January 27, 2016

Peterbrooke Chocolatier - Is In The Crate

River City Crate is proud to feature Peterbrooke chocolates in select gift crates.  Peterbrooke, a widely recognized local brand, was originally founded in 1983 with a mission to bring the art of European chocolate making to the United States.  Peterbrooke and the brand's owner, Hickory Foods, have operated in the Jacksonville area for decades.

Current items includes Peterbrooke's signature chocolate covered Popcorn, pictured above, and milk chocolate covered Graham Crackers (6 piece).   For a limited time, Peterbrooke's heart shaped chocolate covered popcorn and various sized heart shaped assortments are included in River City Crates Valentines Day themed crates.  

Be sure to check out this years new crate arrangements and our limited Valentines Day themed crates.   

December 07, 2015

Holiday Gifts Available from River City Crate

How do you plan to gift out of town relatives this holiday season?  Consider gifting a piece of Jacksonville!  See what River City Crate co-founder David Walton had to share with Eden Kendall, co-host of River City Live of WJXT.  


Click HERE to view a selection of holiday gift crates. 

November 28, 2015

Shop Small Jacksonville Promotes Local Holiday Shopping

Shop Small Jacksonville, a promoter of Jacksonville small business, launched a “buy local” initiative that brings awareness to the importance of supporting local businesses. Shop Small Jacksonville serves as a marketing platform to help propel the local small business community.

Founder Heather Carolan recently spoke with Eden Kendall, co-host of River City Live of WJXT.  View this video clip to see some of the great local products they discussed.


To learn more about Shop Small Jacksonville, check out shopsmalljacksonville.com

November 12, 2015

Locally Created Holiday Gift Packages – From River City Crate

River City Crate, Jacksonville's first locally based gifting service, offers holiday gifting solutions for both business and personal gifting.

 "We are very excited to be the first to offer our Jacksonville community a locally sourced holiday gifting alternative for friends, family and business associates who are not fortunate enough to live here,” said River City Crate cofounder Andrew Dutt.  With an emphasis on local business collaboration, River City Crate is dedicated to promoting and helping grow local brands.  “The coming holiday season represents a great opportunity for the community to share a part of Jacksonville’s unique identity.”  

 River City Crate was launched this year in conjunction with One Spark 2015.  Cofounder David Walton shared, “As a new local start-up we believed One Spark to be an ideal platform to debut our brand and get feedback on the concept. The event proved to be an incredibly valuable resource.”

 Several weeks after the One Spark festival, River City Crate landed its first corporate order -- from One Spark, Inc.  “River City Crate was the perfect way to package the essence of Jacksonville and share it with key One Spark partners,” said One Spark CEO Elton Rivas.  “It was a memorable gift that was simple, cost-effective and arrived quickly at the doors of our partners.  Best yet, they were a One Spark Creator!”

Since then River City Crate has seen a steady increase in consumer sales for special occasions including birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and graduations.  The ecommerce website also makes it easy for local customers to “gift” themselves, too, (which happens fairly often!).

River City Crate also strives to make corporate gifting personal, easy, meaningful, and affordable, and local businesses have begun to recognize the advantage.  “I highly recommend River City Crate for anyone looking to send a unique gift for the holiday season or just a simple thank you,” said Manny Torres, Creative Director, Rock My Image.    

Be sure to check out the holiday themed crates on our website.  You can start ordering today and can specify a ship date no later than December 18, 2015.  

For more information email getmeacrate@rivercitycrate.com

August 27, 2015

Top 5 Jacksonville gifts to bring home after a visit!


After an awesome visit to the River City, we have some great products you can take home with you, to share Jacksonville with your friends and family.

1) Sweet Pete's candy. One of the most unique locations in Northeast Florida, Sweet Pete's is a destination in itself. With their huge selection of candy and chocolates, its a great treat to share when you get home. Find more about our downtown candy shop at their website, Sweet Pete's.

2) Salt Life gear and decals. A nationwide purveyor of the beach lifestyle, Salt Life was founded in Jacksonville and exemplifies the laid back, relaxing and sandy style of what it's like to live in a beach town. Share your experience in Jacksonville with a great decal placed right on your car or even your office window! Explore Salt Life products in hundreds of Surf Shops in Florida, their main store in Jax Beach, or online here Salt Life Surf Shop.

3) With almost 10 local breweries in Jacksonville, a great item to take home is some Jacksonville brewed beer or accessories! Don't miss the stand out designs and flavors from Bold City Brewery, the home-town feeling of Intuition Ale Works, or the military might of Veterans United. There is even a reward for visiting all of the breweries on the Jax Ale Trail!

