Savoring LIFE with SYPCOFFEE


How does one begin in the automotive industry and make their way to the coffee world? Although Craig Margolius loves cars, he also has a true entrepreneurial spirit, and he’s loved every minute of this new-found direction.

With the unexpected death of his parents, Craig made a choice. Instead of deciding to throw in the towel with the sudden passing  of his mother, Craig used the experience as a pause button. Craig decided he needed to spend time with family in Charleston. Through the months he took in his childhood home Craig re-evaluated his life’s mission and purpose. With a new perspective of the phrase “life is short,” he revisited a dream that began in college… owning a coffee company. He loved the product and had the entrepreneurial drive to make it happen. After all, you only have one life to give your dreams a try.

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Craig has always been fascinated by how the coffee industry’s supply chain is so long and broad that it is capable of bringing people together in so many different ways. He decided to no longer sit on the sidelines but jump in head first. With this new gained confidence and purpose, the idea of gifting coffee was brought to fruition and SYPCOFFEE was born. He hasn’t looked back since.

SYPCOFFEE is an alternative to the traditional, blase flower bouquet gift. At SYPCOFFEE, they are obsessed with coffee gifting. And honestly, who wouldn’t love a personalized coffee gift during a difficult time rather than ANOTHER flower arrangement. Custom gifting is a much more special, heart-warming experience for the person giving AND the person receiving. SYPCOFFEE is on to something brilliant with this refreshing concept, and we’re on board.



Savor yours.”


Medical Marijuana – Breaking the Stigma

NECANN 3Medical Marijuana is a hot topic of debate in our world today. Regardless of where you stand on the legality of the issue, one thing is undeniable. Marijuana used in the medicinal form has proven to alleviate pain in a non-addictive manner.

In order to discuss this hot topic in depth, we have invited our friend Marc Shepard on the podcast. Marc, co-founder of the New England Cannabis Network and the NECANN Convention, and medical marijuana user and proponent, offers a unique perspective on the issue of medicinal marijuana.

Marc, having experienced multiple knee injuries and surgeries growing up, was faced with a harsh daily reality. He was plagued by the unrelenting pain of chronic arthritis in his knees. His own father faced a similar problem with severe chronic back pain. Marc started trying medical marijuana to see if it would help relieve his daily knee discomfort.  There was such a profound difference in his level of pain that he encouraged his dad to ween himself off of the Oxycontin he was prescribed for 3 years. Today, Marc and his father are not on any prescribed pain medications. Medical Marijuana has significantly increased their quality of life.

NECANN 2In this enlightening episode, Marc sheds light on some of the challenges he has faced in the marijuana industry. From social stigmas to banks turning them down due to association with marijuana, he has experienced much resistance on his road to bringing people a pain-free lifestyle. One of the biggest misconceptions with medical marijuana is that people use it to get high. In fact, some of the most effective cannabonoids for treating pain would be known as “dirt weed” back in the day – meaning it would put a drug dealer out of business because of the little to no psychological effects. Marc likens using medical marijuana to drinking non-alcoholic beer. You get the taste of the beer without getting drunk. Medical marijuana used properly produces the same result.

So what needs to change? According to Marc, there must be a massive social change on the perception of medical marijuana. It is very easy for society to be cynical about the medicinal program because their assumptions are that it is an excuse to get high. “People don’t drink vodka for the taste, they drink it for the result.” This is a similar belief when it comes to marijuana. However, Marijuana was legal up until the 1930s and has been used since the 1600s for medicinal and other health benefits.

Marc Shepard’s life has been directly impacted by the positive effects of medical marijuana and he has committed to bring this freedom to others. Coming up in April, Marc will take part in putting on the largest cannabis event in New England. The NECANN Convention is a great resource for cannabis information and education. It is a B2B and B2C expo in which networking is encouraged and enlightenment is found. Tickets are still available! Learn more here.


Ice Ice Baby – Howard & Sons Ice


ICE. Who knew ice could be such a lucrative, innovative, and opportunistic industry?! Stephen Howard knew, and jumped on it.

Stephen Howard was not always an ice making machine. He spent close to a decade in the Finance and Commercial Real Estate industry, and also invested in an IT company. That is until he went on vacation and had the best iced beverage of his life.  He likened the experience to drinking a bourbon ad on TV.  If you’ve ever had a similar experience, where drinks just taste better at the fancy bar, you’ll enjoy what this episode is all about.

