Thursday, September 27, 2007

Casa FOA 2007 and Sugar & Spice

If you are in town you should consider visiting this annual event. Every year they pick out a space to rehab and use as an architectural contest. Architects get to show their stuff, and before it is open to the public, they get their unique spaces reviewed and judged. This is capped off by a huge inaugural party and award ceremony.

This year we were invited to attend this party, and a couple of other smaller ones leading up to the big one. This meant that I supplied them with our cookies and I received a space for a stand where I could give out cookies and coupons.

Now, I went to this thing with the intention of taking pictures of some of these stands; I could not because it ended up being too crowded and the sun was going down quickly. The only pictures I managed to take were the ones shown below. They are not the greatest but it was what I could do at the time.

One of the pictures is of a glass jar filled with our cantucci. This jar belongs to the restaurant that is operating inside during the whole event so if you do go and you get a cookie craving you can go to this restaurant and have a cantucci and coffee.

Casa FOA´s official site
Gridskipper post on casa FOA by Ian Mount
Trendy Palermo Viejo post
Buenos Aires Times post - added information on the building that is being rehabbed as well.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Vení que te cuento

This past weekend was the first of four reading events organized by Fundacion Leer. They normally organize events in communities outside the city. This new series is aimed at approaching the local urban community. They are actually mini-versions of their full blown out events that they hold at little towns and communities throughout the country. So what was the first event like?

I walked into the basement of the bookstore and it was decorated like it was Halloween. It was very cute. The theme was scary stories. The kids would look around as they started coming down the stairs holding on to their mother´s hand. They wanted to touch the paper ghosts, skeletons, plastic spiders and spiderwebs decorating the room.

Story time creeped up and the storyteller thanked everyone for coming and organized everyone into a circle on the floor. She lit a candle, as a nod to pre-light bulb days of storytelling and reading, and started her scary story. The children were all quite, captivated by the story unfolding before them and in their imagination. After the happy ending the organizers brought out black paper that was already cut into the shape of a haunted house. They also brought out glue, scissors, crayons, etc. All the kids loved this part and some parents even got into it as well.

Afterwards, the children gathered around the storyteller one more time. This time the storyteller had some parting gifts for the little ones. Each child received a free book and a giant Sugar and Spice Chocolate Chip cookie (with no nuts). As you can imagine, there were lots of smiles, laughter and even some dancing. My own daughter broke out into a dance with her new book in one hand a giant cookie in the other.

If you are around Buenos Aires on the weekends and you have kids you might check this out for them. The next events are:

"There´s a Monster in My Closet"
Libreria Santa Fe
Santa Fe 2376
29 September at 4pm

"The Monkey That Speaks"
Boutique del Libro
Thames 1762
Palermo SoHo
6 October at 4pm

"One That We All Know - Classics of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow"
Libreria Hernandez
Av. Corrientes 1436
13 October at 4:30pm

Monday, September 17, 2007

ELLE and Sugar & Spice

For my English readers please bear with me. This post will be translated towards the bottom and all will be explained.

Tuvimos un concurso dirigido a las lectoras de la revista ELLE. Las primeras 15 lectoras que nos escribieron recibieron un regalo de un set de budines (Super Chocolate, Banana Nuez, Ingles, Limón & Amapola). Como tuvimos tanta repercusión (190 mails desde las 15 horas del día lunes 17 de septiembre), decidimos hacer un regalo de consuelo para las que no llegaron a escribir a tiempo. Es nuestra forma de agradecer el éxito de este concurso con todas las lectoras de Elle que se tomaron el tiempo para escribirnos. Durante los próximos días, las que nos escribieron (como detalla la revista) recibirán detalles de su regalo de consuelo.

Nos alegra mucho que nos escribieron y espero les guste sus regalos dulces.

Las ganadoras del concurso son:

Margarita Henriquez
Carolina Perez Aguirre
Haydee Patricia Besada
Georgina Paris
Mariela Cavanna
Vanesa Susana Vila
Julieta Bermudez
Cristina Noemí Dominé
Silvia Sagatelian
Carolina Caicedo
Miriam Gandolfo
Sabrina Corbetta
Paula Fernandez
Maria Irene Lopez
Anita Bottaso

***English Post Below***

We just ran a contest for the readers of Elle Argentina. The first 15 readers who wrote in to us following the instructions laid out in the magazine received a gift pack consisting of one of each of our pound cakes (triple chocolate, Lemon Poppyseed, Banana Walnut, Fruit & Walnuts). This little promotional action was a great success. We had, as of Monday the 17th at 3pm, 190 responses. Since we had so many responses we decided to give a consolation prize. For those ladies who wrote in they will be receiving the details of that prize in their e-mail. This prize is my way of saying thank you to all of the women who took the time to write to us.

