When productions come to Georgia, they can bring hundreds of crew members. Some of them might consider the state a second home, while others will experience the state for the first time.
Daren Gayle of Georgia Gifts & More wants to make sure everyone gets a taste of Georgia’s culture, even if they can’t leave the set to do that.
With more than 300 local businesses represented and offerings like Braves Koozies and peach cobbler jam, the Tucker-based company is doing a fine job of showing the world what Georgia has to offer.
“Everyone wants something that says Georgia,” says Daren. “Everyone knows when they come here they have to get some pecans. They know you have to come here to get the peaches and peanuts.”
Gift baskets are given to cast and crew for any number of reasons, and because they work with companies like BET, Starz, and Tyler Perry Studios, Daren and his wife Karen have sent Georgia-themed mugs, hats, and shirts home with national and international film stars and crew members. At one point they were handling annual orders for EUE/Screen Gem’s holiday gifts.
Overall, film and television productions account for more than 10 percent of annual sales for the family owned business. A steady increase in orders over the past several years led the husband-and-wife team to open a brick and mortar location. From there, they serve as ambassadors for Georgia, offering crew what could be their only glimpse into the diversity of the Peach State.
“We were a home-based business when we came together, and we were strictly Internet. It got to a point where our customers wanted to show up and secure the gifts as opposed to doing it all online,” says Daren.
His background in entertainment had him traveling and handling booking with major musical artists, and Karen already had a successful gift basket company when they met. Together, they’ve been able to ensure that one of Georgia’s most important industries and the people who work in it will always remember where they filmed … and how much they loved Georgia’s peach cobbler jam.