FRAMINGHAM, Mass. — With just a few weeks until Christmas, Santa is formalizing his list of who's been naughty and who's been nice.
But this year, a Massachusetts business is helping distribute his “gifts.”
From a home in Framingham, Santa’s helpers are hard at work dispatching lumps of coal to children who have landed on the naughty list this year -- but still have time to improve before the big day.
The home's garage is the global headquarters of Naughty Coal, a company that came about by accident.
A few years back, budding entrepreneur Michael Angelov had an idea for a grilling business. It was not a success.
“It just never took off as we expected," Angelov told FOX25.
He and his Babson College-alum business partners found themselves with a pile of charcoal and nothing to do with it.
Then they got an idea.
“Someone came up with this idea that, you know growing up, if you were naughty you would get a lump of coal in your stocking," Angelov said.
They thought of it as a gag gift for adults, but when they listed it for sale on Groupon, something interesting happened.
“We actually landed in the 'gifts for kids' section of Groupon and a lot of parents started sending it to their kids,” Lev Matskevich explained.
Much like "Elf on a Shelf," parents began using Naughty Coal as a way to encourage good behavior. The guys had a hit on their hands.
“This was a complete surprise to us,” Angelov said.
Capitalizing on their success, the elves have launched a second project called 12LettersFromSanta.com, which sends personalized letters to children from Santa.
Success has come so quickly that the guys continue to juggle jobs and families in addition to the business, but hope to one-day work for the big guy full time.
Cox Media Group