Chairman of the Board
|Harold Anderson, President of Haddon House Foods,
told Tom he would sponsor him in the show. Thomas Catanese finally
became a member of NASFT. Membership was only 200 then (today,
the membership is 2200). We were in the New York Coliseum, 1st
floor corner booth. We were so mobbed at our first show that the
other exhibitors complained about the aisles being blocked. Tom
was throwing 25 pound fruit baskets up in the air and catching
them. People could not believe their eyes. In 1972, Tom's little
business was really flying. Basket people had never seen shrink
film in action before.
Tom was now working 40+ hours for my parents and 25
hours a week for myself in the evenings.
You may be too young to remember the gas crisis of 1974. It
almost put me tom of business. That year was very difficult.
All plastics are a byproduct of oil.
Gourmet Retailer Magazine was established.
Tim Murphy, Editor of Telefood Magazine, had been watching Tom
over the years. Tim told him that he had seen a lot of baskets,
but mine were unique. He invited Tom to present the first gift
basket seminar to the International Fancy Food and Confection
attendees. It was the first time the show had ever left New
York for Chicago. It was great! We had 250 people in the audience.
To my knowledge, it was the first official gift basket seminar
for the International Fancy Food Show. Tom was making Gift Basket
Telefood Magazine presented a 2-page story on Catanese’s creativity.
Tom exhibited in San Francisco at the Food and Wine Show which
was my first West Coast Show!
Neiman Marcus invited him to present a gift basket seminar to
their Epicure Workroom Staff. While he was throwing baskets
up in the air, the cosmetic buyer walked by. She came into the
room and watched what he was doing. She asked if he could do
the same with her perfume and fragrances. So, he packed the
first perfume & fragrance gift in Dallas for Neiman Marcus.
|Gourmet Retailer prints my first article “Gift Basket
Magic” . tom started thinking about presenting a gift basket seminar
for a fee. He then attended 4 seminars outside the Fancy Food
& Gift Basket Industry. Their fee was $125 per person for
7 hours. On 9/30/79, Catanese presented a 7-hour gift basket seminar
for $39.50. He had created 40 gifts on display. 97 people attended
from across the country. He'd done it and it was a success.
|Tom Catanese did 2 seminars - Houston, TX &
Chicago, IL. Again, very successful - over 150 people attended
|In 1981, Tom presented the first gift
basket seminar in San Francisco, the day before the International
Fancy Food Show. From that time on, all of his seminars were successful
- 125 people attended from around the country.
|Catanese introduced the first shrink bag to the
industry & the pull bow. He also presented a gourmet cookware
seminar to the International Gourmet Show in San Francisco. Telefood
article, “Gift of Fruit” - 3-page article on design, creation
Fancy Food Magazine publishes first issue.
| The world’s most prestigious group of
wine & spirit retailers invited me to Pebble Beach, CA to
present his program. Tom did the first Peacock Chair for the Wine
& Spirit Guild of America. Telefood article, “Gift Pack Sales
and Profits”. He also wrote his first article on Sales and Marketing.
| Catanese designed a $1300 theme gift for Steven
Spielberg in Hollywood for the movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
That led me to create more gifts such as ET, Dynasty, Dallas,
Love Boat, Falcon Crest, Hotel, Magnum PI, and all the TV soap
operas. which were exhibited at the Fancy Food Show in Los Angeles.
May: Gifts & Decorative Accessories article ~ “Food Fashion Gifts”
June: Fancy Foods Article ~ “International Gifts of Wine & Spirits”
Seminar at the New York Omni Hotel and at the New York Gift Show
December: Florist magazine article ~ “The Fruits of Success” - 3-page
article for FTD magazine which was the first of 3 articles.
|Catanese presented gift basket seminars at the Dallas
World Trade Mart, the Atlanta Merchandise Mart & the Denver
Mart. The business was really growing. Designed 50 Gifts for this
seminar to be placed on display at each Mart.
February: 3rd seminar for International Fancy Food Show at California
Convention Center in Los Angeles ~ 550 attendees
June: Seminar at the Dallas Gift Mart June: Showcase NASFT article,
“Fancy Food & Gift Baskets” ~ Profit & the bottom line
July: Seminar at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington, DC immediately before
opening of the Fancy Foods Show
September: Telefood Magazine article, “Gift Packaging for the Holidays”