Merry & Bright (2019) Movie Script

[upbeat music]
- Legend has it that the
very first candy cane
was created one Christmas
by a choir master
to help keep the children
occupied during Christmas mass.
The choir master curved
the candy into a hook,
which was meant to represent
the handle of the
staff of the shepherd.
My grandma Carol
loved that story,
and it inspired her to make
the greatest candy
canes in the world.
[upbeat music]
I can't believe the board
is doing this to me.
Empire Corporate
Recovery from New York?
- Apparently they're quite good.
- It's just another
cost we don't need.
- The board is
probably just concerned
about the future of the company.
- But I'm the new CEO.
I'm concerned with the
future of the company.
I know Merry &
Bright hasn't turned
a profit these last couple
years but I am really...
I'm venting aren't I?
Am I venting?
- A smidge.
- Okay.
- Uh, mini candy cane?
- Yes.
Thank you.
You know let's, let's just
talk about something else.
How are things
with you and Pete?
- He keeps dropping hints
that something big
is in the works.
- Hints?
- You know.
- Sophie!
- Okay, not hints.
It's more of a feeling.
I mean, we've been
together for three years
and Christmas is the
perfect time to get engaged.
Oh, Cate I'm, I'm
sorry, I forgot.
- Don't worry, that's
ancient history.
I'm happy for you.
This calls for a toast.
[gentle music]
Try the mint deluxe.
Cheers [chuckles].
[upbeat music]
- A candy cane company?
You want me to do
corporate recovery
for a candy cane company?
- The Merry & Bright Candy
Cane Company to be specific.
- I just finished working
with Bermax Food Enterprises.
- Yes, and Royce Rutherford
was very happy with your work
and he's a hard man to please.
- I consult for
major corporations.
- I realize that working with
a smaller company isn't
what you're used to
but this came across
my desk, Gabe.
The board reached out to us.
They think that
they're in trouble.
Now, this is a unique situation
and it requires a unique talent.
- Oh, flattery?
You're bringing out
all the big tools.
- Merry & Bright reminds
me of what we used to do.
Working with smaller
independent companies helping
them achieve their goals.
- Can they afford us?
- Well, I think we'll
work something out.
- It's almost two
weeks until Christmas.
Aren't they winding things down?
- It's the Christmas season
at a candy cane factory, Gabe.
I would say things
are winding up.
It's the perfect time to go.
Now, after your
two weeks I'll need
you to submit a
preliminary report.
We'll take it up in the new
year and see where we stand.
And if you're feeling
the holiday itch,
I hear that the Christmas season
in Britewell is quite lovely.
[playful music]
- I don't even know
where Britewell is.
- Ohio.
- Fine.
- Great, I'll give them a call
and tell them that
you're on your way,
and if you finish that report
sooner rather than later,
maybe you'll finally make it
to one of our Christmas parties.
- Merry Christmas.
[gentle music]
["Deck The Halls" by
John Ceiriog Hughes]
- Yeah, I've always had
that effect on people.
They like me, I don't know why.
They just do.
- Hm [chuckles].
- Oh, hm.
- So, my mom said that you
used to uh, live in San Jose.
You know I went to Stanford.
- Yeah, Fresno State here.
Yeah, football.
- Oh, a Bulldog.
- Yeah, through and through.
[Cate chuckles]
- I was actually on
the badminton team.
You know we won the--
- That's the one with
the uh, the, the birdie?
- Yeah, right, the
one with the birdie.
- Uh, excuse me?
You know, I don't understand
why she doesn't see me.
[playful music]
- I don't know, looks like
you two aren't connecting.
- Yeah, I guess not.
- [Cate] Yeah.
[playful music]
[upbeat music]
- Wow, it's quite a tradition
that you're starting Cate.
Making chocolates for
every single employee.
- I forgot how much
I love doin' it.
And you know,
when's the last time
you and me made chocolate
together, like 10 years?
Always leave 'em
with something sweet.
- Yeah, that's what your
grandmother taught us.
[gentle music]
Oh, how was your date Cate?
- Nice rhyme, mom.
- Yeah, it's the
school teacher in me.
- Well it was uh, it was good.
- Really?
- Yeah, if good
means excruciating.
- Oh no.
Jeffrey seemed like
such a nice fellow.
- Mom, I love you, but
please stop setting
me up with people okay?
[playful music]
There's, there's
another one coming?
- Well, it's
Bernice's son, Gary.
He's from Akron and he's staying
all week at the Britewell Inn.
He's here for a conference.
- Mom--
- And so I thought that--
- Mom, mom, please.
I just need to figure some
things out for myself, okay?
I'm just not ready to--
- You're not ready to date
after Josh, I understand.
- And I'm really busy.
- I thought that getting
out there might be
just a nice distraction for you.
- Oh, you know I'm thinking
about getting a dog.
- Oh, yes.
That's what you were saying.
- It might be nice to
have a little companion
that just doesn't
talk about himself.
- Well you can't really have
a conversation with
a dog, can you?
They leave fur everywhere,
chew up shoes,
yapping at all hours.
- And I might like that.
[Joy scoffs]
- Well, what do I know?
I've never had a dog.
- Remember that adorable
scruffy little mix
at the rescue shelter I
was telling you about?
- Mm hm.
- Yeah, I stopped by after work.
He was gone.
- Oh, I'm sorry honey.
Well, I guess it was
just a matter of time.
I'm sure he found a nice home.
Anyway, good things
come to those who wait.
You never know what might be
just right around the corner.
- Let me guess, Gary from Akron?
- You'll see.
[Cate sighs]
[playful music]
Let's make sure we
have an understanding.
This is my house, my rules,
and you are a guest
here until Christmas Eve
when I bring you to Cate.
I don't want any trouble.
No yapping.
[dog barking]
What did I just say?
[dog barks]
[dog whining]
[upbeat Christmas music]
[bell dings]
- Sorry about that, I was
just pluggin' in my monitor.
Good morning Sir,
my name's Pete.
How can I help you today?
- Good morning, Pete.
Gabe Carter, I'm
supposed to be checking
in this evening but I'd like
to do that now if possible.
- Yes uh, just a second.
- Did you get my message?
- Uh...
Here we are.
- I like to get in town
a little early, you know?
Get a sense of the place I'm
gonna spend some time in.
- Not a problem
at all Mr. Carter.
Uh, so what's your sense
of our little town so far?
- It's, Britewell.
[Pete chuckles]
- Sure is.
How long's your stay?
- As short as possible.
- What's that?
- Nothing.
- Well, it says here
you're in for a week,
with the option for two.
Well if you're here
for the holidays
we have our annual Christmas
Jubilee on December 24th.
- Oh, Christmas Eve.
- It's a tradition
here in Britewell.
The Jubilee, not Christmas Eve.
[playful music]
I mean Christmas Eve
is a tradition too,
but it's kind of a tradition
everywhere, so [chuckles].
- Yeah, I'll be long
gone before then.
[upbeat music]
- Hey Pete.
- Hi Cate.
[upbeat Christmas music]
- Take out.
- Take out order, right.
Sorry, end of my shift,
you're pickin' up your dinner.
Got it, be right back.
- Okay.
[upbeat Christmas music]
- Cate, Cate Merriweather.
- Uh, yes?
- I um, I uh, I saw
a picture of you.
- You did?
- Yeah, on your company website.
- I see.
- I'm your guy.
[playful music]
You, you seem surprised.
I thought you knew I was coming.
- Oh, right.
Yeah, my mom told me about this.
- Oh, well, I don't
mean to sound bold
but what if I told you
your problems are over?
[playful music]
- And what if I told you
I'm just not interested?
- Look, I get it.
You think that this is a waste
of time and in
some ways I agree.
- You do?
- Well I was told
I'm your last chance
to turn this ship around.
- Excuse me?
- Look, I came all the way here.
At the very least we can
go for a nice dinner.
- Uh, thanks but I already ate.
- Hey, here's your dinner Cate.
[playful music]
- Perfect, thank you.