I hope they like their sweet gifts. Oh, and if you are wondering, that list of names are the women who won their pound cake gifts.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Mountains, Whales and Cookies

First I want to apologize to all of you. I have been absent for a while and this post will be more of an explanation as to why and will be more like a diary type of post. I have been extremely busy and have actually felt a bit overwhelmed.

I do have a new client called La Anonima. They are THE supermarket chain that covers the south of Argentina. They loved our cookies and they wanted to start introducing them to the rest of the country.

I went on a trip to the south of Argentina to visit some of the stores and see firsthand how the cookies were doing on the supermarket shelves of La Anonima. I Also wanted to kick myself for forgetting my camera at home. You will see why later on.

The first cities I went to where Trelew and Pto Madryn. My hotel was actually in Trelew which made sense to my tourist agent since it was closer to the airport. However, it is such a small city and it did not look like it had much of a tourist trade going on. Bottom line was that I did not like my hotel very much. The city itself was clean and orderly. The people were really nice. They had these car park attendants that gave out receipts and they were actually cheerful and chatty. Every time I parked my car I got into a brief, nice conversation...for example:

me: Good morning. How much do I owe you?
car park girl: Oh, hi! It's 50 cents per hour. Are you a tourist?
me: No, I am just a big fan of Avis.

me: Okay, yes, I am a tourist from Buenos Aires, but I am actually an American.
girl: Oh, you come from such a lovely place. Why did you come to live here?
me: Argentina has its charms too.

And speaking of one of those charms... I received compliments from two different women. This has never happened to me in Argentina and it really surprised me. One woman was working the gift shop in the dinosaur museum and the other one was a flight attendant. I was obviously flattered but mostly pleasantly surprised. Both of them really liked my hat and they were both very attractive. I am happily married but it's nice to get little comments like those.

Anyway, Trelew does have a very nice paleontology museum called MEF. In the future I would stop by the museum from the airport and then schlep 56 kilometers to Pto Madryn and stay there. Again the town was small but the hotels looked nice and there where a bunch of restaurants. In Trelew, at 2pm the place emptied out. Everyone would go home for lunch basically. The few restaurants I saw where mostly empty. After eating at one I could understand why. Anyway, back to Pto Madryn. After checking out the local supermarket I decided to drive over to one of the beaches. It was a terribly windy day so when I finally pulled the car up to a beach there was one other car there. About 50 meters from the shore was an old boat wreck; about 10 meters from the shore was a whale! This is the part where I really was kicking myself for not bringing my camera. It was actually swimming down the shore. After it left the other people got in their car and drove off. As soon as they did I noticed that the whale was actually turning around and was coming back. I could have pulled up a beach-chair and just waited despite the rather nasty wind. The flying sand was pricking at me as if the wind actually picked up little sewing needles and they were flying into me sharp end first. I didn't care though because right in front of me was a WHALE. I have never seen a whale in person before and I was entranced. I want to come back and bring my whole family to see them. Also, off in the distance I could see other whales jumping out of the water and splashing around. I so wanted to go on a whale watching tour but that wind was just relentless.

I drove back to Trelew cursing that wind that was now rocking my car making it difficult to drive. I just had to ask a local about the wind and they said that even though the area is known to be windy this was an exceptionally windy day. I spent the rest of the night watching TV in my crummy hotel room.

The next day I went to Ushuaia. I had originally been there in 2000 as part of my honeymoon trip and the place has grown. It was actually difficult to find a parking space. The hotel was very nice and very new (Lennox Hotel). The view from the breakfast area was just stunning and it is right in the middle of town so you can walk everywhere.

I did not have much time for sightseeing though. I was busy visiting with my new clients, seeing our products displayed, giving their employees information about us and the cookies. Now I am putting it all together in a report that I am going to share with the buyer back in BsAs. Actually when I got back I started receiving calls from some more new businesses that want to be clients. I am also organizing a stand in Casa FOA for a couple of events, not for the whole event. I was also meeting with some Coffee Store locations that want to continue buying from us in spite of what had happened previously. I was also writing or answering questions in Spanish for Clarin. They are going to do another piece on us and the reporter just had to have it yesterday. I have a million other things that I could write about but those are just part of my to-do list and would make for very boring reading.

In the end I learned a lot about my new client and scoped out some future vacation trips. Not a bad way to make a living visiting with whales and having breakfast while looking at the majestic snow capped Andes. Next time I will have my camera with me.