The 6 Best Secret Santa Gift Ideas

The holidays are here! And if your team is anything like ours, you’re all gearing up to spread some holiday cheer within your office. From decking the halls to holiday office parties, celebrating the holidays with your close, or at least close-ish, work-family is an important part of ringing in the new year.

Each year, secret Santa games start in offices around the world and coworkers struggle to find meaningful gifts to give one another. You can only give someone a coffee cup so many times. No one wants a Clark Griswold situation happening in their office, so you're going to need some unique secret Santa gift ideas to get you through the holiday season. But what’s the best gift to give? What’s something that your coworkers will enjoy but is within your budget? And how on earth are you suppose to find a gift for that one coworker that you know absolutely nothing about?

In our opinion, the best gift you can give to someone in your office is a foodie-centric present. What’s better than a gourmet edible gift? They come beautifully packaged, making wrapping a cinch, if you even need it. Plus, these items will give your coworker immense satisfaction without putting pressure on them to demonstrate their appreciation of the gift year-round. An edible gift is a one and done deal. They’ll say thank you, and they won’t have to keep it on their desk year-round or wear it to the office later that year to prove that “they really did love it!”

At McCrea’s Candies we’re all about out of the box gifting, from our own unique caramels to other small business goods. Plus when you support small business with a purchase this holiday season, you help your local community and the small business community at large. This year, say no to big box store cookie cutter secret Santa gifts, and say yes to thoughtful gourmet presents! 

Ben’s Sugar Shack Maple Syrup

If your coworker’s favorite meal of the day of breakfast then you need to check out this Bens maple syruporiginal sweet treat. Ben’s Sugar Shack has been collecting syrup and crafting delicious concoctions for years. What started as a childhood obsession bloomed into a full-time business endeavor for this hard-working New Hampshire man. We recommend the Maple Syrup in 8.45 oz. Leaf Marasca Bottle. Not only does it taste great, but the syrup is available in three grades so that you can select the formula that best fits your coworker’s tastes. 

Lark Fine Foods Holiday Cookies

Who doesn’t like holiday cookies, or even better, gourmet holiday cookies? Lark Fineholiday trio Foods is a 100% female owner bakery that was founded in 2008 in Boston inside the historic town of Essex. The Holiday Trio box set contains some of their most scrumptious holiday flavors, including Salted Rosemary, Burnt Sugar, and Espresso Chip. Each box comes packaged in an eye-catching gift box complete with grosgrain ribbon. Give the gift of shortbread for a very merry holiday indeed.

Lake Champlain Chocolates

The Holiday & Christmas Chocolate Truffles set from Lake Champlain Chocolates will make anyone’s taste buds sing for joy. These fresh, all natural chocolates from Vermont come packaged in a stylish holiday box. Each box contains five assorted milk and dark chocolate truffles including cappuccino, dark rum, hazelnut, legendary dark, and raspberry flavors. If you wish to give the gift of effortless elegance, then specialty chocolate is the way to go.

Cucina Aurora Infused Olive Oil 

For some, savory tastes outway sweets, and for those more discerning coworkers, a gift olive oilthat takes savory textures and flavors to the next level is a must. For these particular coworkers, we recommend infused olive oils, our favorite being the Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil from Cucina Aurora Kitchen and Witchery. Don’t let this name spook you; this potent oil has the dual purpose of tasing amazing while simultaneously warding off harm. The perfect conversation starter, this secret Santa gift will be the talk of your office for weeks to come.

Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract

Does your coworker enjoy cooking, or are they a true foodie? If so, the thought of giving madagascar bourbon pure vanilla extractthem a premade food gift can be a little daunting. For these chic condensers, we recommend skipping whole foods altogether and moving on to the spice realm, more specifically Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract. The very name of this product is exotic and romantic in a way that will capture the attention of even your most highfalutin peer’s attention. Nielsen Massey specializes in crafting singularly out of this world vanillas and flavors. What better gift than one that your coworker can use over and over again while enjoying their meal prep rituals. Each bottle of Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract is created from premium, hand-selected beans cultivated in Madagascar. If that doesn’t grab your foodie’s attention then nothing will.