- We can go for a
coffee in the morning?
Or a smoothie.
Do you, you prefer smoothies?
- Look, I really don't
know how much clearer
I can make this but we
are not going on a date.
So, lovely to meet
you, have a nice night.
- A date?
- And merry Christmas.
- I'm not here to
ask you on a date.
[playful music]
- Aren't you from Akron?
- New York.
- Gary?
- Gabe [laughs].
Gabe Carter.
- Corporate Recovery.
[playful music]
Hi [throat clears].
Cate Merriweather.
Nice to meet you.
- Right.
[upbeat music]
- Yeah.
[upbeat music]
I feel so silly.
I had no idea you
were with Empire.
- It's okay, we know who we
are now and why we're here.
- Although, I'm not
sure how you can help.
It wasn't my idea
for you to come here.
- Well, it wasn't mine either.
[playful music]
Think of me as your advisor.
[playful music]
That's some big candy canes.
- Well, we do make Britewell
the candy cane
capital of the world.
- So I hear.
- And with the last two weeks
before Christmas it's
our busiest time.
Plus, December 26th is a
big day for us as well.
- The day after Christmas?
- It's National Candy Cane Day.
- I had no idea.
- Well, now you do.
- I'm more of a National
Pancake Day kinda guy.
[Cate chuckles]
[playful music]
So, what makes Merry
& Bright viable?
- Well, our business model's
been the same from
the beginning.
We're a seasonal company so,
our busiest time's
August through December
and most of our business comes
from contracts with regional
and national distributors.
- Just takin' notes.
- I have some new ideas too but,
these days I'm busy just trying
to keep the place running.
As I'm sure you've heard it's
my first year here as CEO.
I had to take over
for my Grandma Carol
who ran the place for 50 years.
- You had to take over?
So this, this wasn't your idea?
- Why don't we try some product?
Here you go.
[playful music]
- Where's yours?
- I do plenty of taste testing.
I'm fine.
[playful music]
- Let's get right to the point.
You're paying more
for sugar on average.
- Well, we've used the same
farm for over 40 years.
I figure if it's not broken--
- I guess that's my job to
tell you that or not right?
[Cate laughs]
- Yeah, I think we're just
fine in the sugar department.
- Okay.
Um, how 'bout your work force?
- Uh, well we employ about 40
to 60 people depending
on the time of--
- Another way to
save costs is to--
- Wait, wait, what?
Lay offs?
Cut backs?
- It's an option.
Last resort but it's an option.
- I think we're good.
- Listen, Cate,
I don't mean to--
- Gabe, look,
I'm just getting my feet
wet around here, okay?
I haven't had a chance to
put my stamp on anything
and no offense but I don't
really need you here right now.
- Well no offense back but
I don't really wanna
be here either,
but it's my job and it looks
like we're stuck together.
- Look, I have meetings
the rest of the day so uh,
why don't we talk tomorrow?
Please, feel free to
take a look around.
[gentle music]
[gentle music]
- Hm.
- I just don't think it's a
good idea, him being here.
- What's wrong with it?
- He's suggesting things.
- To improve the company?
- Well, yes.
- To help us out?
- Yes.
- And that's not a good idea?
[Cate sighs]
- He thinks our sugar
prices are too high,
that we should be
getting it cheaper.
- What's wrong with that?
- Nothing.
You know, Grandma
Carol was loyal
to our sugar
producers for decades.
And he's already
talking cutbacks.
- So, you don't
wanna lay anybody off
and you don't wanna buy
cheaper ingredients?
- No.
I mean, I would
prefer to consolidate
our departments
more efficiently.
You know, maybe source some
of our ingredients a little...
[Cate sighs]
Maybe he's got some good points.
I just wanna see Merry & Bright
get back to its full potential.
- We all do.
Maybe you could use
a little extra help.
- Well, we did get
off on the wrong foot.
And maybe, maybe I should give
him the benefit of the doubt.
- It can't hurt.
I bet he wants to believe in
this company as much as you do.
- Yeah.
All right.
Let's go find him.
I'll introduce you.
- Maybe while he's here we
can introduce him
to the community,
get to know some of the
people, see the town.
I think he'd actually
really like it.
- It's a waste of time [laughs].
This place is like
a giant snow globe.
Live living in a
slow time bubble.
Sara, the whole business
model is a dinosaur.
And Cate.
There's like, there's
talkin' to a wall,
and then there's
talking to a brick wall.
This might be an
untenable situation.
I might have to
rethink everything.
- Gabe, you're my number
one recovery expert.
- I know.
- The man with the Midas touch.
- Even Midas would have a
tough time in Britewell.
Rule number one in this business
is you can't fix what somebody
doesn't want you to fix.
- Well then your day one
report should be interesting.
I'm looking forward to it.
- It's gonna be a
lotta blank pages.
- Gabe, I know you
don't wanna be there.
I can feel that eye
roll through the phone.
You don't think a candy cane
company is worth your time,
but you might just
surprise yourself.
You never know what
you might discover.
[playful music]
- Oh, it's a lovely
tree this year, huh?
- Hm?
- I said the tree's
really nice this year.
- Oh, yeah.
It's very festive.
- Too many candy canes [laughs]?
- They are my life now.
I guess I should get
used to 'em, right?
- Yeah, I know you wanted
to do other things,
but you made
grandma's wish to keep
the business in
the family possible
and I know how proud
she'd be of you.
- What do you think of the star?
- Did your dad
give you the star?
- I called him last night.
- It's very nice.
I also brought some of
grandma's ornaments.
- [Cate] Oh.
- Mm hm.
[ornaments clattering]
- Oh, I remember this one.
[watch beeping]
- Oh, gotta go.
- Oh, well is everything okay?
- Yeah, um, yes.
I just, I have an event.
I have uh, an appointment.
- At this hour?
- Um, uh, yes.
Uh, Jennifer is stopping by.
She's picking up a fruitcake,
a Christmas fruitcake.
- You made a
Christmas fruitcake?
You don't even like fruitcake.
- Well, I'm turnin'
over a new leaf.
- A fruitcake leaf?
- Yeah, exactly.
Gotta go, bye.
[Cate laughs]
[playful music]
[crickets chirping]
[door latches]
[gentle music]
[dog barking]
[playful music]
[dog barking]
[playful music]
- I didn't forget about you.
[dog whines]
Don't worry your
furry little head.
[dog barking]
Wow, you are excited.
[dog barks]
Loud, but excited.
Here's your treat.
[dog barking]
[dog munching]
[playful music]
Don't expect that all
the time mind you.
It's just certain times.
[dog whining]
Special times.
[dog barks]
[playful music]
This is so, different
for me, you know?
Havin' someone else in the
house, and don't get any ideas.
Been on my own for five
years and I like it fine.
[dog whining]
Well, I'll go have
my dinner now.
[gentle music]
[dog whining]
[dog barking]
[gentle music]
- Hey, it's Pete.
Is Sam from IT available?
I think I crashed.
- Hi.
- Just, just a second.
Um, yeah can you get 'em to call
me when he has a chance please?
Thank you.
Hey, what's up?
- You called to see me.
- Yes, I did.
Um, Sophie I have to talk
to you about something.
It's important.
- Okay.
Is Gabe stopping by
the factory today?
- Yeah.
Lookin' forward to it.
Like dental surgery.
- Depends on the dentist.
Oh, hey can I talk
to you for a second?
- Yeah.
- I noticed Pete's been online
shopping for mountain bikes.
He left his laptop open.
- Okay.
- I think it's a
Christmas gift for me.
- Well, that's great.
You love biking.
- Well, that's true but,
I'm, why is he getting me
a big gift when I'd be happy
with the tiniest
little [laughs]...
Christmas is the best time.
- Well, why don't
you just talk to him?
- You mean, tell him
I want him to propose?
I, I can't do that.
- No.
No just, I don't
know, feel things out.
See if you're both in
the same head space.
- I think he wants to.
I've tried to bring
it up with him
but he just changes the subject.
