By Sarah Kuper
From Jim ‘n Nick’s cheddar biscuits to Bud’s Best Cookies, some things are just better in Birmingham.
That’s why local entrepreneur Nick Goudreau is trying to make Birmingham specialties easily available all over the U.S. and beyond.
His business, Birmingham Box, is taking a cue from the novelty gift-giving “box” industry, in which customers can customize themed boxes to give as gifts to others or themselves.
Through the website, customers can choose from nearly 20 Birmingham specialty items to create a box of five to 10 local favorites.
Goudreau said that when an order comes in, he and his partners try to get the shipment off within 48 hours.
Though Goudreau is an Atlanta native, he has fallen in love with Birmingham since graduating from Auburn.
“Birmingham is one of those cities that people have a heart for. If they have to move away, they genuinely miss the one-of-a-kind things here,” he said.
Birmingham Box began almost two years ago when Goudreau and a few friends got together to build a website and approach local businesses about including their signature products.
“For some people, starting a new business is stressful and a chore but for me it is a fun hobby that is becoming more serious,” Goudreau said.
Goudreau has shipped boxes all over the U.S. and even to military bases overseas.
His next goal is to break into a higher volume order industry.
“We would love to work with the wedding industry – great gifts for out-of-town guests or favors,” he said.
Goudreau is currently working with the Lane Parke condo development in Mountain Brook Village. The complex uses a Birmingham Box as a leasing gift for newly signed residents.
Goudreau handpicks items he thinks will do well in the boxes.
So far, most items are food products such as Golden Flake potato chips and Bud’s Best Cookies, or specialty condiments such as BBQ sauces, spice rubs or coleslaw dressings.
“Some businesses see it as a marketing idea to get their product out to new people or to engage people that have moved away,” Goudreau said.
Soon Goudreau will begin offering higher-end items like T-shirts and ball caps.
In the next five years, Goudreau hopes to expand the business to other cities, but not just anywhere.
“It works for unique places – cities where people fall in love with the city or they grew up there and they have to move away, or they want to show it off to friends.”
He gives Austin, Texas, and Savannah, Georgia, as examples.
For a full list of available products or to inquire about including a product in the boxes, visit thebirminghambox.com.
Boxes start at $35 with shipping included.