McCrea’s Candies Single Malt Scotch Caramels 

mccrea's candiesHave a coworker who craves the best? One who loves his sweets and his single malts? You know that they appreciate a quality scotch, so the solution is easy, McCrea's Single Malt Scotch Caramels. Our spirited caramels are one of those items that will bring a smile to anyone’s face, especially the office whiskey aficionado. We’ve taken the art of caramel making to a whole new level. These intoxicating delicacies provide the smooth, luxurious goodness of aged single malt scotch without the hangover! What’s not to love?

Finding Your Perfect Secret Santa Gift With McCrea's Candies 

Whether you’re searching for business gifts or a secret Santa gift for your boss, find all that you need and more with McCrea’s. Still not sure what to get for the secret Santa coworker on your list? You could try some of our other favorite secret Santa gifts that include Prosperity Candle’s Café Candle, Soluna Garden Farms teas, Qs Nuts, Coops MicroCreamery caramel sauce (which we help to create), jam from Dove and Figs, unique tea mugs from Fishcakes, or Wicked Joe Coffee. And if you’re still not sure, you can always try a McCrea’s Candies gift box or party box of your choice, that way they’ll receive a variety of mouth-watering treats, and you can complete your entire purchase in one fell swoop. From our family to yours, happy holidays, and best of luck with your shopping!

McCrea’s Candies Adds New Flavor and Introduces Soirée-Sized Party Box

 

Award-Winning Caramel Maker Also Announces

Dedicated Business Gifting Initiative

June 24, 2017 -- McCrea’s Candies today introduced an Anisette caramel to its line of award-winning, handcrafted luxe candies, as well as a new soirée-sized party box perfect for intimate gatherings and smaller get togethers.  Additionally, the company announced an expanded focus on the business gifting marketplace with a newly-appointed Caramel Concierge.

Anisette joins McCrea’s fourteen other evocatively-flavored caramels and rounds out the assortment of liquor-infused sweet treats offered by the Boston-based caramel maker, which also includes Single Malt Scotch and Irish Coffee.  The new flavor is delicately spirited with notes of anisette, giving the caramel an aromatic and distinctive bite.

“When we decided to add a new flavor, it seemed natural to expand our spirited offerings with Anisette,“ said Co-Founder Jason McCrea.  “We’ve perfected the caramel so that it provides the perfect balance of spicy and sweet.  It’s luxuriously smooth with just the right amount of licorice.”

The Anisette caramel is joined by a new soirée-sized Party Box.  Weighing 12 ounces and filled with approximately 10 pieces each of four caramel flavors, the smaller box is half the size of the company’s best-selling Party Box, making it ideal for family functions, cozy celebrations, and office parties.

“We are debuting the new smaller box with our customers in mind.  As a maker of fine caramel that is often chosen by our customers as a gift for family and friends, and by all sizes of companies for their business gifting needs, it’s important to create options that fit every occasion.” said Kate McCrea, cofounder of McCrea’s Candies.

It is that same dedication to the customer that prompted McCrea’s to expand its focus on the business gifting market. McCrea’s hired Caramel Concierge, Julie Ayotte, to lead the initiative.  Fresh from seven years at Dancing Deer Baking Co., where she headed the company’s corporate gift program, Ayotte brings 25 years of experience in the hospitality and gifting space.  She will focus on corporate clients, assisting them with holiday gifts, incentive and reward programs, thank you/referral gifts, and prospecting campaigns.

McCrea’s Candies uses the finest salts, spirits, and seasonings to produce evocatively-flavored handcrafted luxe caramel candies in beautiful biodegradable packaging. The company starts with the best butter and sugar and slow cooks it to just the right temperature. Milk from the local dairy is added as are real-food flavorings.  From there, McCrea’s handrolls the caramel and sends it through a restored early 20th century cutting and wrapping machine. McCrea’s quest: find perfect combinations of smooth, sweet, fresh, and unexpected using the fewest possible ingredients. Its mission: make the world's best caramel.