- Maybe he's just nervous.
- Maybe.
I wanna talk to
him about it but at
the same time I need this
to come from him, right?
- Do you want me to talk to him?
I mean, I'd be happy to.
- Would you?
- Yeah.
- I mean, not to put
any pressure on him or anything.
- [Cate] No, no, no, no.
Of course not.
I'll just see how he's feeling.
I'll find a time to talk to him.
- That would be great.
- No problem.
- Good morning ladies.
- [Sophie] Oh.
- A little hot chocolate
to start your day.
- [Sophie] Oh, thank you.
- Thanks.
- Hey, I wanted to
put some candy canes
in there but I didn't
know where to find any.
[Sophie laughs]
[playful music]
Well, shall we get back to it?
- Yeah.
Yeah, right this way.
[playful music]
- Depends on the dentist.
- You have a
dentist appointment?
- [Cate] No.
- Okay, uh, let's talk about
your company's strengths.
- Yeah.
Uh, Gabe before we get started,
we got off on the wrong
foot the other day,
and the day before
that [laughs].
So, for the next few days
or however long you're here
I'd like to get
on the right one.
- I'd like that very much.
- Great.
- So, low employee turnover.
That's a really good sign.
- Yeah, I'm really
proud of that.
We're a big family
here at Merry & Bright.
- Big family that loves
makin' candy canes.
- That's right.
- Candy cane capital
of the world.
- Oh, you remembered.
- Well, it's hard to miss.
- Right [laughs].
[Gabe laughs]
Christmas is a big
deal in this town.
- I'm sensing that.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe chuckles]
- So you spend your Christmases
in New York I assume?
- I, I don't really know
where I'll be honestly.
- Isn't New York home?
- Yes, but I basically
live out of a suitcase.
On the downside I travel
a lot over Christmas
and miss out on a
lot of festivities
so I really don't know
where I'll ever be.
You know, a few times I've
even, you know what we should,
we should be talkin'
about business.
- Establishing
rapport is the key
to any successful
business relationship.
- Fair enough.
I was gonna say that I've even
spent Christmas
Day at the airport.
- On purpose?
- Nothing says Christmas
like moving sidewalks
and luggage carousels.
[Cate laughs]
But you know what?
I love what I do.
- But everybody
needs a home base.
- One day.
So, given your resistance
to cutting costs
in certain areas--
- Have I been resistant?
- Another
recommendation would be
to generate alternative
product ideas.
Another way to cut costs is
to increase potential profit.
So, thank you for sending me
this market research report.
- I hired a marketing firm
when I first got here.
Just to get a clearer
idea of where we stood.
- That's smart.
So national survey.
85% recognized the Merry
& Bright brand name.
So, strong brand recognition.
That's, that's good.
98% would try another
candy that you produced.
Cate this, this is huge.
Do you guys have any other
products in your lineup?
- I might.
- What is it, a secret?
- Well, if I told you I
might have to give you one.
[playful music]
- Deal.
- Here you go.
- What are these?
- Barber Poles.
They're a replica of the
original peppermint stick candy
that was invented in 1837.
It's uh, inspiration for what
we know today as the candy cane.
- Candy cane without the hook.
- Yeah.
We stated making them
as a nostalgic treat
specifically for the
Christmas Jubilee.
- What is that?
- Well, it's our big
Christmas event here in town.
You probably won't
be here for it
but there's food and dancing.
The whole community
really comes together.
In fact, the Britewell
Christmas season kicks
off tonight with the tree
lighting at the Old Mill.
I get to push the button.
It's my second time.
- Oo, sounds like an honor.
- It is.
- Does Merry & Bright make
any other types of candy?
- Mm, Carol was a very
strong willed woman.
- Translation, stubborn?
- She knew what worked
and she stuck with it.
- Look [throat
clears], I've consulted
for some of the biggest candy
and chocolate companies
in the country,
and it all boils down to this.
Merry & Bright can no longer
exist off of candy canes alone,
with or without the hooks.
- Gabe, of course I've
thought about expanding
the product line
since I've been here.
- So then what are
you waiting for?
- Waiting?
I've only been here a year.
- And?
- And these things take time.
My main focus has been getting
the company back on track.
- You know the candy market's
- While also respecting
- And so is changing.
- my family's methods
and traditions.
- You either change
with it or you...
- Right.
Oh, especially since we have
a dinosaur business model.
It's hard living in
a snow globe though,
you know, it's a
slow time bubble.
- You overheard me.
- Yeah, it's like
talkin' to a brick wall.
- I was frustrated.
I, I didn't mean any of that.
I'm sorry.
- It's okay.
I know we have to change.
- Diversity of
product is one option.
Alternative confections
like, chocolate.
- Chocolate?
- I'm just tossing
out ideas, you know?
Exploring options together.
- Can I show you something?
[gentle music]
Well, what do you think?
- Wow!
This reminds me of
Santa's workshop,
or my favorite toy
store in New York.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
- I like to come in here when
I've had a rough day
at work, you know?
Reminds me of why I'm
doing what I'm doing.
I also like to end all
the public tours in here.
- You do tours?
- Yeah, I do.
My Grandma Carol
started to do 'em
and it's a tradition
I like to keep alive.
- That's her?
- Yep.
- She looks sweet,
with a no nonsense
business side.
- Wow, you can tell a lot
about her from a photo.
- I'm very familiar
with that type.
- Ah.
Not sure how she'd feel
about Empire though.
- Well, I hope she'd approve.
We're just tryin' to help.
[gentle music]
- You know I, I got
my MBA in California
and I was actually working
at a big marketing firm
in Sacramento when I got
the call about my grandma.
[gentle music]
It's honestly not what
I thought I'd be doing.
[gentle music]
- Life happens when
you least expect it.
[gentle music]
- Yeah.
[gentle music]
Uh, well I have a lot of
meetings this afternoon so uh,
you've given me a
lot to think about.
[Gabe chuckles]
But um, I'm gonna go.
I'll see you later.
- Yeah.
- Oh um, you know, I was
gonna ask, are you uh,
planning on going to
the Christmas tree
lighting later or?
I mean, you're probably busy
- Oh, right.
- I'm sure.
- Yeah I don't,
uh, I have a lotta work
I gotta catch up on.
[Gabe's throat clears]
- Yeah, of course.
I'll see you later.
- See ya, see ya later.
[gentle music]
[fire crackling]
[gentle music]
[fire crackling]
- I'll be back soon.
[dog barking]
[dog whines]
It's just the tree lighting.
Takes five seconds.
[dog barking]
Oh, don't be difficult.
You have your toys.
You have your treats, you have
your water, you'll be fine.
[dog whines]
[playful music]
[dog whines]
[playful music]
[upbeat Christmas music]
Here we go.
We are just gonna hang out
over here on the fringes.
All right, this'll be fun.
It's your first tree
lighting [laughs].
Can you see?
But you know what?
Let's go back down.
Let's go back down.
Let's go on back.
We're gonna hide.
Now get in the carrier.
- [Announcer] Please
welcome Cate Merriweather.
[crowd cheering]
[upbeat music]
- Hey everyone.
I am so excited
and honored to get
to push the button
a second time.
It's so great to see everyone
here on such a beautiful night.
So, are we ready
to light the tree?
- [All] Yeah!
- All right, ready?
- [All] One,
- [Woman] What happened?
- Hey, what's goin' on?
- Wait!
Come up here, you do it.
- [Man] Hey!
- [Cate] Come on Gabe.
- Oh, no.
[crowd cheering]
- Gabe Carter everyone.
Come on Gabe!
- Oh no.
Uh, guys I'm not, I'm
not gonna go up and...
- [Woman] Come on, go, go!
- All right, all
right, all right.
Okay guys [laughs].
[crowd cheering]
[crowd applauding]
[Gabe's throat clears]
- Ready?
All right, let's try this again.
- [All] One,
[all cheering]
[all applauding]
[gentle music]
- Well done.
- That's pretty nice.
