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Last Update: Wednesday June 16, 2021

Key Idea: Give Customers More Than They Expect

From the beginning, Debra added a service to her very simple product.

Key Question:


When a customer purchases a tin of St. Claire's Oragnic Sweets that customer wants strong breath mint that is vegetarian.

Q:  What is the extra service that Debra delivers on every tin?

A:  An inspirational quote.  These are quotes that have been time and Debra tested and have proven to be helpful to people.  The quote might make the customer think, or smile, or feel a surge of confidence.

In South Louisiana giving a customer a little extra or a little more than they paid for is called, lagniappe.  This is a French word that means, a little extra.  Lagniappe is always good and we should all find ways to do it.

Think about it

What could you do for your customers that you are not now doing?  How could you surprise and delight a customer today?  

Clip from: St. Claire's Mints & Organic Sweets (EcoNatural Solutions)

Boulder, Colorado: Debra St.Claire started her business, EcoNatural Solutions in 1993 to begin manufacturing  a totally organic breath mint and a healthy candy for children and adults.  She is an herbalist, naturalist, and vegetarian. When she learned that there was beef gelatin in her favorite peppermints, she was so disappointed, she said, "I'll make my own!"

Today St.Claire's Organic Sweets are on thousands of store shelves around the world.

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St. Claire's Organics started as EcoNatural Solutions, Inc.

St. Claire's Organic Sweets, a global business

6235 Lookout Road
Boulder, CO 80301

Visit our web site:

Office: 303-527-1554

Business Classification:
food processing

Year Founded: 1993

Give Customers More Than They Expect

HATTIE: (Voiceover) Customers don't get just mints when they buy St. Claire's, they get something to think about every time they open the box.

DEBRA: So the original tin only had the Thoreau quote in it: `If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams,' but after that, when we changed the name to St. Claire's and I had so many more flavors, I thought, `These people are gonna get bored seeing this quote. I'd better give them a little more juice. I'd better give them a little--a few more quotes.'

I love this one by Gandhi because this, to me, is the essence of being an entrepreneur: `If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning.' That is the mantra of an entrepreneur. You're not going to know how to do everything at the beginning, especially if this is your first time around the pike.

These quotes don't just serve my consumers, they serve me. These keep me going.

HATTIE: What is the future of EcoNatural?

DEBRA: The future of EcoNatural Solutions, I think, is dependent on where I go next in my product development skills. I have 15 to 20 lines of products that I can bring out. Now, when I look at the future, I look at the future of how am I going to get the financing to do that? Do I go with a venture capitalist? Do I go to investment bankers? Do I think about doing a direct public offering? Do I think about doing an initial public offering? Well, with Dr. Jim on board, I have the skills set to help me make those decisions. So probably for us, it's gourmet mass market to take this product even deeper into the food distribution chain, and then beyond that, it's the development of other products. And so I have other product lines just waiting, and they're breeding in my mind right now, as we speak. I know that I'm going to be doing something with children's products. I know that I'm going to be doing more work with medicinal products. I know that I'm going to be doing more work with ecologically sound products. And that's all I'm gonna tell you, and that's the future.

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