradise instead of mere feet away from the chilly winter!

       The girls are enjoying some fluffy Strawberry Cotton Candy Puffs. We sell our Cotton Candy Mini Bags in batches of 20 and up but you can grab some Cotton Candy Tubs to really please those in your home with a real sweet tooth! 

      Click HERE to try one of our limited edition Holiday flavours!

       

       The Land of Sweets: A Journey into The Nutcracker! 

      Photos and Styling: Emelbe Design

      Decorations: A Little Confetti Shop

      Baked Goods: Blue Eyed Baker

      Sweets: The Sugar Cube

       

      One of your Christmas traditions may have been to go see The Nutcracker Ballet. While we can't watch it in person this year, there's lots of options for you to stream it from your living room! Why not make it feel more like a night out than a family movie night with a Nutcracker inspired dinner?

      Caitie from Blue Eyed Baker made some delicious treats for the table and we made the table even sweeter with some Baby CandyGrams and Hammonds Candy Canes. Who needs popcorn when you have these goodies?!

      To really make us feel like we're in the Land of the Sugar Plum Fairy, A Little Confetti Shop set the scene with golds, whites and pinks to make us feel like we're in a little wonderland! We love how this turned out and we hope this could inspire a mini "night out" to the theatre for you and your family!