- And this is the booth
we sponsor every year.
- It's nice.
- Hey, Cate?
Uh, hi, sorry.
- Hi.
- Um, have you had a
chance to talk to...
- Oh, oh, sorry no.
I meant to.
- The bike is in
his shopping cart.
We're in a definite
situation here.
- Right.
I'm on it.
Uh, will you excuse me
for just a minute?
- Yeah.
- [Cate] I'll be quick.
- Yeah.
["Deck The Halls" by
John Ceiriog Hughes]
- Hey Pete.
- Oh, hey Cate.
Nice assist on passing
the tree lighting button.
- Thanks, thanks.
Can I talk to you for a sec?
- Yeah, these'll stay hot.
Sophie just loves this
mulled cranberry cider.
- [Cate] It is delicious.
- Yeah.
- So, speaking of Sophie,
how many Christmases
have you guys been together now?
- Oh, it's probably four now.
No, this Christmas
will make it four.
- That's a good sign, right?
- Really?
Of what?
- That there will be more
Christmases to come, together.
- Yeah, depends on how I do in
the gifting
department this year.
- Oh well, I don't
think it really matters.
- Oh, I was just
kiddin' [laughs].
[Cate laughs]
I think I've done
okay over the years.
Had the ice skates and the
espresso maker and the Chia Pet.
- Yeah, yep.
Those are all things
that people need.
- [Pete] Mm hm.
- Well, maybe not
the Chia Pet but...
- Oh.
- Anyway, look, what
I'm tryin' to say is um,
you know, Christmas gifts are
a way to say I love you, right?
- Yeah.
- Okay, so what makes I love you
this Christmas different
from all the rest?
- Well, I guess this
Christmas it would
be more like I love you forever.
- Really?
Okay, well think
there's something
you could definitely buy that
would tell a young lady that?
- Oh, and I think I have it.
Top of the line mountain bike.
[playful music]
- I was thinking maybe
something smaller,
that she could wear.
[playful music]
- A bike helmet?
- No, no it's something she
could wear all the time.
- Jewelry?
- [Cate] Bingo.
- Oh.
But what kind of jewelry?
- Pete.
- But--
- I'm walking away now.
Just think about it.
[upbeat Christmas music]
[Gabe sighs]
- Oh.
- Hey.
- Hey.
- Hot cocoa?
- Thanks.
- Everything okay?
- Oh, yeah.
Fine [laughs].
So uh, chocolate or peppermint?
What ya like better?
- I have to choose one?
- Mm hm.
- They go so well together.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
- So, how'd it feel?
- Lighting the tree?
- Yeah.
- It felt great.
It was a real honor.
Thank you.
- [Cate] Sure.
- So, did it ever not work?
- The button?
The infamous blackout of 1993.
The Mayor pushed the
button and not only
did the lights not
work but the power
in the area went out
for about two days.
- Really?
- Yeah.
Yeah, it was not perfect but uh,
the stars were really
beautiful that night.
- Cate, I wanted to
ask you something.
[playful music]
- Is that my mom?
Where's she goin'
in such a hurry?
- The gym maybe.
- Gym?
- Yeah, I got a gym bag that
looks exactly like that.
- Huh.
Didn't even know
she was workin' out.
- Anyway I um, I have a bunch
of reports I have to do tomorrow
but I was wondering
if we could catch up?
- Over dinner?
- That's what I was thinking.
- Great.
- Great, we, doesn't
have to be a...
- No, no, not a...
- We'll just be takin' a break.
- Yeah.
- Yeah.
- We can just,
clear our heads.
- Yeah.
[gentle music]
- What do you mean
you're struggling?
I guess there's a first
time for everything.
- I don't know.
It's like uh, writers block.
You know, call it
corporate consulting block.
It's just, this
assignment is different.
- How so?
- I'm used to being in an
office or a hotel room.
I'm not used to being on
the company ground floor.
- And?
- And, and, there's papers.
Just tons of, tons of paper.
Nothing's electronic.
- Is that the only reason?
- I don't know.
I just, I can't, I
can't clear my head.
I pushed the button at
the Britewell tree
lightening ceremony.
- The what?
- I've never felt
anything like this before.
It's just so festive.
And everyone was so welcoming.
It's like I belonged.
And, and I do not
belong in Britewell.
- Hm, and who
organized all of this?
- Cate.
Cate Merriweather.
- Well, I think maybe
I see another reason
why you can't get any work done.
- What do, what do you mean?
I didn't, I didn't say anything.
- You said enough.
Call it an instinct.
[gentle music]
- [Gabe] Hey, Pete.
- Yeah?
- I got a question for you.
- [Pete] Sure.
- What's your best
restaurant in town?
Outside of your fine dining
establishment here of course.
[Pete chuckles]
- The Elegant Elk is
always a good choice.
Actually, there's a better one.
- [Sophie] Stanton's?
- [Pete] What?
- You suggested
Stanton's Restaurant?
- They're one of the best.
- Cate hasn't been back
there since, you know.
- No I, I don't know.
- Since Josh.
- Josh was at the, the
place that Cate didn't...
I knew I shoulda stuck
with Elegant Elk.
[Pete sighs]
- [Sophie] Yeah.
[upbeat music]
- Hi.
- Hi.
- You look nice.
- Thanks, you look nice too.
- Everything okay?
- Yeah, yeah, fine.
Shall we?
- Yeah, after you.
[gentle music]
[Cate laughs]
- You know, I'm actually having
a really good time
with you tonight.
- So am I.
- I honestly wasn't
sure that I would.
Not because of you or anything.
You're actually
uh, quite charm...
- What?
What was that?
- Uh, challenging.
- I think you were
about to say charming.
- I was not.
- Oh no, no, I think
you, think you were.
- Well, I never said it so
I guess we'll never know.
[Gabe laughs]
- I, I do feel like I can
open up to you a bit though.
- Well that's,
that's a good thing.
So, what's on your mind?
- I was a little distracted
when I first got here.
- I knew somethin' was up.
- Last time I was
at this restaurant,
about a year ago and
I got proposed to.
- Oh.
- Yeah, and I said no.
- Really?
I'm, I'm so sorry.
I had, I had no idea.
- How could you?
It's fine.
Yeah, Josh and I
had met at school,
then we moved to Sacramento.
- And that's when you got the
call about Merry & Bright?
But he wanted you to
stay in California?
- Hm, you're good at this.
Yeah, then he popped the
question out of the blue,
about a year ago
on December 21st.
I always knew deep down
he wasn't the right one,
but I don't think I ever really
admitted it to myself, you know?
I mean not 'til
there was a tiny box
with a little shiny
ring staring back at me.
It was hard but I had
a choice and I made it.
- Well, seems like you
made the right one.
- Yeah, I think so.
- Have you talked to him since?
- Yeah, we talk sometimes.
He got engaged.
He seems really happy.
I'm happy for him.
[gentle music]
Guess I hadn't moved on
as much as I thought.
- Well, it takes time.
Everybody's different.
At least, that's my
experience [laughs].
Yeah, I guess I
opened that one up.
- There's no goin' back now.
- Well, my mother is
a bit of a matchmaker.
- That's another thing
we have in common.
- Oh?
- Mm hm.
- Well, Veronica she, she
came from the right family.
She belonged to the
right social circles,
went to the right
school, but we just,
we weren't right for each other.
Broke off our engagement
after six months.
- She didn't make you happy?
Yeah, you can feel
it in your heart.
[gentle music]
It's funny, I think
sometimes the heart
can tell us more
than any spreadsheet
or book ever could but, trouble
is learning how to read it.
[gentle music]
Well, that was a
really lovely dinner,
and thanks to
Empire for treating.
- Our pleasure.
- Well, this is me.
Oh, here um, this is for you.
- You didn't have to--
- No, no.
Please I made 'em for everyone
at Merry & Bright
for the holidays.
- Thank you.
- Okay.
[handle clicks]
[car beeps]
[Gabe laughs]
It's the thought
that counts [laughs].
Good night.
