Sweet Rexie’s

so much more than a candy store

Everyone knows how good it can feel to pick out the perfect gift for a loved one, or to receive a tasty gift basket for a birthday or special occasion, but what a lot of us don’t realize is that these sorts of gifts can also play an important role in building strong relationships with clients and employees at work. Sweet Rexie’s gift baskets are not just for birthdays and personal gifts. A growing list of corporate clients have also been using Sweet Rexie’s treats to reward hardworking people and gain favor with existing and potential clients.

Choosing Corporate Gifts from Sweet Rexie’s

The treats and gift baskets provided by Sweet Rexie’s can be just the right thing to show an employee that their hard work is valued, or to remind a client that you value your relationship with them. Choosing the right gift for someone with whom you have a professional relationship, rather than a personal one, can be difficult, but everyone will appreciate receiving a well-presented basket of treats that they can share with their colleagues, or take home to enjoy with their family. If you are trying to impress an important client, you can send them a box of gourmet truffles, or a basket filled with French or Italian treats. If you are looking for a fun gift to reward a colleague who has done well, or to be shared by a team who have just completed a project, then you might want to give them a brightly packaged tower of gift boxes, each filled with a different treat. Whatever message you want to convey, there is a gift that can do the job.

Why Corporate Gifts Work

It can be easy in business to think of relationships simply in terms of contracts and financial exchanges, but building good working relationships with colleagues and clients takes more than this. Some economists, thinking in purely monetary terms, have gone so far as to suggest that any form of gift giving other than of a financial bonus should be banned as inefficient, but this sort of attitude does not take into account the importance of personal relationships in the business world. People are not motivated solely by the factors that can be incorporated into economic calculations. Research has found that just offering a simple gift can be enough to increase productivity, encourage staff retention and build loyalty with both employees and clients. People will actually work harder when they are given a gift than when they are offered a monetary bonus of the same value. Tasty treats can give people a real boost, and even the simplest promotional efforts to motivate people and build relationships can be remembered for years. Everyone likes to know that they are valued. Gift exchange is an important ritual in our society, and it can have just the same effect in the workplace as it does when people receive gifts from loved ones on their birthday.

The Etiquette of Corporate Gifts

Gift exchange is an important part of the business culture in the US, particularly when it comes to the holiday season, but it can be even more important when you are dealing with clients from around the world. If you are conducting business overseas, or interacting with international clients and partners in the US, then taking the time to find out more about the etiquette of gift giving in their culture can help you to build a better working relationship. Simply giving a gift can be a powerful means of boosting relationships at work, but showing that you have made the effort to learn about the types of gifts that are valued in your foreign colleague or client’s home country, will demonstrate just how important the relationship is to you. Gift giving is particularly important in China and Japan, where there are strict rules governing the types of gifts that should be given, and when exchanges should take place. Gifts are also an important part of business relationships in Latin America and the Middle East, since even the most professional relationships in these parts of the world are believed to be personal relationships too.

Making Corporate Gifts Work for You

All of the benefits that are associated with gift giving in the workplace can be gained simply through taking the time to select an appropriate promotional item or basket to send to your employee or client. It really is the thought that counts when you give someone a gift. The fact that you have chosen to make the effort to choose a gift basket packed with treats will be enough to make the recipient feel that you care.

Our friends at M&M’s have a very cute craft idea using some of our favorite things… candy!  If you’re looking for a fun activity for the kids, check out these Witch Caps. And don’t forget to take some pictures of your sweet creations.  We’d love to hear from you.






