Spoonful of Comfort sends care packages to your friends and loved ones when you can’t be there in person. And they use Authorize.net to accept payments online. We interviewed the CEO of Spoonful of Comfort, Marti Wymer—wife, mom, animal enthusiast, and unintentional entrepreneur—to learn what makes the business so successful.
Please tell us about your company.
Spoonful of Comfort nourishes relationships with comforting foods and a delightful way to receive them. We send care packages that show your love and concern when you’re not able be there to support someone in person. It’s a gift that is as unique and personal as it is easy to order and manage. Our gift of classic soup in a heat-and-eat care package is the perfect go-to gift for every occasion.
How did the company get its start?
Spoonful of Comfort didn’t begin with soup, but instead, with a sentiment. I was living in Florida when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. She was in Canada, and I wasn’t in a position I could travel to be with her. All I wanted was to let her know that I loved her. I wanted to care for her the way she had always cared for me. After my mother passed away, I had the idea to send handcrafted soup to others in need of comfort. The effort was less a business plan than a positive outlet for my grief. But the idea caught on, Scott Gustafson joined as a business partner to help with operations, and we started growing! We have been fortunate to be featured in magazines, on blogs, and on TV shows like the Today Show and Shark Tank.
How does it feel to do what you do? Why do you love it?
It feels amazing. To hear from happy customers is everything to me. The Spoonful of Comfort purpose is close to my heart. We’re not saving the world, but we get to be small part in important moments for people. When we started, I would hand write every message from a sender—and I would cry nearly every day. Even now, anytime there’s a message to moms or dads, children who are sick, friends who had surgery or who are having a hard time, I choke up. I’m especially a sucker when I read cute messages from moms sending packages to their kids. To me, this business is proof of how loving and caring people really are. I am touched to be able to see this every day.
How did it feel the first time you got a purchase from your shop/online store?
That is a hilarious story. Our early days were in the “You’ve Got Mail” era, when your computer would ding each time you got an email. I opened my inbox one afternoon, and it just kept dinging! I didn’t realize an article had been published about Spoonful of Comfort on Daily Candy. Suddenly, the orders were pouring in, and I didn’t have enough soup! It was crazy. My husband cancelled a business trip scheduled for that night, my girlfriends showed up to help, and we cooked soup and boxed packages until 3 a.m.! I even had to make a midnight run to Walmart to buy a new printer when ours broke down, to finish all of our shipping labels. That was the day I realized, “Huh, we might have something here!”
Do you have any advice for businesses in your field, or in general?
You just have to try. I tend to be a perfectionist, and I resist releasing a new recipe or a package design or a marketing campaign until it’s absolutely failsafe. But sometimes you’ve just got to get it out there. My advice for new businesses is to go for it! Fail early and move on so you can learn along the way. Have the attitude of “let’s see what happens.” If you mess up, apologize and make it right. Then just keep going, full steam ahead.
Tell us about your Authorize.net experience.
We’ve been with Authorize.net since the beginning! It’s already been a full eight years since we came online. The customer support at Authorize.net is really solid. The service itself is simple and user friendly. When I have had problems, I’m able to have a real conversation with a real person. They sound like they care, they want to help, and they want my business to do well.
Which Authorize.net features do you use?
All our payments depend on the E-commerce Payments feature; it’s always been seamless, easy, and responsive. In the instances we need to do refunds or phone payments, the process is simple for any of our employees to do.
Authorize.Net is actually part of my personal ritual each day. I’m a little nuts about monitoring the business’s progress, and I use Authorize.net to observe our daily sales. I’m so habitual about checking our numbers, it’s become a bit of an internal joke. My husband (our COO) and our business partner love to spot-check me at random times, because they know I’m always up to date on the sales. And it’s how we wrap up our day.
Using Authorize.Net to check the pulse of the business is my secret weapon. Because I’m familiar with our sales trends, I know immediately from checking Authorize.net if something is off. It’s how I’ve learned the site was down and how we’ve discovered server issues—I caught the problems through Authorize.net. They’re in our business and on our minds every day.
Send an amazing gift to connect with your clients and employees. Spoonful of Comfort offers a full-service corporate gifting service that includes quantity discounts. Visit the website at www.spoonfulofcomfort.com or their business blog at to learn more.