- Good night.
[door slams]
[engine starting]
[gentle music]
- [Cate] Loop it
up over the top.
Maybe a little
more on that side.
Tangled there [laughs].
- Wow, you guys aren't kidding
around with the
Christmas Jubilee.
[Cate laughs]
- Look who's here.
- This is gorgeous.
- Thanks.
We're about 10 days out.
We decided to use the woods for
party supplies this year so,
cedar wreathes, pine
cones and swags.
My mom's in charge
of decorations.
Oh, that's my mom Joy.
Mom, this is Gabe.
- Oh, hi.
The consultant.
[Gabe laughs]
- Nice to meet you.
- So, what are you doin' here?
- Well, I tried your chocolates
last night and they're amazing.
- Well, thanks.
It was just for fun really.
It's a peppermint candy recipe
with some handmade chocolate.
Nothing too original.
[watch beeping]
- Oh!
I, I gotta run.
It was very nice meeting you.
Jennifer's picking up
some snickerdoodles.
[Gabe laughs]
- Nice to meet you too.
- She's gotten really fast.
[Gabe laughs]
Gym's been payin' off [laughs].
- So, I was thinkin' about
the craft chocolate market,
which is huge right now.
And this, this could be the
break we've been lookin' for.
- You wanna turn Merry & Bright
into a chocolate company?
- No, no, not at all.
I mean, exploring a year
round alternate revenue source
to better compete in the market.
- I mean, I love chocolate but,
I don't know that it's
really who we are.
And we can't really
afford the money
for new machines right now.
- That's why you
need an investor.
And I happen to know the
biggest one there is.
Royce Rutherford,
Bermax Food Enterprises.
- Wait, you know
Royce Rutherford?
- I do.
I just finished a big
contract with him.
- Bermax is huge.
But, they don't
actually make any foods.
- No, they just buy and invest
in smaller companies
that make the products.
- Well Merry & Bright
isn't for sale.
- Yes, but I know for
a fact he's looking
to invest in a company
that can produce
an artisan chocolate product.
Expand your lineup.
Can you make other flavors?
- Yeah, probably.
I mean, I know grandma's
got some old recipes.
How 'bout three or
four different kinds?
- How 'bout six or eight?
- How 'bout you help me?
- Deal.
[playful music]
[upbeat music]
[upbeat music]
- Cate.
- Hi, sorry I didn't call.
I thought I'd just--
- Just one second.
[door slams]
- Mom?
[playful music]
- Sorry about that.
- Is everything okay?
- Yeah, fine.
- Are, are you sure?
- Why don't we just
talk uh, out here?
I could use the fresh air.
- Uh, sure.
You sure you're okay?
- I'm fine, I'm fine.
It's just [sniffs],
it's so crisp.
- You'd tell me if
something was wrong, right?
- Of course, of course.
There's nothin' wrong.
I promise.
- Okay uh, well, I wanted to see
if I could borrow
grandma's old recipe book
if that's all right?
- Oh.
I'll get it for you.
- Oh, great thanks.
[door slams]
[playful music]
It's Grandma Carol's
old recipe book.
Goes all the way back to
her very first candy canes.
I haven't looked
at this in years.
[Gabe laughs]
Oh wow.
You know, I know she's got
some good chocolate
ideas in here.
- [Gabe] Look at you.
- Mm [laughs].
[Gabe laughs]
I used to love these.
Gingerbread candy canes.
She used to make these for us
when I was a kid at Christmas.
I haven't had one in forever.
- Did she ever make any
of these for the company?
- No.
No, but she liked to
experiment on the side.
I was a happy little
guinea pig as a kid.
- Yeah, no kidding.
Sweet Christmas bonus.
- Mm hm.
Oh, here we go.
- Oh wow, these
look interesting.
Coconut butter cream.
French toast chocolate?
- Butter and maple syrup.
- Looks delicious.
[Cate laughs]
[playful music]
- Well, welcome to the
Merriweather kitchen Mr. Carter.
[playful music]
- Am I supposed to wear this?
- Yeah, I think
you might need it.
[playful music]
- Here we go.
Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
Oh, hi Barb.
- Joy Merriweather,
did you get a dog?
- This is a present for Cate.
I'm giving her a surprise at
the Jubilee on Christmas Eve.
- Oh, sweet.
Well I won't tell anyone.
Mum's the word.
- Thanks.
- [Barb] Here you go.
- Thank you.
You did such a good job.
Yes you did, that's a good boy.
Such a good, oh, okay.
A merry Christmas
We wish you a
merry Christmas
- Hey, I was always
so good with this...
- Oh!
We bring to you and your kin
- Oh!
- Sorry [laughs].
- Sorry [laughs].
We wish you a
merry Christmas
- Oh, oh!
- Oh!
And a happy new year
- Hey!
- Quality control.
- So, verdict?
- Oh man, you can really
taste the French toast.
It's amazing.
- Oh, well let's hope
Bermax Foods feels the same.
- I'm sure Royce is lookin'
forward to trying these.
He's your classic
chocolate snob.
Actually, it's more his wife.
- Oh, well women do have
exceptional taste in chocolate.
[playful music]
[fire crackling]
[Gabe sighs]
- [Gabe] Reindeer socks.
- Yeah, I like reindeer.
- You like all kinds of
reindeer or just Santa's?
- Well, Santa's get all the
hype but I like 'em all.
- Well, you could
have one as a pet.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
- I don't think my neighbors
would appreciate that.
They might be okay
with a dog though.
- You wanna get a dog?
- I do.
Oh, I had my eye on this really
cute little rescue
at the shelter.
Somebody got to
him before I did.
Well, you snooze
you loose, right?
- I guess it's like that with
all kinds of relationships.
It's all about the timing.
- Maybe it's a sign.
- A sign?
- Yeah, I'm not ready.
[gentle music]
For a dog.
- Right.
- Yeah, with everything I've
got going with the business
you know it's, yeah.
- Right, right, right.
[gentle music]
- [Cate] Gabe?
- Yes?
- Thank you for helping.
- It was fun.
- I mean, with the
chocolate, with the company,
I really appreciate it.
And I think Grandma
Carol would too.
- You're welcome.
[gentle music]
[Gabe laughs]
The last thing I expected was
to end up here in Britewell.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
- I know the feeling.
- For somebody who didn't
wanna be here [sighs],
I'm happy to be here.
- I'm happy too.
[gentle music]
[fire crackling]
I, I am exhausted [laughs].
- Yeah [throat clears], yeah
it's getting late, right?
I have a bunch of phone
calls I have to make.
New York never sleeps [laughs].
- So they say [laughs].
[gentle music]
- I'll have my office book
our tickets in the morning.
- Our tickets?
- We leave Tuesday for New York.
[Cate laughs]
- What?
- What's so funny?
- I thought you just said we
leave Tuesday for New York.
- I did.
Our presentation at
Bermax in Manhattan.
- Seriously?
- Merry & Bright chocolate.
Royce wants to
see us right away.
I thought I, didn't I
say something to you?
[playful music]
Must've slipped my mind.
- That is some slip.
I thought you would be going.
You and Royce know
each other so well.
- Well, it's your
product, your company,
and I am not a salesman.
- Sure but, I'm a little rusty
on my pitch and presentation.
I mean, I've been
out of the game--
- It's like riding a bike.
You'll do great.
- I've never been to New York.
- Cate, this is a
golden opportunity.
[Cate sighs]
- Bermax is such a big deal.
- Yes, it is.
And sometimes you just have
to be bold, take a chance.
- What if he says no?
- Why say that?
- Because it's possible.
- Yes, but--
- What if I let everybody down?
Merry & Bright, myself?
I'm trying to honor
my family's legacy,
and I know the company
needs to change.
I just don't know what
the right thing to do is.
- You can't win
if you don't play.
If you don't wanna do it
I'll let Royce know but,
I need to know soon.
[gentle music]
Have a nice night.
[gentle music]
Cherish every good
thing at Christmas
- Oh no.