  • 1 cup M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies for Halloween (orange and black)
  • 16 pieces STARBURST® Fruit Chews FUN SIZE®, optional
  • 1 cup prepared chocolate frosting
  • 8 (3 1/2-inch) packaged chocolate cookies
  • 8 chocolate ice cream cones
  • Candy corn or licorice laces, optional
  • Scissors


  • 1. Cover the cookies with chocolate frosting and place one chocolate ice cream cone on top of each one. Frost the cones and arrange M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies in random patterns.
  • 2. To make the brim of the cap as shown: sort STARBURST® Fruit Chews by color, making sure to have at least two STARBURST® Fruit Chews of the same color. Flatten them slightly, and then snip into thin strips, resembling fringe. Arrange the fringe around the cones for hair. Otherwise, make the cap’s rim with either candy corn, licorice laces or shredded wheat that have been cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and place them side-by-side around the base of the cone.
  • 1. Tip: In a hurry, frost the cones with chocolate frosting and randomly decorate it with a few M&M’S® Brand Chocolate Candies.

Makes 8 witch caps.


We love chocolate fondue… and we really love this unique way to serve it this Halloween season.  Everyday with Rachel Ray featured this unique pumpkin bowl.

Melting Pot

For a fondue Halloween dinner party, cut a hole in the top of a pumpkin just large enough to hold the rim of a small bowl; fill the fondue pot with melted chocolate and serve with cubes of pound cake.

While you’re at it, try out Rachel Ray’s Chocolate Fondue recipe:

Chocolate Fondue


  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Two 12-ounce bags semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Dried apricots, for dipping
  • Gala apples, cored and sliced, for dipping
  • Pretzel rods, for dipping
  • Marshmallows, for dipping


1.      In a medium saucepan, combine the cocoa powder with 1/2 cup water and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the milk and sugar and bring to a simmer. Add the chocolate chips and vanilla and cook, stirring, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth, about 5 minutes.

2.      Serve the fondue warm with the apricots, apples, pretzel rods and marshmallows for dipping.

6 servings.

Okay – you asked for some adult ideas so here goes!

Let’s start with the decorations. Use your favorite glass containers or vases and fill them with a variety of Valentine themed candies or you can even layer them. Red and silver chocolate kisses, gummy hearts, gummy x’s and o’s, red and white gummy bears, layered red, pink and white Jelly Belly’s or m&m’s, conversation hearts. Pick your favorites and be creative!

I group them on tables in various heights and you can also put some candles around them as well. I used a smaller container within a larger container and filled the inside one with red and pink chocolate roses (Madelaine makes very real looking ones) and then filled the outer container with candy (any of above will work). This can be a centerpiece that turns into a favor. When your guests are leaving, pull out the roses from the centerpiece and hand one to each. It’s also fun for them to take something home to the kids if they have little ones! If it’s in your budget, you can also use fresh roses in the center of the candy vase.

A few balloons in heart shapes or in your color theme will make it festive or purchase fun heart garlands and string across a mantle or above a doorway.

Okay now for the food. Use your favorite recipes for appetizers and hors d’oeuvres and just substitute heart, lip or arrow shapes where you can. I like to cut heart shapes out of sliced bread or a baguette and toast them. Then top with tomato bruschetta and shredded mozzarella and melt cheese in oven.

Use heart platters, cake stands with hearts painted on them and heart shaped mini bowls for dips or cheeses to make your tried and true recipes have a valentine flair. If you have a great chili recipe, serve it in heart shaped bowls.

You can make cookies using all various cookie cutter shapes. Bissingers Chocolate makes wonderful heart shaped dessert shells and you can fill these with any type of filling and use heart deocrations. I also love doing a candy bar and I use an assortment of glass candy jars and various sizes of Martini glasses with silver scoops. Buy your favorites and fill the glasses and then arrange on your dessert table with your other selections. One favorite I like to use is these adorable sour gummy lips that look so great in glass containers. I have baked mini chocolate cakes with warm chocolate centers in heart shaped molds and then dusted them with powdered sugar and placed raspberries and large heart shaped sprinkles around edge of platter.

Now for the fun part – drinks! Definitely cosmos or any red or pink drink you like in a martini glass. I just found some great red martini glasses and these look great with anything in them – even water. Glasses can also double as fun dessert dishes for mousses and fresh berries with whipped cream!