McCrea’s Candies Named an EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2016 Semifinalist in New England

 

EY and McCrea’s Candies today announced that Jason McCrea and Kate McCrea, co-owners of McCrea’s Candies, are semifinalists for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2016 Award in the New England program.

The awards program, which is celebrating its thirtieth year, recognizes entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.  McCrea’s Candies was selected as a semifinalist by a panel of independent judges. Award winners will be announced at a special gala event on June 23, 2016 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place.

“We are honored and grateful to be considered for this prestigious award,” said Kate McCrea. “This has been a seminal year for McCrea’s Candies.   The nomination is a testament to the people that make up the McCrea’s team, their passion, hard work and dedication. It showcases how small businesses can achieve great things. We are truly privileged to be included in this group of visionary entrepreneurs.”

Now in its thirtieth year, the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program has expanded to recognize business leaders in more than 145 cities in more than sixty countries throughout the world.

Regional award winners are eligible for consideration for the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National program. Award winners in several national categories, as well as the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Overall Award winner, will be announced at the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Awards gala in Palm Springs, California, on November 19, 2016. The awards are the culminating event of the EY Strategic Growth Forum®, the nation’s most prestigious gathering of high-growth, market-leading companies.

Sponsors

Founded and produced by EY, the Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards are nationally sponsored by SAP America, Merrill Corporation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.

In New England, sponsors also include fama PR, Goodwin Procter, the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Nixon Peabody, True, Chatham Financial, Empire Valuation, Morgan Lewis, and T3 Advisors.

About McCrea’s Candies

McCrea’s Candies was founded by husband-wife team Jason and Kate McCrea. Building upon backgrounds in biology and chemistry, the McCrea’s transitioned into the sweet science of candy making after double layoffs. Started in a home kitchen, McCrea’s Candies now offers a full line of mouthwatering caramels to retail outlets throughout North America.

Recently selected by Martha Stewart as an American Made finalist, by USA Todaas a Best Gift For Foodies and by People Magazine for inclusion in the publication’s gala gift bags, McCrea's is also a Good Foods award winner, a distinguished national award for food crafters who make food products that taste delicious and are made from responsibly sourced ingredients.

The hallmark of the McCrea’s Candies line is its use of striking and original seasonings in its caramel candies. McCrea’s flagship product features Hawaiian black lava sea salt swirled into caramel to provide a salty-sweet mouthful. Additional flavor combinations include Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Ginger Fusion, Curried Butternut, and Basil Cayenne. McCrea’s also offers such classic flavors as vanilla, scotch, chocolate, maple, mocha, and coffee.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year®

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than sixty countries.

About EY’s Strategic Growth Markets practice

EY’s Strategic Growth Markets (SGM) practice guides leading high-growth companies. Our multidisciplinary teams of elite professionals provide perspective and advice to help our clients accelerate market leadership. SGM delivers assurance, tax, transactions and advisory services to thousands of companies spanning all industries. EY is the undisputed leader in taking companies public, advising key government agencies on the issues impacting high-growth companies and convening the experts who shape the business climate. 

About EY

EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

 

McCrea’s Candies Goes to Washington

Award-Winning Handcrafted Caramel Included in Party Gift Bags at People and TIME’s Annual Cocktail Party on the Eve of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner

McCrea’s Candies today announced that its handcrafted, small-batch caramel was selected by People and TIME magazines for inclusion in gift bags presented to attendees of the publications’ Annual Cocktail Party on the eve of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

Politicos and celebrities, including Jaimie Alexander (Blindspot), Scott Foley (Scandal) and Candace Cameron Bure (Fuller House), joined the media elite at the St. Regis Hotel on Friday, April 30 for the event. McCrea’s Candies was among a host of “hot and trendy” companies that were expressly chosen by People and TIME to be a part of the upscale knapsack handed out to guests.

The People/TIME fete was the kick off to a weekend of events in the nation’s capital, culminating with the annual White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, a yearly event that raises money for scholarships aimed at supporting aspiring journalists. Hosted by President Obama and the First Lady, the celebrity-studded dinner is one of the premier social events of the year.

