Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Holiday Rush of an Entrepreneur

Every year, since I started this business, I end up working more and more but with more company. It's not only the wife and I anymore, but a team of people both within my company and with my clients. We are all running around trying to make deadlines, readjusting our work plan with last minute adjustments that mostly seem to happen on a whim. Basically, we are tired and we are looking forward to the end of the holiday season.

One of the benefits of having this business is that I get approached by other entrepreneurs. There are people out there with ideas and they want to run them by someone that has gone through what they are currently going through. Being an entrepreneur is a lonely endeavor. No one really understands what you go through unless they have gone through it themselves, not even your closest friends and family.

I have seen all kinds of ideas and they have all been great.

I don't have too many opportunities to take a break until Christmas Eve, especially this year when this week we got flooded again at Sugar & Spice as well as in my home. I had to race home to help clean out the water and to calm my 5 year old down. She was a bit scared seeing all the water inside her house.

After I helped the maid clean out the water I rushed back to work to send out more orders and luckily the water receded there as well, but I did manage to sit down a couple of times and enjoy some gifts that some fellow entrepreneurs gave to me.

I also managed to enjoy a nap on Sunday. One thing to keep in mind is that if you ever take a nap around two little girls who are bored they are bound to do something to you. In my case I was lucky enough to have woken up before they got to the make-up part of their plan. They had quite a few giggles from what they did manage to do as you can see from this picture.

I am glad I got to be a dad even while sleeping on this one. I just have to keep one eye open from now on. There is no telling what they will come up with the next time around.

This morning I enjoyed a Santa Clause Cupcake from Palermo Cupcakery. My daughter thought that it would be a great idea for Gina to make Christmas themed cupcakes and she wanted me to share that idea with Gina. Gina thought it was a great idea as well ;-)

The girls loved them! (so did I)

During the week I did not get much time to even break for lunch. Luckily for me the girls from El Bagelazo showed up with a bag full of warm, freshly made bagels and a stollen! I just had to share them with some of my employees who had never tasted a bagel before. Again, they loved them and so did I.

I was lucky enough to catch a break one day this week and I promptly sat down to enjoy a home made beer. This is one of those yet to be created ventures. After I poured the beer, it looked so nice that I had to take a picture of it.

In this case, it was an IPA that was a little softer on the bitter end of the scale to make it more palatable to local tastes. Having said that, I must clarify that it is still satisfyingly bitter, just like a good IPA should be.

I think it is a great beer. It was hoppy, bitter and I had it refreshingly cold enough to combat the hot muggy day. It was perfect and I am looking forward to this project getting off the ground. I am sure that once he opens up for business he will let me know and I can post about it here.

Currently I am wrapping up the Christmas rush at our store. Meanwhile, I managed to send cookie samples to the USA, Chile and Spain as well as a shipment to France; I managed with the store flooding as well as my home and staying with our delivery schedule in spite of those set backs. It has been a very interesting week.

We have some Pan Dulces left so I am sure that next week we will put what is left over on sale. They are bound to go pretty quickly as usuall.

I was lucky enough to receive a visit from another expat entrepreneur Jed Rothenberg from The Landing Pad. He was telling me about his company's plans for expansion into the rest of the country. I wish him all the luck and success possible. I am glad I got to wish him a merry Christmas in person.

For the rest of you that I do not get to see in person I can only exchange greetings from a distance. I wish all of you happy holidays and a prosperous and safe new year.

Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

My Date with Cristina Kirchner

I read somewhere that everybody on this planet is separated by only six other people. Six degrees of separation between us and everyone else on this planet. The President of the United States, a gondolier in Venice, just fill in the names. I find it A) extremely comforting that we're so close, and B) like Chinese water torture that we're so close because you have to find the right six people to make the right connection... I am bound to everyone on this planet by a trail of six people.
-- Memorable quotes from Six Degrees of Separation. Accessed Nov. 11, 2006 from

This week I was invited to a meeting at La Casa Rosada. The date was set for Tuesday at 5pm, that's tea time or mate time for locals. The reason she asked me over was due to being part of a group of small companies that are exporting to Lafayette in France.

Our cookies are on their way to France right now. Lafayette will have them as part of their Tasting Argentina event that will be from the 8th to the 30th of January.

We will be there along with Te de Jose, Gota, Havanna, Abuela Goye, Inti Zen, etc.

This is a big opportunity for us to start getting a presence in Europe. Last year we did the same thing with El Corte Ingles.

La Presidenta wanted to congratulate us and recognize our efforts. I took with me a Barbie Fashion Purse as well as our Pan Dulce. She really liked the Barbie Purse and said that it reminded her of her daughter when she was small since she was so much into Barbie.

Okay, it wasn't really a date, but I did get to have coffee in official koffee cups.  I just realized that I am also one degree of separation away from Obama, Fidel Castro, Lula, Morales, Chavez, Madonna, Maradona, etc.

