Local company has a Chanukah greeting for every night

Having trouble finding just the right Chanukah greeting card? Tired of pictures of menorahs and Chanukah gelt? Want something more personal than an e-card?

This year, why not get a little more creative — and local?

Berkeley-based Palm Press has been in business for nearly 30 years, offering a wide variety of greeting cards for every occasion, including Chanukah. Owner Liz Bordow said she decided to start offering Chanukah cards 20 years ago because she felt there was a lack of creative greeting cards on the market to celebrate the holiday.

“My first Chanukah card was a picture of my son dressed up as a Chanukah bush,” she remembers. “I thought there weren’t any good ones, and for the most part, I still feel that way — it’s hard to do a really good Chanukah card. There are a limited number of images. I like to do something that’s different from what other people are doing.”

Bordow says that she has tried some other Jewish holiday cards, but they don’t sell as well as Chanukah cards. “Many years ago, we had a Passover card, but nobody really buys Passover cards,” she says. “It was a Jewish star made out of matzah. It was a great image, but no one bought it.”

Palm Press tries to add one or two new designs to their Chanukah line every year. This year, they’re offering eight, including the popular latke and giant dreidel cards.

“People buy more Christmas cards than Chanukah cards, but we’d like to put at least one new one out there every year,” Bordow says.

Palm Press’ cards have won several industry honors, including the coveted LOUIE award, handed out each year at the National Stationery Show at New York’s Javits Center.

The company also is committed to green practices, using vegetable-based inks and paper from sustainably managed forests. They also utilize a Marin-based printer instead of outsourcing overseas, as many greeting card firms now do. Both the printing company and their paper supplier have Forest Stewardship Council certification.

Although the greeting card industry initially took a hit in sales from the prevalence of e-cards, Bordow says it has had little effect on her business and believes people are returning to traditional greetings, out of concerns over computer viruses and the impersonal nature of e-cards.

“I thought things would change when e-cards came about, but our sales have been pretty steady,” she says. “Personally, I would much rather get a card in the mail than an e-card. It requires more thought and is more personal.” 

For more information or to find a store that sells Palm Press Chanukah cards, go to www.palmpressinc.com.