“We’re thrilled that our caramel got the nod from People and TIME,” said McCrea’s co-owner Kate Michmerhuizen McCrea. “It’s an honor to be included and among such select company too. We hope that guests of the gala enjoy our award-winning caramel as much as we loved handcrafting it for them.”

In addition to this latest recognition from People and TIME, McCrea’s Candies was recently selected as a Good Foods award winner, a distinguished national award for food crafters who make food products that taste delicious and are made from responsibly sourced ingredients. The company was also named a finalist in the Martha Stewart Living American Made Awards and a Best Gift for Foodies by USA Today.

McCrea’s Candies was founded by husband-wife team Jason and Kate McCrea. Building upon backgrounds in biology and chemistry, the McCrea’s transitioned into the sweet science of candy making after double layoffs. Started in a home kitchen, McCrea’s Candies now offers a full line of mouthwatering caramels to retail outlets throughout North America.

The hallmark of the McCrea’s Candies line is its use of striking and original seasonings in its caramel candies. McCrea’s flagship product features Hawaiian black lava sea salt swirled into caramel to provide a salty-sweet mouthful. Additional flavor combinations include Rosemary Truffle Sea Salt, Ginger Fusion, Curried Butternut, and Basil Cayenne. McCrea’s also offers such classic flavors as vanilla, scotch, chocolate, maple, mocha, and coffee.

 

McCrea’s Candies Black Lava Sea Salt Caramel Named a 2016 Good Food Awards Winner

Academy Awards of the Specialty Food World Celebrate the Best – and Most Responsible -- Makers in Food and Drink.

McCrea’s Candies announced that its Back Lava Sea Salt Caramel has been selected as a Good Food Awards winner. The Boston-based maker of small-batch handcrafted caramel secured the win for its flagship caramel in the Awards’ Confections Category.

The Good Food Award is a distinguished national award for food crafters who make food products that taste delicious and are made from responsibly sourced ingredients

To be named a winner, McCrea’s Black Lava Sea Salt Caramel first received top scores from expert judges in a demanding tasting process. McCrea’s Candies next passed a rigorous vetting to confirm the company met specific Good Food Awards standards around environmentally sound agriculture practices, good animal husbandry, transparency, and responsible relationships throughout its supply chain.

“The Good Food Awards is like the Academy Awards of the Specialty Food World. They celebrate the best – and most responsible -- makers in food and drink,” said McCrea’s co-founder Kate Michmerhuizen McCrea. “The award is based on a myriad of qualifications, including quality ingredients, responsible ingredient sourcing, and best-in-its-class taste. We are proud that our Black Lava Sea Salt caramel is a winner.”

Jason McCrea added, “We're honored to be a Good Food Awards winner because the organization shares our commitment to quality ingredients, responsible sourcing and principled production values,” he said. “This award affirms what we have known all along: that McCrea’s makes champion caramel.”

The recognition from The Good Food Awards comes hot on the heels of the company’s placement as a finalist in the Martha Stewart Living American Made Awards. In addition, McCrea’s Candies caramels were named a Best Gift for foodies by USA Today and given the Yankee Magazine 2014 Editor’s Choice Food Award. McCrea’s was also recognized as Best New Autumn Product at the 2013 New England Made Specialty Food Show and received Best Candy honors at the 2012 New England Dessert Showcase.

McCrea’s Candies was founded by husband-wife team Jason and Kate McCrea. Building upon backgrounds in biology and chemistry, the McCrea’s transitioned into the sweet science of candy making after double layoffs. Started in a home kitchen, McCrea’s Candies now offers a full line of mouthwatering caramels to retail outlets throughout North America.

The hallmark of the McCrea’s Candies line is its use of striking and original seasonings in its caramel candies. McCrea’s flagship product features Hawaiian black lava sea salt swirled into caramel to provide a salty-sweet mouthful. Fresh rosemary and truffle salt are combined for a savory-sweet treat. Additional flavor combinations include ginger fusion, curried butternut, and basil cayenne. McCrea’s also offers such classic flavors as vanilla, scotch, chocolate, maple, mocha, and coffee.