Kiss me under the mistletoe
Uh, hey Pete, what do
you have in the box?
Please tell me it's
not a mountain bike.
- New pillows for the rooms.
These ones have
reindeer on them.
- Oh, how nice.
I like 'em.
- [Pete] Thanks.
- So, I wanted to ask,
- Hm?
- How'd Sophie'
Christmas present go?
- Oh, I spent over an
hour in the jewelry store.
I finally picked
one but I wanted
to show you a picture
before I bought it.
- Oh, no, no.
Don't do that, okay?
Just, you be confident.
This is your choice and
your decision, your...
Oh, it's a, it's
an infinity symbol.
- It literally says forever.
- Uh, yeah it's uh, it's
a beautiful uh, necklace.
- But?
[Cate sighs]
- Okay, I can't do
this anymore Pete.
Are you gonna ask Sophie
to marry you or what?
[Pete sighs]
- Cate, I'm not that clueless,
I get what's going on.
- You certainly have a
weird way of showing it.
- Part of it's an act.
- What do you mean?
- I'm scared Cate.
- What do you have
to be scared of?
She loves you.
- And I love her too.
I'm crazy about her.
- Okay, then what's the issue?
- What if I propose
and she says no?
- That, that is
not gonna happen.
- Proposals are such a big deal.
They take, take planning
and, and thought and--
- Well yeah, but every
proposal is different.
You know from the jumbotron
at a basketball game to the,
oh that was a very big example.
Don't, something smaller
can be just as lovely.
All right?
Maybe, I mean, is there a place
that you two have special
memories together?
- Yeah, there is.
- Okay, good.
It's okay to be scared,
just don't let it stop you
from living your life
or being happy you know?
Be bold, take a chance.
[gentle music]
Where's Gabe?
- He was in the
lounge last I saw him.
- Great, thanks.
[gentle music]
- Hi.
- So, this coat'll
be okay in New York?
[gentle music]
[gentle music]
[upbeat music]
- You have your toothbrush,
you have your water bottle,
you have your treats?
- My treats?
- I meant your
snacks [chuckles].
- Mom, I'm fine.
- Uh maybe, maybe a nice
dress for a night out.
- Mom, relax.
I've got everything
handled, okay?
Thank you.
What is going on
with you lately?
- What do you mean?
- I think I know
what's going on.
- You do?
- Yeah.
And it's great and
I don't know why
you have to hide it and
make all these excuses.
- I wanted to surprise you.
- Mom, I'm really happy that
you're goin' back to the gym.
[playful music]
I mean, I know you
haven't been in awhile
so it must be all kinds
of new emotions you know?
Feelin' like a new person.
- Yeah.
- It's okay.
You know, when I get
back from New York,
why don't we go for
jogs like we used to?
- Yeah, that would be great.
- [Cate] Yeah?
- Yeah.
- I'm really happy
for you [laughs].
- [exhales] Have a
great time in New York.
- I will.
[gentle music]
[elevator dings]
[Gabe sighs]
- Tracy.
- Mr. Carter.
- Cate Merriweather.
- Hi.
- Pleasure.
- Nice to meet you.
- I'll let Mr. Rutherford
know you're both here.
- Thank you.
[employees chattering]
[Cate sighs]
- Hm.
[employees chattering]
[elevator dings]
- So?
How do you feel?
- Nervous.
- That's good.
That means you're
excited, you care.
- You look calm.
- Well, looks can be deceiving.
If I was to say I was
calm I'd be lying.
- If you were to say.
- Were?
- Well, were is
preferable to was
when speaking in
the hypothetical.
School teacher mom.
- Look, one thing about
Royce, he can be tough.
- How tough?
- Mr. Rutherford
is ready for you.
[gentle music]
- I got your back.
[gentle music]
- Merry & Bright's
cocoa confections
would have extensive appeal
in the retail market.
Our goal is to
capitalize not only
on our loyal customer
base but also on high end
and high traffic
clients as well.
Places like hotels, resorts,
airports and specialty shops.
- So, I'm a little unclear.
You'd like to make chocolates
but you're a candy cane company?
- Yes, uh, this would be as a,
as a year round alternative
to our current lineup.
- A current lineup that
just has candy canes?
- Correct.
We're looking to diversify.
You know, in today's market I--
- Today's market has no time
for companies with
identity issues.
People want a clean
simple bite sized story.
What's your story?
Do you know who you are?
[gentle music]
- Yes, yes I do.
We're Merry &
Bright, family owned
and operated for over 50 years.
We do one thing
and we do it well,
but sometimes that's not enough.
I made these chocolates
with Gabe from
a trusted family recipe
and we had a great time.
I think they're
really special so,
try 'em, don't try
'em, your choice.
I'm fine either way.
[gentle music]
- All right.
Let's give these
chocolates a day in court.
[gentle music]
What's this one?
- Coconut buttercream.
[gentle music]
- It's um, okay.
- [Cate and Gabe] Okay?
- It's okay.
[gentle music]
- Royce is hard to read.
He'll give us a call
back in a day or so.
I thought you did really well.
- Thanks [chuckles].
It felt really good.
- I was worried.
You know, I brought you
all the way over here
and if nothing came of it then
it would just all be for--
- It wouldn't be
for nothing, Gabe.
You know, doing that
pitch it not only reminded
me of why I love business but,
something about
being in that room
and pitching my
grandmother's recipes,
I just felt really connected
to the company, you know?
Merry & Bright really
meant something to me.
- That's great.
- Yeah.
And I'm in New York at
Christmas time, you know?
Thanks to you.
- Yeah, you know what?
We are.
We get the rest of the day,
why don't we make
the best of it?
- Okay.
Any ideas?
- Yeah, I think I do.
- Okay.
- Follow me.
[gentle music]
- Wow.
I can see why you
love this toy store.
- Oh, I'd spend hours
here as a kid growin' up.
Dream of all the
toys I would buy.
Couldn't afford much back then.
- Oh.
- My mom, she worked three
jobs when I was growin' up.
Raised me on her own.
And put herself
through business school
and then somehow found the time
to get Empire off the ground.
She started out helping
small local companies
and took off pretty quickly.
- Wait, your mom founded Empire?
- That's right.
- So your mom is
the CEO of Empire?
- Sara Carter.
We're a family run business too.
- Well, I guess you
can come in here
and buy any toy you want now.
- And I do.
[Gabe laughs]
[Cate laughs]
Go ahead, pick, pick a few out.
I donate them all to the
Toys For Tots charity.
They keep a hamper in the front.
- Ah, nice.
[gentle music]
You know, Sophie
would love this store.
My mom would too actually.
Although I can hear her now.
She's gonna say you
went all the way
to New York and all you
did was go to a toy store?
- Well, we got
that party tonight.
- Wait, what party?
- Oops.
- Wait, what, what party?
- [Gabe] Musta slipped my mind.
- Gabe, we seriously need to
work on this memory of yours.
What party are
you talking about?
[gentle music]
[guests chattering]
[gentle music]
[guests chattering]
[gentle music]
- Hey.
[guests chattering]
[gentle music]
- Hi.
- Thanks.
Wow, this is, it's
really something.
- Yeah, yeah.
My mother does
Christmas really well.
I can't believe I finally made
it back for one of her parties.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
Uh, Cate Merriweather,
meet Sara Carter,
CEO of Empire
Corporate Recovery.
- Pleasure to meet you.
We spoke on the phone.
- I'm so glad you could come.
- Your home is lovely.
- Thank you.
I hope everything went well with
the Bermax presentation today?
- Yeah, I think it went well.
- Good to hear.
You two excuse me.
- Yeah.
Have yourself a merry
little Christmas
Let your heart be light
- What?
- I feel a little...
- Out of place?
- Yeah.
You know, if this was a date,
now would be the time
you'd ask me to dance.
- If this were a date.
Were is preferable to was
when speaking hypothetically.
- If I was speaking
From now on our troubles
- Shall we, Miss Merriweather?
- Hm, charmed Mr. Carter.
Here we are as in olden days
- So?
Enjoying your first
New York party?
- So far I like it.
The dancing's nice.
- Well, dancing can get tricky.
- How so?
- It can get...
- [Cate] What?
- Nothing.
- You were gonna say it.
- No I wasn't.
- Yeah, it starts with an R.
- Relaxing.
- No, romantic.
- What?
- Yes, you were definitely
gonna say romantic.
- Well, I never said it so
we'll never know for sure.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
If the fates allow
- You know when I was a kid,
my dad used to bring
me back posters
from all of his business trips.
- Does your dad
live in Britewell?
- He used to.
He lives overseas now.
My parents have been
divorced about five years.
But um, this one time I remember
he brought me back a poster
of the New York City skyline.
I had it in my room and I used
to lay in bed just
imagining what it would
be like to be in the center
of all that, you know?
All the lights, all the people.
It's pretty enchanting.
And now I'm actually here.
- Does the real thing compare
to everything you imagined?
- Mm hm.
Never near to us once more
- I wanna show you something.
- Okay.
Through the years we
all will be together
If the fates allow
This place goes on forever.
- It's pretty cool, huh?
- Yeah.
Is this what you
wanted to show me?
- [Gabe] What do you think?
- I think it's the
least New Yorky thing
I've seen since I've been here.
[Gabe laughs]
- You're probably right.
- Wow, that really reminds
me of the Old Mill,
with the pine trees
and everything.
- Like the one we lit up.
- You lit up.
- I didn't wanna
say anything but,
when we first got to that
tree lighting ceremony,
I saw the barn and the
trees, the whole atmosphere,
the feeling in the place.
It immediately
reminded me of this.
- [Cate] Where is
this place really?
- Nowhere.
It's made up.
- How do you know?
- Because my dad painted it.
- Oh, your dad?
- Yeah, a long time ago.
It was a Christmas present hung
in my room forever
when I was a kid.
I stared at it for what seemed
like hours imaging
a place this this.
It seemed so magical.
You know, the colorful
sky, the snowy pines.
I had never been to the
countryside as a kid.
[gentle music]
I just had to trust
that it was there.
- And you found it.
- Yeah, I did.
[gentle music]
- Gabe?
Uh, the McGuire's are here.
I thought you might want to--
- Thanks, great.
- Yeah.
- Well...
- Well...
- Well...
[Gabe laughs]
I think that's my cue to leave.
- Now?
- I have an early flight.
- Right.
- But this trip was,
it was really special.
And quite inspiring even if
the pitch didn't go our way.
- Yeah, we'll figure
somethin' out.
- About the business or...
[gentle music]
It was a nice moment.
- I thought so too.
- But, let's call
it what it was.
It was a magical night.
You live here and you
travel all over the country.
I'm in Britewell.
It, I'm really busy with
the business right now--
- Cate I, I understand.
You're not ready for a dog.
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe chuckles]
- Right.
- Why don't I walk you out?
Get you a cab?
- Okay.
- Okay?
- Yeah.
[gentle music]
[phone ringing]
- [Gabe] Hello?
- Gabe, Royce Rutherford.
- Royce, let me guess.
You tried more of the
chocolates and you love them.
[Royce laughs]
- No, but you know what?
My wife really loves them.
And you thought I
was a tough cookie.
Look, I'm gonna get
straight to the point.
You know me, I go
by gut instinct
and I believe in relationships
and you know I like you
Gabe, and I like Cate.
She seems really
smart and together.
- Yeah, she is.
- As you know, we
own and invest in
a wide range of
smaller food companies.
Cereal, pasta,
vegetables, baking goods,
but the one thing missing
in our brand portfolio
is investment in a
startup chocolate company.
I think Merry & Bright could
become that chocolate company.
The infrastructure is there,
and more importantly brand
loyalty is there according
to this market
report you sent me.
Thank you.
Bringing in new machines
won't be a problem.
I have connections
there and obviously
we would hire the
best chocolatiers.
It's win win for everyone.
- This, this all
sounds great Royce.
What about the candy canes?
- Yes, Gabe that is a question.
What about the candy canes?
[upbeat music]
[dog barking]
- Come on good boy.
Who's a good boy?
Who's a good boy?
Who's a good boy?
Good boy.
[dog snarling]
[upbeat music]
- Hey Cate.
I talked to Bryan
about the small batches
and he said it's no problem.
Should be done by
the end of the day.
Ingredients were easy to find.
- Great.
- Gingerbread, eggnog and
sugarplum candy canes.
It's perfect for the
Christmas Jubilee.
- And perfect for our
thank you gift to Bermax.
You know what?
Add the key lime and
the French toast too.
And, let's make sure we find
the nicest Christmas box
we can for that okay?
- Sounds good.
- My grandma Carol said,
- [Cate and Sophie] always
leave 'em with something sweet.
[Sophie laughs]
[phone ringing]
[keyboard keys clacking]
- Hey Gabe.
- Cate, I got good news.
Royce loves the chocolate idea.
- What?
That's great.
- Marry & Bright
Chocolate Company.
How's that sound?
- Uh, I'm sorry, wait,
what did you say?
- Merry & Bright
partially converts
to a chocolate company with
Bermax as its major investor.
This, this is huge.
- But Merry & Bright
isn't a chocolate company.
We make candy canes.
- Well no, you'll
still make those
it just won't be the primary
focus of the company anymore.
And who knows, if
chocolates really take off
you might not even need
to make those at all.
The key is you gotta get this
going as quickly as possible.
Chocolate is a year
round business.
This is exactly what
you've been lookin' for.
- I, I don't know what to say.
- You don't have
to say anything.
Legal's drawing up the
paperwork as we speak.
He's flying his assistant
out tomorrow and,
I'd really like to be there too.
I feel like we
did this together.
- Okay.
All right, bye.
[gentle music]
- A chocolate company?
But would, would you
still do candy canes?
- Yeah, but they just wouldn't
be our primary focus anymore.
I guess it helps us.
I mean having Bermax as a
major investor's pretty big.
We'd still be called
Merry & Bright but I...
- But what honey?
- Is it worth it?
I mean, you knew grandma
better than anyone else.
Did she ever wanna
expand the lineup?
Try out new ideas?
- Grandma believed in tradition
but that is not to
say that she didn't
have some new ideas
up her sleeve.
But maybe, just not enough time
to realize them all I guess.
[gentle music]
- Whenever I look at
the Christmas tree
and that angel holding
the candy canes.
- [Joy] Grandma's favorite.
- I just wonder you know,
what would she think
about all this?
[gentle music]
- This is your company now.
This company's seen
its ups and downs,
but your grandmother
was a fighter,
and she believed in
the product and in
the way that it made people
feel about Christmas.
That's why we're still the
candy cane capital of the world.
- But the market's changing.
I don't know that
seasonal's enough anymore.
We need something year round.
Complicates my decision.
- And maybe Gabe complicates
your decision too?
I can tell how you
feel about him.
[gentle music]
- So?
If I were grandma,
what would I do?
- Everyone loved Carol,
but honey you don't
need to be her.
You need to be you.
[gentle music]
- I think everything's in order.
Has legal been over this?
- Yeah.
- Just sign there and there.
- Gabe uh, I'm really
struggling with this.
- I understand.
- I hope so.
I don't know if this is
the right thing to do.
- Cate [laughs],
don't overthink this.
It's a win win for everybody.
You said you wanted
corporate recovery
and this is as good as it gets.
- Uh, first of all, okay?
It wasn't my idea for
Empire to come here.
And second this,
this is not recovery.
This is a complete overhaul.
- This is a great
deal for everybody.
- Is it?
I mean, how good of a deal
is it if we lose who we are?
- Cate--
- Gabe, I really thought that
you knew what I was about,
what I stood for.
[gentle music]
I thought you knew me.
[gentle music]
- I, I guess I don't
know what you want.
[Cate scoffs]
- No.
No Gabe, you really don't.
[gentle music]
- This is a mistake.