After the enlightening experience with his tropical vacation drink, Stephen began to wonder why only the fancy joints offer the big, clear, cubes of ice that don’t melt as fast and truly take the beverage to the next level. He soon discovered the reason. High-quality ice is not as easy to create as one might assume. In order to create the perfect ice cube one must go back to the way ice was originally created, in a big block that then had to be cut into individual ice cubes. Stephen set out on a journey to bring high quality ice to the place people enjoy the majority of their cocktails… at home.

“I just thought it was kind of silly that you can’t get a cocktail bar quality cocktail at home, even if you’re buying a $50 bottle of bourbon!” Stephen discovered that less surface area is better in ice because it takes longer to melt and doesn’t dilute your drink as fast. Additionally, what’s the point of buying expensive liquor when our freezer ice absorbs odors from frozen food and taints your expensive liquor?

Howard & Sons Ice LogoThis unique episode is one-of-a-kind. Discover how Stephen found a need in the beverage industry and is working tirelessly to meet that need and bring cocktail bar quality drinks to homes across America. Howard & Sons Ice Co. will change the way you think about ice.

Healthy Chocolate® – The chococeutical way of life®

Determination and Perseverance. These are the two words that most accurately represent the guest and company on this episode of Ditch The Box – Guy Lopez and Healthy Chocolate Florida, LLC.4NOGUILT

A specialty nutrition, chocolate and chocolate based nutritional supplements company, Healthy Chocolate Florida, LLC offers its 4NOGUILT® brand and multiple product lines as well as Private Labels.  What sets them apart from other chocolate companies? Guy offers a novelty, proprietary, patent pending chocolate manufacturing process that uses birch wood Xylitol as its sole sweetener as well as in-house product development capabilities.

The Healthy Chocolate® concept was inspired by two of the co-founders of the company. One co-founder was a bone cancer survivor and had to take tons of supplements to keep his system in check. The other co-founder/co-author of patent pending process was diabetic. Together with a means to provide kids their daily vitamins, they both though, how can we make it more gentle for people fighting cancer to keep building their immune systems? What sweetener alternative can we use for diabetics? How to we make kids to take their vitamins every day? The answer was Xylitol. Xylitol is the exclusive sweetener in their unique chocolate couverture/platform that becomes a “delivery system” for supplements, nutrients, and vitamins.

The 4NoGuilt® Brand includes both the food line and the chocolate-based supplement brand. The food line, Naked Nature®, CHOCOBiotics® , are the definition of clean, conscious eating. Simple ingredients and a minimized manufacturing process make up their current and future products.

Listen above for the incredible story on Guy’s adventurous start to The Healthy Chocolate® company. From his escape from Cuba to seeking entrepreneurial freedom in America, his story is one of inspiration, determination, and perseverance that everyone will benefit from hearing.

Pioneering Prunes – Sunsweet

On this episode of Ditch The Box we welcome  special guest Jeff McLemore of Sunsweet Growers Inc. Sunsweet is the world’s largest handler of dried fruits including prunes, apricots, mangos, and more.

Representing more than one-third of the prune market worldwide, Sunsweet processes nearly 70,000 tons of prunes a year! Not only have Jeff and Sunsweet mastered the art of making prunes more palatable, they’ve done it so well that Sunsweet is coming up on their 100 year anniversary. What a milestone!Sunsweet GrowersSo how does a company stay relevant and successful for so long? Jeff dishes on some of Sunsweet’s successful strategies. First of all, Jeff explains the importance of “mining information” (including performance, trends, and key insights) and utilizing the data points to efficiently push the company forward. His experience with data driven results goes back to the time he spent at Kroger.

Jeff was then drawn to the brand/product side of things and he found his home at Sunsweet. He is driven by his interest in advertising innovation, packaging, and buying patterns and their influencing factors. Jeff stress the importance of finding the right company culture to suit your personality.  Sunsweet is employee friendly , open to new ideas, and ever changing.

Sunsweet Prunes

PRUNES. What a challenging market to overcome. Sunsweet took something that has traditionally had this sort of unpopular stigma and made people want to buy in.  Jeff’s advice: “Do a lot of research, learn about the consumer, and look for the consumer that has the right mindset – that is looking for what we stand for.”  Once you find that right customer, being innovative, trying new things, and keeping a fresh look are keys to sticking around for the long haul.

Listen to the full podcast to discover how Sunsweet’s biggest innovation in the last 10 years, “ONES” – Individually wrapped prunes,  has helped lock in Sunsweet’s spot on retail shelves for another 100 years to come!