Every year, the Brunet-García team finds a way to share some of its ethos with clients through a meaningful holiday gift. Sometimes, it’s a fabulous cookbook bursting with Caribbean flavor. Or it could be a project that supports a deserving nonprofit organization.
As Brunet-García approaches its 15th anniversary, it’s a good time to remember all the work—and love—that has gone into each gift.
2003: Barriga Llena, Corazón Contento (Full Belly, Happy Heart)
The first three years of Brunet-García's holiday gifts all centered around food and drink—surprise, surpise!
After its first year in business, Brunet-García publishes a cookbook to celebrate the partners’ Caribbean culinary experiences. The book includes recipes for soups, sides, entrées, desserts, and drinks from Cuba and Puerto Rico to Venezuela and its barrier islands. Photos of Jorge Brunet-García’s childhood in Cuba are sprinkled throughout.
2004: Salud, Okole, Malune, Saude, Mabuhay! (Cheers!) Cocktail Recipe Book
Brunet-Garcia rings in its second year with a toast. The agency collects time-tested cocktail recipes, many dedicated to the Caribbean’s favorite liquor: rum. Each recipe includes a nugget of history to help you appreciate the concoction even more. Celebratory images show Brunet-García families toasting, dancing, and partying.
2005: Tapas Cookbook
Multicultural recipes continue with a collection of cold and hot tapas to be shared with friends and family during the holidays or anytime. Although there are many theories about the origins of tapas, they could have been introduced as a complimentary piece of ham, cheese, or bread on top of a glass of sherry to keep out the flies—”tapa” translates as “lid.”
2006: Gahwa, Kahveh, Kaffa, Koffie, Kaffee, Caffe, Café (Coffee) Recipe Book
Brunet-García’s staff has shared many shots of espresso through the years, so this book seems a natural choice. The collection includes café Cubano, café con leche, café de olla, and many other varieties from the West Indies, Mexico, Europe, Thailand, and more. Recipes for desserts and cocktails make warm endings for a satisfying meal. The book is accompanied by a Brunet-García mug and a package of custom coffee.
2007: Twelve Holiday Songs from the Twelve Elves at Brunet-García
With a staff at 12-people strong, team members adopt holiday songs that hold special meaning for them for a compact disc compilation. Diane Brunet-García selects “Mele Kalikimaka” by Bing Crosby to reflect her Hawaiian roots. Aerien Mull chooses “(Everybody’s Waiting for) The Man with the Bag)” to remind her how “the holidays are still worth getting excited about.” The staff is personified in illustrations by Bruce Cooke, who later comes to work at Brunet-García in 2016.
2008: B|G Blanket
Even Florida gets chilly, so clients receive a Brunet-García-branded blanket to warm their bodies and their hearts. The card features a reindeer with the message, “What makes us different … makes us special.”
2009: Ho Ho Hope
The agency promotes donations to Second Harvest with a card and an ornament that implores clients to help the food pantry stock it’s empty shelves. “So while everyone is tightening belts this year,” the card states, “we are giving the gift of hope to children of families who might not have a belt to tighten.” Donations from Brunet-García and others helped fill backpacks of food for children to take home during the holidays.
2010: The Way Home
The agency adopts the Sulzbacher Center, Jacksonville’s largest provider of comprehensive services for homeless men, women, and children, for its annual holiday promotion. In a public service announcement inspired by the story of Mary and Joseph seeking shelter for the birth of Christ, a young couple carries a sign that says, “Please help.” They eventually make their way to a car in a field, guided by a star in the night sky. A baby’s cry is heard from the back seat. Brunet-García sends an ornament—featured in the video—to each client to help promote donations.
2011: PIECE PEACE
MAD DADS, a national organization that promotes safe neighborhoods, community engagement, and the protection of youth and families, inspires Brunet-García to come up with a powerful way to draw attention to gun violence. Featuring the brilliant words of Al Letson and the edgy cinematography of Paul Figura, PIECE PEACE provides a unified community voice for victims of gun violence and their families.
2012: Naughty or Spice?
Brunet-García’s holiday promotion takes a saucy turn with this delightful package of mugs and drink mixes. The “Naughty” mug holds the ingredients for hot buttered rum, while the “Spice” mug is ready to serve up green spiced tea. The tags attached to the mugs say, “Can’t decide where you fall? Take our quiz to find out.”
2013: Silence Is a Bully’s Best Friend
Brunet-García lends its creative force to Mental Health America of Northeast Florida with a public service announcement about the consequences of bullying. One in five students report being bullied during the school year. In the video, a young boy is pushed around while the students around him are silent—because they have no mouths. The message is, “Don’t stand by. Speak up.”
2014: The Brunet-García Cuban Kitchen
This cookbook is a journey into Jorge Brunet-García’s culinary past. The fusion food he cooks on a regular basis is a combination of Spanish, African, and Caribbean cuisines that have also been influenced by French, Arabic, Chinese, and Portuguese cultures. The fully illustrated book includes recipes for ropa vieja, moros y cristianos, tostones, and flán, as well as a full week’s menu. These classic family recipes include some subtle manipulations and flourishes, as is the way with so many Cuban-Americans who have lived “life on the hyphen.”
2015: Believe T-shirt
Brunet-García commemorates the holiday with a shirt celebrating the magic of a better world. The stylized iconic image represents the high-impact work the agency produces for its clients. The T-shirt is a huge hit with clients, who wear it to parties for the next two years.
2016: 100 Plates
The Brunet-García team installs the 100 Plates interactive storytelling exhibit at the Jessie Ball duPont Center in downtown Jacksonville December 2016 through January 2017. The art piece features hundreds of paper plates hung from the ceiling to form the number “100.” The interactive piece includes large boards printed with conductive ink, telling the story of Jimmy, a young boy whose family struggles with hunger. Touching different areas of the boards triggers projections of animations and related facts. Through a kiosk, visitors are invited to donate $10 to Feeding Northeast Florida to provide 100 meals for families struggling with food insecurity. A fully integrated campaign with email marketing, social media graphics, and earned media outreach supports the initiative online, driving users to the donation page. Brunet-García sends “100 Plates”-branded totes to friends, partners, and customers, asking them to join the fight against hunger. A joint project of Brunet-García, Castaño Group, and freelance writer Jack Twachtman, “100 Plates” wins Best of Show, four gold awards, and one silver award at the local level, then claims the top honor of Best of Public Service at the district level.
Find out what this year's holiday gift will be in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned!