A highlight of each conference is the 3-minute idea exchange.  Attendees are encouraged to share ideas that improved their bottom line.  The ideas could be revenue generating or expense saving in nature.

This year we had 18 entries into the 3-minute idea exchange.  They were widely different from each other.  Here’s a summary of the 3rd place winning idea presented by Russ Swartz – Tidbits of Linn & Johnson County, Hawkeye Publishing, Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Russ shared with the group that he has been purchasing custom candy bars that feature his company logo.  He purchases the bars locally for $1.25 each.  These are full sized candy bars and are of a very high quality.  There are several flavors – dark chocolate, milk chocolate, and mint chocolate are the favorites.

What makes Russ’ candy bars unique is that his company logo is imprinted as part of the candy bar.  He purchased the mold years ago for around $80.  A quick online search found a number of sources for purchasing a custom silicone logo mold.  You can expect to spend $100 or so for a custom mold. 

Once he has the bars in hand, he makes a custom label that he affixes before giving the bars away.  What’s nice about this is the option to easily change the message. You could have one to welcome new customers, one to say “thank you for your business”, maybe one to serve as a sell sheet about an upcoming special section.  The possibilities are endless!

Russ shared that the same candy shop that makes his bars also has the ability to put a logo on truffles and other confections.  This gives him another option for gift giving…. a customized box of chocolates or truffles.

This is the candy shop Russ uses and a link to their site:

Tina Kerslake
1468 Twixt Town Rd., Suite 1468
Marion, IA 52302

Artisan Chocolate Shop in Cedar Rapids, IA | Sweetopia (

If you’re looking for a “sweet” way to say thank you to your customers and support staff this may be the golden ticket!