4) Bring some Teal Pride home with you! The Jacksonville Jaguars sport some of the most stand-out gear in all of the NFL, and we love to share it with the world! You can even get these awesome products from the Internet's largest sports retailer, based in Jacksonville, Fanatics!

5) Local small business goodies! We here at River City Crate feature lots of great products, made right here in Northeast Florida! You can find these products at our local farmer's markets, or at the Riverside Arts Market every Saturday. You can view our collection here. You can also view our partner's sites, for even more awesome products, try Fresh Jax, Flippin' Good Cookies, My Pepper Jelly, Pura Bean Coffee, Evil Seed Sauce Company and Howler Monkey Sauces!

August 11, 2015

Back to School!

Spare the Apple and Spoil the Teacher!

Moms and Dads, summers often involve the tiresome task of keeping the idle kids busy and engaged; but relief is on the way as we approach the start of the 2015 school year.  

Show your appreciate for all those dedicated teachers by ditching the old-school apple and impersonal gift card, and get them a great gift box with awesome locally crafted goodies. You might consider the Ladies' Corner Crate; which includes everything a busy lady needs to unwind at the end of the day, all by herself.  Or perhaps the Gentleman's Blend Crate; a collection of local goodies designed to help that sophisticated man cope with any situation.  What a great way to kick of the school year!  

Words from thecandidteacher.com

The Candid Teacher, an online forum for teaching professionals, says; "No apples, please."  Though appreciated, teachers mostly appreciate a, "heartfelt thank you card or letter."  However if you also desire to gift something, apples and gift cards are the least desirable.  Some of the most popular preferences include home-made items, a gift that reflects something about your family, where you live, or your child, and gifts that include healthy options (if its a food-gift). 

Everyone knows apples are beautiful fruits and great for you; but this year you can stand out, and wow a deserving teacher at the same time. 


August 04, 2015

4 New Takes on Commercial Real Estate Gifts

The deal is done, and now you want to surprise your new tenant, or the new owner with a one-of-a-kind gift. Read these 4 unique ideas for after the close.

1) A framed antique map. Most areas in America have historical significance, and an antique map of the city or town where the building is located will make a great impression. This gift can be hung in the building, and will make an intriguing art piece for the employees to view. To go the extra mile, include your agent information on or within the frame. Some great places to shop are Pine Brook Maps, or Rare Maps.

2) A custom bobble-head. What's more outstanding than you, or your client in miniature form? Customized bobble-heads have become very affordable recently as online competition has increased. Not only will these mini-me's look great, but they always generate the question 'Where did you get this!?!' Keep your clients talking about you with this ego-centric wobbler. Take a look at LikenessMe, BobbleMaker, or TheSmallMe.

3) Locally made goods and snacks. A small disclaimer, we specialize in these types of gifts here in Jacksonville, Florida. What makes your city, town or state incredible and interesting? Take your client on a trip through the artisan products that are made by local small businesses, and package them together. Most communities have a huge selection of snacks, soaps, candles, beers, coffees and chocolates; so go all out and 'WOW' them!

4) Alma Mater Elements. Bring your client's past into the present with a great gift that represents their school. Everyone has fond memories of college, and its always tremendous to have new keepsakes. Head to their website and browse the store, universities are always stocked with branded products. Pens, mugs, umbrellas, and nearly anything else will surely make them smile. If you're unsure of their alma mater, Linked In is a great resource to identify it.

July 31, 2015

An Awesome Update to the Jax Landing

Built almost 30 years ago, the Jacksonville Landing is a striking orange contrast against the Main Street Bridge. Lately though, it has been struggling to maintain its identity and hasn't been a truly exciting destination for years. Some local entrepreneurs in the tech community are looking to revitalize the riverside mall, by moving their business into the Landing.

CoLabJax is building a Makerspace to spin up innovation here in Jacksonville's downtown. A Makerspace is a community style area, that focuses on building products using technology. Utilizing things like 3D printers, CNC Laser Cutters and industrial tools.

We wish CoLabJax the best and have decided to donate an awesome gift for their silent auction, which will be available during their grand opening, starting at 4pm on Friday, August 7th. So come out and meet the CoLabJax and the River City Crate team, we hope to see you there!

July 22, 2015

One Spark 2015 Wrap-Up

Excitement was soaring as we finished the first day at One Spark 2015. We had spent over 10 hours talking, meeting, learning and validating our gift ideas and couldn't wait to come back for the rest of the festival. Here are some small excerpts from our amazing experiences at One Spark 2015, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Spark Tank

An email arrived about a week before the festival started. I read it twice, then once more. It was an invitation to present our concept and slideshow to PS27 Ventures, the investors running the 'Spark Tank' program at One Spark. A huge smile came across my face, and I cleared my schedule. They wanted to meet the following day, and we hadn't even put together a Power Point. I confirmed with David that he was available and we put our various notes, plans and financials into as good a presentation as we could.