I also like to put strawberry slices or raspberries in drinks, both alcoholic and non. You can also crush pink, red and white rock candy and rim your glasses with it.

Conversation starters – Ask if guests have a favorite childhood tradition they did with their parents on Valentine’s Day or one they may have started with their own children; a favorite story that took place on Valentine’s Day; how they met their spouse or ask around for the funniest Valentine’s Day disaster. You can also make the felt fortune cookie craft outlined in my recent blog post and insert funny sayings or fortunes inside or find “love” quotes you like and put those in. Hand them out to guests during the party and ask each person to open theirs and share their “fortune”.

These are a few ideas but if you have questions or need more ideas, let me know. I’m sure I can come up with more!

Now go plan your party!

After planning and conducting close to 800 parties, I have a few ideas for different party themes. Someone just asked me the other day for ideas for Valentine’s Day parties for kids so here are some suggestions.

A favorite for the younger crowd is the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Tea. For a quick invite idea – get precut heart shapes at a craft supply store and use a bear shaped cookie cutter to cut bear shapes out of colored paper. Glue the bear shape on the heart and then write your party info on the bear. Of course, suggest each guest bring their favorite stuffed bear to the party! You can also find very large hearts at the craft store or your local party shop and use these or large lace doilies for placemats.

Okay – now for the activities. Get some heart shaped temporary tattoos for when guests first arrive to keep them occupied until everyone arrives. You can also put white paper over your table covering and let the kids do heart and bear shaped stamps on the paper. (The white paper will protect your tablecloth and after you finish all crafts you can just roll up and throw out with all the mess.)

Buy store bought sugar cookie dough and roll out, then cut out bear shapes and bake ahead of time. Then let them frost and decorate the cookies with all types of theme sprinkles and heart shapes. Place them in cello bags and seal for them to take home as part of their favor.

I have also found those bear kits at craft stores where you stuff the bear shape with the kids and these kits usually come with an outfit to dress the finished bear in. Then each guest gets to take home a new friend.

Some menu suggestions: Use the bear cookie cutter to cut out bear shaped tea sandwiches with the fillings of your choice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to make watermelon hearts. Do veggie plates and have a small heart shaped bowl in center with ranch, or other dip. Dessert can include any of the following: a variety of different sized heart cookies displayed on a heart shaped platter, heart shaped dessert shells filled with chocolate pudding and a dallop of whipped cream with a teddy graham inserted into whipped cream, chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and candy x’s and o’s (made by Jelly Belly) placed on top and pink/white spinkles around the edges, frosted cupcakes with teddy grahams pushed into top of frosting. (You can place chocolate chips in a baggie, melt them and snip the corner of bag to make faces on the teddy grahams before you place on the cupcakes.) Of course, pink lemonade can be the “tea” or a fruit flavored herbal tea can work and serve it in kids’ play tea sets.

Goody Bags – include the craft you made and maybe mini bags of teddy grahams, and any other novelty items you find at your local party store that fit with your theme. You can make name tags with the bear cookie cutter out of colored paper, hole punch them and tie on bags.

You can take this same “tea” theme and not do the teddy bear theme and just have a Valentine’s Day Tea for older children. You would adjust the bear crafts for other crafts – maybe ones I mentioned in a prior post – or get heart shaped containers at a craft store that can be decorated with rhinestone stickers, glitter gel pens and stickers. These containers can be used as the goody bag for end of party. If you want to put items inside for the take home gift, just make up individual cellophane bags before the party with the items you want to include and once the containers are dry, put one bag in each. You can also buy heart shaped beads and let each guest make a necklace.

You can make the menu sandwiches using a heart shaped cookie cutter or use assorted sizes and rest of menu still works. Precut hearts work well as place cards or name cards for goody bags.

Happy Planning!

I thought I would tell you about some sweet ideas I have used in the past to celebrate this holiday and help you create some fun alternatives to traditional Valentine cards! These ideas can also be embellished by your creativity, so if you like a piece of one and think of a creative way to change it, I’d love to hear from you! I always love to hear about new things. These are great ways to spend time with your children.

This is one I used last year for my daughters to give out to each classmate. It is a Valentine Fortune Cookie idea. It was a little tricky, but once I found the right things that worked, it was very easy. You take felt and cut into 6 inch circles. I prefer to use the heavier craft felt as it’s stiffer and works better for this craft. I have also found the thicker felt with glitter in the fabric already and this adds a little bling to your Valentines! Then cut a piece of florist , or craft, wire (heavy enough to hold shape but not too heavy that you can’t bend it with your hands) and glue to the center of the piece of felt using a hot glue gun. I tired several types of glue and the glue gun was easiest. Fold the circle in half along the wire line and then insert 2 chocolate kisses into the fold. Bend the wire in half now to form the firtune cookie shape. This is where the heavier felt makes a difference because the fabric is heavy enough to stay in place without the candy falling out.

Next make small tags to insert in each fortune. I did mine on my computer and it read, “You will have a sweet year. Happy Valentine’s Day XO, Name” . I then ran off copies and cut with a paper cutter. They should be rectangular in s hape and be able to be put inside the cookie shape.

Next add these to the cookie by inserting in to center and letting just the part with the name or Happy Valentine’s Day and name stick out. Once completed, use the hot glue to just put a tiny tab on edges and seal the felt. It should still be easy enough for the recipient to pull open.

My next idea is Cupids’ Arrow and is super easy. You take the long, rectangular packs of gum (regular, not super sized) and get long frilly picks. They need to be at least 6 inches long. I found ones with red curly metallic fringe on end, but I have also seen with hot pink and silver fringe or strips on end. Then push the pick through the pack of gum and just leave a small amount of the tip exposed. Push this tip into a heart shaped gummy candy. Next use assorted sizes of Valentine stickers or themed foam stickers and decorate the pack of gum. Assorted stickers work best because you can put small stickers on the sides of gum pack to hide all writing and larger on front and back of pack.

You can make hand made tags or again print something off your computer and stick under the edge of one of stickers before you press down on pack of gum. For other variations, you can hole punch and tie to the top of the arrow or put each arrow into a small cellophane bag and tie with ribbon and a tag.

I hope you enjoy making these with your little ones and enjoy some fun time together! Email me at nanci@sweetrexies.com if you ahve questions or want to share your ideas!

Most of all, Happy Valentine’s Day and take some time to enjoy all your loved ones!


By Nanci Lewis

Back when first starting my career, I worked in the finance department of a very large manufacturing company. Our small team often worked late into the night, but I particularly remember a very busy month when we were all helping my boss structure a huge deal with a foreign government. We stayed round the clock and never seemed to have time for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Stale potato chips from a vending machine pretended to be our nourishment.

The day the deal was finally completed, I arrived home too exhausted to do anything but collapse into a rocking chair on my front porch. I was just drifting into a nap when a delivery truck suddenly pulled into my driveway and a driver stepped out carrying a very large box.

“For me,” I blinked? He smiled and nodded as I began ripping at the cardboard… now awake and excited beyond belief. I opened the flaps with my heart pounding and pawed through the white protective straw to see what was underneath.

Inside was a veritable basket of delights. Boxes of chocolate wrapped in gleaming gold, bags of colorful candy tied with ribbons, huge lollipops with spiraling colors, sugar coated pretzels drizzled with fudge, and even jelly beans made to taste exactly like every possible kind of fruit.

An attached note revealed that the sender was my boss thanking me for a terrific job. Her thoughtfulness boosted my spirits sky high just as my teeth sunk into a truffle filled with thick, creamy caramel. Like magic, my mind began to swirl about how I would do it all over again, for her, for management… and for our company.

