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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Did you hear the news? Sara’s Gifts, the delectable, artistically designed baskets full of specialty kosher goodies, is now offering free hand delivery in northern New Jersey and New York City.

What have satisfied customers and gift recipients been saying about Sara’s Gifts? The Jewish Link sought out some testimonials.

Fran from New York City said that she has been the recipient of multiple Sara’s Gifts, and they are always just right. “They are always targeted appropriately for the holiday or occasion they are in conjunction with and the family they are being delivered to, and always brighten my day,” lauded Fran. While sometimes gift baskets can be “overkill and a waste,” Sara’s baskets are always tastefully done and size appropriate. Sara’s baskets have come to Fran with such usable items as nuts, dried fruit, liquor and wine
glasses.

Stephen from Manhattan has been the recipient of Sara’s Gifts more than once and is sure he’ll be purchasing some to gift at some point in time. He stated that “they are always packaged well and make a very nice presentation. There are useful, quality items, which are appropriate for the holiday. Some gift baskets are produced in large facilities with a company inscription and sometimes arrive damaged; Sara’s Gifts always arrive intact. Sara’s Gifts are handmade, personal and nicer because they are custom-tailored to the event or holiday.”

As a startup by Sara Bendet, Sara’s Gifts became a burgeoning business because of a much-sought-after product. Sara’s husband, Rabbi Mendel Bendet, claimed, “She stumbled upon it.” After looking at what was out there and seeing something lacking in the kosher market, limited by high prices, she felt she could fill a void. “She didn’t know she had it until she did it,” her husband and self-described marketing agent added. “The more you do it, the more you grow your product.”

What really started Sara’s Gifts was early on when Rabbi Bendet needed mishloach manot to deliver, and he turned to his wife. Friends saw the baskets Sara created and asked if they could get them. She gladly made more as a favor to her friends, and then people starting telling her that she should charge for them.

“People were raving about the baskets. Friends and acquaintances asked her—no, they pushed her strongly—to go into the gift-basket-making business,” Rabbi Bendet remarked. And so started his wife Sara’s hobby-turned-business.

It began on a budget in 2002, first with mishloach manot and then with teacher-appreciation gifts and/or gift requests by or for her husband’s congregants. Now, she makes baskets year-round filled with fine kosher chocolates and other goodies, “for all occasions…or no occasion at all,” Rabbi Bendet said.

Rabbi Raices of the Chabad of the Mountains in the Poconos said that he recently ordered from Sara’s Gifts and “found their prices to be reasonable and their presentation gorgeous—first rate.” He said he has no time for this sort of thing and it is convenient for him to buy a Sara’s Gifts basket when someone is not well or for a simcha, knowing that they can deliver anywhere.

Her husband said that Sara has a very good eye for color. The baskets she creates are “striking.” “She’s a perfectionist,” he continued. “She’s got a good eye for blending colors and making everything look nice. The more you do it, it keeps growing and growing.”

Now, she would like to expand it out of their inside circle. To accomplish that, she is offering free delivery from their home in Morristown several times a week, throughout northern New Jersey andManhattan.

As Frank from the Packaging Place in East Stroudsburg can attest, you can’t go wrong with a basket from Sara’s Gifts. The Bendets used to live in his area. He’s known them for over 15 years and chuckled, “She was like my mother, always had gifts ready. She would make baskets for her Jewish friends. They are unique, and she knows how to secure them inside.” His company has shipped her baskets but he is not permitted to ship the ones that contain alcoholic beverages, even wine.

Visit www.sarasgifts.com. Her website will be populated more and more as time goes on. Feel free to send Sara pictures of something you may have seen or contact her with an idea, which she will replicate to suit your needs.

To place an order, contact Sara at [email protected] or 973-906-3926.

By Sharon Mark Cohen