With the launch of our Brand Friend program, we’ve been able to connect with others who love the art of the handwritten note, our products, and our brand. If this sounds interesting to you, learn more about how to be a Dempsey & Carroll Brand Friend on our website!
It is our pleasure to introduce you to Jon Prince as part of our Brand Friend Spotlight series. Based in Pittsburgh, Jon is a world traveler, candy expert, long-time Dempsey & Carroll fan, and more!
How did you learn about Dempsey & Carroll?
While attending boarding school in the early 80’s, I took a trip to Washington, D.C. and stumbled upon Dempsey & Carroll (Editor’s note – Our only Dempsey & Carroll store is in New York City, though we used to have a Washington, D.C store as well). Ever the fan of the written word, I treated myself to a few boxes of beautifully made stationery – I still remember that it had a Jockey motif – and the brand has remained a favorite ever since.
Do you remember the first letter that you sent on your new stationery?
I recall I sent my parents a letter on my new equestrian emblazoned stationery, thanking them for letting me put the purchase on their charge. Kidding aside, if memory serves me, it was to a woman in Pittsburgh that I had a crush on who always commented that I used “beautiful stationery.”
What’s the most memorable handwritten note you’ve received?
As a young man, I received a note from Gary Trudeau, author of Doonesbury. I also received a handwritten note from Walter Annenberg which I treasure and is tucked into the desk blotter in my office.
Where is your favorite place to catch up on correspondence?
I enjoy catching up on correspondence at home in my study, often in the early morning hours. There is something cathartic about putting pen to paper while the house is quiet and life is at a temporary standstill
Pictured below, I have the Annenberg letter along with a letter from the chef of Tailevant Restaurant in Paris wishing me a happy 40th birthday (amazing meal). The wine vintage chart given to me by a dear friend and mentor who is deceased.
Some of the coolest mementos on my desk include the actual diploma given to JFK when he got his honorary degree in 1963 from University of Galway, Ireland as well as a picture of my dad in basic training in the 50’s.
We know that you have a pretty sweet job! What is your role at Candy Favorites and what are your main goals at work?
I am the President of CandyFavorites.com, the first online candy store. I am also the Vice-President of McKeesport Candy Co., which is the oldest wholesale candy company in the nation!
Robert Rauschenberg once said that his role was to “work in the gap between art and life.” I wear many hats, but my job is to bridge the gap between old world customer service and the impersonal nature of the internet to create an online experience that goes beyond selling a commodity.
An insider look at the Candy Favorites warehouse
What does “making traditions modern” mean to you?
Much like running my business, I love finding ways to keep old world traditions alive while embracing changes in social mores and technology. I loving sending handwritten notes to customers, and I always send notes to friends the day after a party or special meal.
Where business is concerned, most transactions occur on the “great electronic divide” and you can’t imagine the response when someone receives a well-written, witty note. It is a personal connection and bridge to a bygone era when saying “thank you” was the norm and not an exception.
I also have a stationery travel set and nothing is better, or less expected, than slipping a note under a friend or family member’s hotel room door or sharing your appreciation to a hotel, restaurant, or venue where you had a special experience.
I have received a few “thank you” notes via text and consider it a faux pas as it lacks effort or permanence. There is something intimate about choosing appropriate stationery, finding an elegant stamp, and making the effort to find a mail box. Often, effort is as much appreciated as outcome.
What are a few of your favorite things that you do in your spare time?
I collect art and wine and I love to exercise, read, travel, and keep up with my two boys (aged 9 and 15).
My wife and I recently traveled to Cuba which we adored. It was akin to taking a step back in time and is a place where even the most mundane subjects make for beautiful photography. The colors are breathtaking and the people charming and hospitable!
Most summers, we take a family trip to Villefranche-sur-Mer in the South of France and were thrilled to see our favorite beaches emblazoned on the lining of the envelopes of your Cote D’Azur stationery.
As an avid swimmer, I sent a note from this collection to a friend and drew a line showing where I swam across the bay! This, along with your baseball motif cards, served as a call to action for our boys to get into the habit of putting pen to paper!