If mom can’t go to Mexico because of COVID-19, why not bring Mexico to your mom?


Staycation Boxes can give you a taste of exotic India or savoury Mexico during COVID-19 isolation

(Vancouver Sun).- To turn a phrase a bit, if mom can’t go to Mexico because of COVID-19, why not bring Mexico to your mom?

Or any family member or friend, for that matter, if you don’t mind spending $397 USD.

A Staycation Box can bring a taste, literally, of Mexico, India, Italy, France or Hawaii to your kitchen, where all the ingredients (and some of the tools needed — garlic roaster, Parmesan grader, cheese board — which then become keepsakes) are included.

“With partial lockdowns already in place and potentially full lockdowns looming, what can we do to have a little fun in our family bubbles whilst at home?” Colin Sprake asks.

The boxes aren’t cheap. They’re aimed at real estate agents, brokers and business owners who want to reward high-end clients or staff, but also make a great gift, Sprake suggested, for say older parents who are stuck inside a home and could use an evening of fun making a foreign meal together.

“They’re not gift baskets you just unpack and that’s it,” Sprake said. “They are an experience, we walk you through it. They’re just a whole lot of fun.”

The Mexican box, for instance, contains fajitas and sauce mix, cheese, salsa, avocados and guacamole mix, organic tortilla chips, and, in a nice shop-local touch, Chef Ann’s Tequi-Lime sauce from the North Shore; as well as 1800 reposado tequila, margarita mix and rimming salt, limes, a fajita warmer, cheese grater, stainless steel cocktail shaker and a couple of mini-cocktail umbrellas.

To set the mood for preparing dinner, you can scan a code inside the box that guides you to a webpage for culturally appropriate music, depending on which box you’ve opened, to accompany you through the experience.

“As you open the box you are walked through every aspect from the music to play, to tasting notes for the various delicious beverages, and tips on how to make the experience exceptional and delectable,” Sprake said.

Ten per cent of the cost goes to a food bank of the purchaser’s choice.

Staycation boxes ready to deliver from Gabi and Colin Sprake's White Rock in-house warehouse. (PNG)
Staycation Boxes ready to deliver from Gabi and Colin Sprake’s White Rock in-house warehouse. PNG

If you haven’t heard of Sprake, he’s been described as one of White Rock’s best-kept secrets. An engineer and metallurgist originally from South Africa, he’s a self-described heart centred business Sherpa, as well as an author and a speaker.

He’s also one of two Canadians to be part of the 100-member Transformational Leadership Council, founded in 2004 by Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul) to bring together entrepreneurs and “thought leaders” from around the world who meet twice a year to network and get tips on what each other are doing as philanthropists.

Sprake, 50, and his wife, Gabi, moved to Canada after marrying almost 24 years ago and today counsel couples who have, well, mom-and-pop shops to run. On top of Sprake’s four inspirational books, Gabi wrote one herself called: What the … I Did Not Sign Up for This: The Ups and Downs of Supporting an Entrepreneur.

Beginning Monday, Sprake started running a free, five-day webinar called A Week of Wisdom, in which each day a successful business person from around the world speaks for free to struggling business owners about overcoming fear during these tough pandemic times.

“There’s so much fear out there among small business owners and people don’t have to live this way,” Sprake said. “We just want to help as much as we can.”

If his sales projections are on, that would be about $25,000 to $30,000 by the end of April through Staycation Boxes.

“My biggest goal is to give a whole bunch back to the food bank,” he said.

Source: Vancouver Sun

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