In just its second season, Gift Rochester once again made a big impact in the community.

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Gift Rochester is a program that successfully combined products and services from local small businesses together to create a convenient way for corporations to give local.

Mayo Clinic helped champion this program by encouraging its managers to purchase thank you gifts for staff from Gift Rochester's holiday pop-up store. The idea and focus is being local, budget friendly items for managers to select for staff.

This started in 2020 as a platform designed to serve area businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. While it is not open to the general public, the second edition of the online holiday store was more robust than in 2020.

Photo from Gift Rochester/White Space
Photo from Gift Rochester/White Space

Comparing 2020 to 2021

In 2020, the online shop curated nearly 200 unique gift options, putting $280,000 back in the local economy through over 14,000 gifts from local businesses. The store was open from October 18 through  November 19 this year, and the online store sold 22,178 individual items through 6,986 orders for a grand total of $364,195.73 in sales, meaning money back into the hands of local entrepreneurs and business owners.

Sarah Miller, the founder of White Space and Gift Rochester, was extremely thrilled with the results.

“We are so thrilled with this year’s growth! By creating an online pop-up shop for local businesses, we were able to support our community’s economy, spread the word about amazing local products, and supply corporations an easy, convenient way to recognize employees during the holidays. The heart of this endeavor is supporting our friends and neighbors, which we were happily able to accomplish."

Gift Rochester's Top Vendor of 2021

Carroll's Corn was the top vendor of Gift Rochester in 2021 and they had to rent a moving truck to bring in the 3,227 gallons of popcorn sold through the corporate store.

“When we sold 2,000 gallons in 2020, we were so happy we partnered with Gift Rochester," said  Seamus Kolb, owner of Carroll’s Corn. "But we were blown away selling over a thousand more this year! We are proud to serve you, Rochester.” This is a first in Carroll’s Corn history to sell this much popcorn at once.

Photos from Gift Rochester
Photos from Gift Rochester/White Space

The Top Five Vendors of 2021

While Carroll's Corn took the top spot, it was followed by Canadian Honker (1,774 meal vouchers), Boulder Tap House (1,485 food vouchers), Nothing Bundt Cakes (1,180 bundt cake vouchers), and Victoria's Ristorante (1,064 lunch vouchers).

Photos from Gift Rochester
Photos from Gift Rochester/White Space

The Shoppers Love It Too

It wasn't sure the local businesses that loved this platform. The shoppers also were thrilled that it was another option this year. This year, Mayo Clinic managers and superviors used Gift Rochester to purchase $364,195.73 worth of local Rochester gifts.

"We are thrilled that this was such a popular option for our staff and even more thrilled to see these dollars go right back to small businesses," said Erin Sexton, director of Enterprise Community Engagement at Mayo Clinic. "We are grateful for the collaboration with Gift Rochester to bring this program back this season."

You can find out more details on Gift Rochester's impact here.

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