- A mistake I'll have
to fix all on my own.
- She wouldn't sign?
Well, does this mean you'll be
back in New York for Christmas?
- I, I don't know.
- Well you're done with
Merry & Bright, why stay?
- You know I uh, I've decided in
the new year I
think I wanna start
doing consultations
for smaller companies.
Help them out, you know the way
that you did when
you first started.
- Oh.
- I have to admit,
things didn't turn out
the way I hoped they would.
Apparently I still
have a lot to learn.
- Well, you're still my
number one recovery expert,
and your ideas mean a lot to me.
And this might be
one of your best yet.
- Thanks mom.
- You're welcome.
[Gabe sighs]
[gentle music]
- Mm.
[gentle music]
- Okay.
[gentle music]
- You're making me nervous Pete.
[Pete laughs]
- If you could just
stand here, please.
Um, actually if you could go
a little closer to
the fire, please.
- Closer to the fire?
- [Pete] Yeah.
- Okay, now you're
really making me nervous.
[Pete laughs]
Here I am, by the fire.
- We had our first kiss in
front of this fireplace.
- Okay, maybe don't
get too close [laughs].
- Right, right.
Um, you know, maybe
it would be better
if you stood here and face me.
Okay, I think we're good now.
- What's going on?
Oh my gosh.
[bell dings]
- Just a second.
[gentle music]
Oh my gosh, oh my
gosh, oh my gosh.
[bell dinging]
- Please I'm trying
to propose!
- Propose!
[gentle music]
[Pete's throat clears]
[gentle music]
- Sophie Candice Murray,
I've loved you since
the day we met.
Would you marry me?
- Yes.
Yes, yes, yes, yes.
[gentle music]
[Sophie laughing]
[Pete laughs]
- Let me get up,
let me get up.
- Oh, oh!
[gentle music]
- You look so handsome.
[dog whining]
You're gonna meet your
new owner tonight.
Mm hm.
It's my daughter Cate,
and you'll like her
'cause she's fun and she's
smart and she's loving.
[dog whining]
[gentle music]
She makes me so proud.
[dog whining]
[gentle music]
Aw, don't be that way.
You two are, you're gonna
be really happy together.
You are.
We've had some good
times haven't we?
[dog whines]
[gentle music]
And don't get me wrong.
You've chewed some things
that I didn't want you to chew
and you do leave
fur everywhere but,
it's nice to come
home and you're here.
[dog whining]
[gentle music]
Oh dear.
[dog whining]
[gentle music]
Yep, I'm gonna miss you too.
[dog whining]
[gentle music]
[upbeat music]
Christmas is near
Christmas is just
'round the corner
- Hey.
Those are eggnog.
New flavors are a hit.
Where's Sophie?
Christmas is just
'round the corner
Now can you stay
Now can you just
stay forever
- [Gabe] Hi Cate.
- Gabe.
- Remember how you
said I wouldn't
be here for the
Christmas Jubilee?
Well, I'm here for the
Christmas Jubilee [laughs].
Christmas is just
'round the corner
Cate, I just wanted
to let you know--
- Gabe, before you
say anything I need to
tell you something, okay?
We are not a chocolate company.
This company exists because
a very strong woman fell
in love with little candy sticks
with red and white
stripes on them
because of the way they made
people feel about Christmas.
And that was her legacy
and now it's mine too.
And I love this company.
We're Merry & Bright,
we make candy canes.
We're not perfect
but it's what we do.
And I hope you can respect that.
- I can and I do,
and I think you have
the respect of Royce
Rutherford as well.
- What do you mean?
Have you spoken to him?
- Somebody wants
to speak to you.
- Hello.
- Cate Merriweather,
Royce Rutherford.
I'm sorry to bother
you on Christmas Eve.
- Uh, no, no bother at all.
It's fine.
- When I really like
something [laughs]
and that doesn't
happen very often,
I wanna let people
know right away
and I really enjoyed those
candy canes you sent me.
- Um, yeah, thank you.
- Yeah, I've never tasted
anything quite like them.
The eggnog and
sugarplum and my wife
and I were both floored
by the gingerbread.
It reminded us of the
baking my grandmother
used to do during the holidays.
- I'm very glad sir.
- Listen, have you
thought about rolling
them all out next Christmas?
- You know, actually I, I have.
- We're on to something Cate.
Let's forget about
the chocolate.
All to say that
we at Bermax wanna
be your major distributor.
We can get you deep
access to markets
not only coast to
coast but worldwide.
And who knows?
Maybe there's a possibility
for year 'round candy canes,
not only for Christmas.
Listen, let's talk
in the new year.
Merry Christmas, Cate
to you and your family.
- Uh, yes thank you.
Um, merry Christmas to you
and your family
too Mr. Rutherford.
[gentle music]
[Cate laughs]
[Gabe laughs]
Is this for real?
- It is and it's all you.
- Is this why you
came here tonight?
- Cate, I came because--
- Hi honey.
Hi [laughs].
- Oh, hi mom.
Did you go to the gym again?
- I have a surprise
for you, for Christmas.
[zipper zipping]
[Cate gasps]
[Joy laughs]
Here you go.
This is your new owner.
- You were the one that got him?
- I just wanted to make
sure that you had him.
- He's been with
you all this time?
- Mm hm.
That's right.
- Oh.
- I know, I'll miss you too.
And I will come and see you
whenever I get a chance, okay?
[dog whines]
All right, so you go see Cate.
Go see Cate.
Go see her.
- Hi.
- Go, go, go, go.
- Come here little friend.
- Go over there.
- Oh hello.
- All right.
It's okay honey,
don't be difficult.
I will come and see you.
I promise I will.
[dog whining]
- Mom, he's so adorable.
I love him.
[dog whining]
I can't wait to come
visit him all the time.
- What do you mean?
- 'Cause he's all yours.
- [Joy] What?
- Merry Christmas, mom.
- Aw.
- You got a new dog.
- Oh, thank you honey.
This is a wonderful,
perfect Christmas gift.
- Go enjoy momma.
- Buh bye.
[gentle music]
[guests chattering]
- So, you were saying?
["Silent Night" by
Franz Xaver Gruber]
- You feel out of place?
- No.
Do you?
- I feel right at home.
Shall we, Miss Merriweather?
- Charmed Mr. Carter.
["Silent Night" by
Franz Xaver Gruber]
The new Christmas
candy cane flavors
were an amazing success.
Eggnog, sugarplum, gingerbread,
I even included French toast.
I introduced cinnamon
for Valentines
and then key lime for
Saint Patrick's Day
and pumpkin spice for Halloween,
all from Grandma Carol's
original recipes.
Well, actually the
pumpkin spice was mine.
Now, I like to finish
off all my tours
in here so that I
can finally say,
as both your tour guide
and CEO of the company,
who wants a candy cane?
- [All] Me!
[Cate laughs]
- All right, fantastic.
My amazing assistant Sophie here
is gonna hand those out
and I hope you all enjoy.
There you go.
Okay thanks.
- Who wants one first?
- [All] Me!
- Okay, okay, okay.
All right.
- I'm glad you guys
enjoyed the tour.
It really helped me.
- I have a question.
- What is it?
- What makes your
candy canes taste
so much better then the others?
- Well, that's because
each one is made with love.
[Cate laughs]
Merry Christmas.
- Thanks.
- You're welcome.
Enjoy [giggles].
- It's a great tour.
- Thanks.
- I gotta run.
I'll see you later.
- Yeah.
Before you go uh,
would you mind taking
a look at the new
sugarplum mints?
They just came in.
- Sure, perfect.
in here?
- Mm hm.
Within your
- [Gabe] It's even
better if you open it up.
- Gabe.
And that's the story of
the Merry & Bright
Candy Cane Company.
A story about family,
tradition, and candy,
all made with love, the most
precious ingredient we have.
[gentle music]
Sometimes you just have to
be bold and take a chance,
and always leave 'em
with something sweet.
[gentle music]
[upbeat music]
[dramatic music]