What is the moral of this tale? Simply this. Be sure to remember the people who work on your behalf this holiday season. Be they employees, vendors or clients, we all need to know that our hard work has been noticed and appreciated. I never forgot the lesson of that gift basket and when I decided to start my own business, there was only one thing I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to have a business literally filled with joy. Today I am the proud owner of a beautiful, retail candy store named Sweet Rexie’s.

Sweet Rexie’s is a place where huge jars of gumballs, chocolates, candy corns, jellybeans, licorice, nonpareils, gummy bears and hundreds of other treats line one wall, while baby clothes, gifts, simple toys, and children’s books line the other. Right smack in the middle are my own overflowing gift baskets… just waiting to be shipped anywhere my customers wish to send them.

So next time you are thinking about how to thank someone, just remember that a Sweet Rexie’s corporate gift basket filled with gourmet treats is always the answer.

Nanci Lewis is the owner of Sweet Rexie’s on Washington Street in South Norwalk, CT and has perfected the art of the corporate thank you and holiday gift basket. Check out her fine selection in the corporate gift section.From now until Dec 24th, Nanci is offering a 10% discount on all corporate gift baskets purchased online in the corporate gift section.

My mother used to counsel, “Enjoy everything in moderation.” That’s still good advice today and Jean Lawrence from the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic agrees. “Even candy can be healthy – in moderation,” she asserts.


In a Medicine.Net feature Lawrence’s common-sense approach shows how “sweets can be part of a healthy, lifelong eating pattern.” She quotes Hilary Liftin, author of the tongue-in-cheek memoir Candy & Me: A Love Story.

Candy’s meaning,” Liftin says, “has more subtlety than its taste. It affords a fleeting spike of pleasure, sometimes guilty or elusive or bittersweet, like an impossible love affair.”

Lawrence notes that this means sweets should be enjoyed “in small amounts, or only a couple of times a week,” words echoed by Larrian Gillespie, MD, author of The Goddess Diet who adds that “constant self-denial can lead to dietary defiance and end up derailing all your good intentions.”

Of course not all candies are created equally.

Gillespie noted that “some choices are better than others” and “tries to keep her indulgences on the lighter side.” Molly Kimball, a sports nutritionist, “recommends treating yourself to something that is not 100% sugar.” She frequently chooses sweets that include nuts or indulges in small portions of dark chocolate.

For more information on incorporating sweet indulgences into a healthy lifestyle, read Lawrence’s full Medicine.Net .

Everybody needs a hobby and for some that hobby is collecting candy wrappers! The Candy Wrapper Museum is an online repository where this form of paper ephemera is “enjoyed as art, nostalgia, and humor.”

For Darlene Waddington, museum curator, it all began in the late 50s when she began enjoying “classic candy like Bit-O-Honey, Sugar Babies, and Good ‘n Plenty from the earliest years of [her] youth.”

Gradually she decided she “should collect some of the popular wrappers just for posterity, particularly because I saw candy times were a’changin’, with prices going up, candy getting smaller, old classics vanishing off the shelves …”

What resulted is a nostalgic and educational romp through candy’s history.

You’ll find wrappers of some familiar candies as well as some hidden gems, like the Chicken Dinner Jr. The Candy Wrapper Museum even houses photos of treats named after celebrities and cartoons, like the Reggie and Dick Tracy candy bars. What a great way to enjoy candy without any of the calories!

Slo Pokes are back! The candies many of us grew up with are making comebacks! Including the caramelly Slo Poke. So says Marc Summers of the Food Network’s Unwrapped television show.

Even if you missed the original airing of the program, you still can learn how one company is “taking some ‘blasts from the past’ and making them again for the kids of today” in a show excerpt posted on YouTube. Titled, “Candy Cravings,” the video clip covers a brief history of the Slo Poke and the modern day production of this rediscovered favorite.

Time has changed at least one aspect of the Slo Poke sucker. It’s now available in both the original size and as a bite-sized treat. Now that’s a comeback we all can enjoy!