We met, presented the idea, and a few days later we were informed we'd made it! They had scheduled us for Day 3 of One Spark, at 10 AM. This was about 6 days away, so we revamped our slides, rehearsed our parts, and prepared to present. 

The presentation room was at One Spark HQ, right off of Bay St.  4 groups of investment companies surrounded the table, curious as to what we would be presenting. We cruised through our slides and answered their questions. The feedback was tremendous, they provided some key insights into our business, and how to compare it to others in the gifting industry. We're very thankful for being part of only a few finalists and having the opportunity to present.

The Booth

A light breeze blew down Laura St, right past our location inside of the Visit Jacksonville Visitor Center. The weather was great all week. The location was tucked into the first level of an old department store, right next to Hemming Plaza. It's a truly prime location, shielded from the outside heat and led by the most helpful team in the city. Our hosts were truly gracious and sincere, and whomever does One Spark in the future should try and match with them. Every day they had catered food, small spaces to relax away from the crowd and an on-site restroom. It made the whole festival much easier, and we couldn't of been more excited to share the space.

I distinctly remember a few individuals and groups that came by that invigorated us and showed us we were on to a real concept.

Scott and his daughter were one of the first visitors on Wednesday, the first day of the Creator Showcase. I coerced him to be our first email sign-up, as he and his daughter looked over our products and our push to 'Gift Local'. Scott came back on Sunday and said hello, while telling us that our concept will bring us success. Thanks.

Toni, and later Toni and her brother. She was our biggest supporter, coming by 3 days and dragging her brother with her for 2. She was very positive and wished us the best.

Declan and Sam from the St. Johns Chamber of Commerce. Right after the festival began, we met two gentleman dressed in business attire who looked at our booth and engaged us immediately. They invited us to meet after the festival and are continuing to help us meet other local businesses to partner with.


We're proud of our performance in votes, with 325 votes cast for us during the festival. The process though, was akin to herding cats. The amount of people and the general frustrations with the voting process made it very difficult to encourage votes. After Thursday, we committed to bringing awareness to our project, and focusing on building our email list. Our list grew to over 140 throughout the festival, and that was a strong indicator of traction for us. Walking through the festival and seeing the other email sign-up lists, we're quite proud of the amount of emails we garnered.

Key Takeaways

We went into One Spark looking to learn more about our potential customers, here are the key things we took away from the festival.

  •  Set your goals and execute to achieve them. We didn't bring 20 people, or stalk the streets aggressively. We focused on building our emails and presenting our awesome gifts.
  • Bring something the festival-goers can take. We worked with Jordan from The Business Bar (http://thebusinessbar.com/) to create some amazing 4x6 cards. They had our Creator Number, Business Name, and briefly described our product, and the problem we were solving.
  • Email and call contacts before the festival even starts! Get honest feedback from previous attendees, reach out to local business owners, media contacts, anyone! One Spark is a festival worth getting excited about, and it's an extremely good topic to get in the door with Jacksonville's influencers. Through this approach we were able to appear on First Coast Living, a week before the festival started (see the video here). We also sat down with the owner of Natually Smart, and he provided a terrific run down of his experience. Thanks Mark!
  • Network and network! Use the festival as a badge of honor and greet everyone with a smile. We met new vendors, partners and customers by being able to quickly describe our business and by learning about them.


May 25, 2015

Spokane Claims Origins of Father's Day

The Pacific Northwest Blazes a Path for Father's Day Holiday  

Though a West Virginia church sponsored the nations first Father's Day ceremony in memory of the 362 men who perished the previous year in a coal mine explosion in 1907; Spokane, Washington became the first state to establish Father's Day as a annual holiday.  Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a Spokane widower, pressed her idea of a father's equivalent to Mother's Day to local organizations and government officials.  By 1910 the governor of Washington proclaimed Father's Day as a statewide annual holiday.  

Though other states began adopting similar ways to honor fathers annually, it would take another 58 years before Father's Day was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1972 to become a permanent national holiday.  Since then, we celebrate the virtues, responsibility, and paternal bonds of fatherhood and the important influence fathers have in shaping children and society's future.  

Father's day is less than a month away, so be sure you find a unique and personal way to express to dad how much you appreciate his contribution to shaping you into who you are today.


Forget gift cards & shop tools, get your dad something great!

River City Crate can help you make Father's Day a super special day. Send dad one of our specially arranged gift crates that includes a collection of local brands, all crafted in Jacksonville and the surrounding communities.  Click here to check them out.