I managed to take some pictures, but unfortunately I did not get any of her since I was talking to her and showing her my products. Meanwhile you can see the few pictures I did take below. The very cute girl you see is Carolina Cuenca of Fundacion Exportar who made this all possible. Thank you Carolina and the whole Fundacion Exportar group!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ruta del Pan Dulce de Revista Joy

El más equilibrado: SUGAR AND SPICE

Junto con el de Plaza Mayor, es el que mejor relación precio calidad tiene en el mercado. Para quienes no quieren gastar cien pesos en un pan dulce ni clavarse con uno de quince espantoso del supermercado, Sugar and Spice hizo un pan dulce que está justito en el medio. Es quizás la mejor masa de todo el ranking, de sabor muy natural, con la cantidad justa de frutas secas, naranjitas y pasas, pero además con una cubierta crocante y  pasta de almendras inolvidable. Se consigue por $40 el grande en su local de Guatemala 5419 (Palermo) o en supermercados, por un precio parecido.

Friday, December 11, 2009

YoQueVoz en Vivo este sabado

If you have not heard of this newsletter - website - blog - just great all around unique retail information excitement then you have to do two things; go visit their website and go to their live event this Saturday.

Click here for all your info.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

West Technology Limited Internet Keyword Scam

So I am entering my most busiest of seasons and I get an e-mail that starts off with the following:

Dear CEO/Principal,
We are a internet service provider and based in HongKong, which mainly deal with the global companies' domain name registration and internet intellectual property right protection. Currently, we have a pretty important issue needing to confirm with your company.

On Aug.25, 2009, we received an application formally, one company named "Vlekins Holdings Ltd." wanted to applied for the internet brand "sugarandspice" and some domain names with our body.

I skimmed this and put a star next to it so I could read it more thoroughly later. I mean I am really busy.

I finally get around to reading it and it sounded fishy. I then started to do some investigating to see if anyone else was receiving these.

All you have to do is google "Internet Keyword Scam" and you will get a slew of posts on the subject and just about all of them have this "company´s" name mentioned. Now, it may be a legit company or it may not be. I am not sure since they do have an address and a phone number and you can see all of this in the link I provided at the end of this post.

I decided to have a little fun. After a couple of e-mail exchanges I finally get a price for these registrations that they want me to do:

Dear Frank,
Vlekins Holdings Ltd just wants to register the following domain names(attach the corresponding price). 403 USD/Per Year 150 USD/Per Year 127 USD/Per Year 75 USD/Per Year 299 USD/Per Year 374 USD/Per Year
According to your request,you can list the domain names which you would like to protect,of course we can help you register.But you must know that,Vlekins Holdings Ltd currently just wants to register these domain names.Once they register successfully,they will become the legal owner of these domain names and you can't dispute them back,so I suggest that you should consider about these domain names first.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
Best Regards,
Lebron Zhu

Obviously I responded that I thought these prices were a bit high. I also wanted them to register some other domain names and wondered if I could get a volume discount...

Dear Lebron,

Sorry for the delay. I am very busy and hardly have time to read so many e-mails. I mostly just skim read them and keep moving on.

Okay, the prices are a bit high. Can't I get a volume discount since I will be registering so many domain names and doing all of them through you?

I would like to register the following:

I might have some more, but if you can please add the same countries that you added for the other domain names that would be great and it would give me an idea as to prices.

I might be able to get some more customers for you so please take that into consideration as well.

Now I would like to see new prices. Meanwhile you can tell Vlekins Holdings Ltd. to take it in the ass while the real owner registers his domains.

Kind regards,

Frank E. Almeida

I thought that if I start writing like a mad man, they might get wind that the jig is up. Besides, anyone dealing with internet names should be able to tell what I was doing with those names I submitted to them.

Originally I just wanted to get a little info and have a little fun. I then thought, how could I get these guys to spend money.... I haven´t figured that one out yet, but I did get them to call me. They have now called me at least four times.

I think I might add some more names for them to register. I was thinking of something along the lines of;

Do you guys have any recommendations? Is there a funny Internet keword name you would like to "register"?

Of course, these guys could possibly see this post and it will be the end of the fun and games. At the very least I got them to waist a little time and hopefully they paid a little to their phone company.

If you would like to see their form you can download it here.
If you would like to see a post regarding Internet Keywords-brands click here.
And remember that you can google "Internet Keyword Scam" and read all about this scam that seems to be reeling in a few folks. (pure speculation but since the Nigerian scam gets them, this one must get somebody).

Monday, November 16, 2009

Avant Premier Los Fantasmas de Scrooge

Fundación Leer has another avant premier. On the 24th of November, two days before the national release of the film, you can view it and donate to a charity all at the same time.

So if you would like to get tickets just write to amigos at leer dot org dot ar or you can call 4777-1111. In previous Fundación Leer premiers the movies have all been dubbed into Spanish so take that into consideration please.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Flood 2009

I thought I was going to be spared this time. I guess I thought wrong.

I am not going anywhere for a while. Good thing I have some cookies to eat.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Barbie Cookies by Sugar & Spice

If you come by the Barbie Fashion Studio at Unicenter you will see the new Barbie Cookies! This is a first for Barbie and we are just glad we can give a baker's hand.

Limited Edition Cookies: We went with our tried and tested classic Chocolate Chip Walnut cookies and our Pasion for Chocolate cookies in this limited edition box. You can make a door hanger out of the box and use the stickers that suit you best that given day (assortment of stickers with sayings included). The side with the window can also be made into a picture frame. Instructions are included.

Jewelry Box: We created a new soft batch cookie for the little ones. Your little princess can keep the box that is made to resemble a jewelry box. Inside there is a picture of Barbie with some stickers to play with as well. The cookies come in Vanilla Chocolate and Intense Chocolate.

Purse Box: This box comes with 200gr of the new soft batch cookies, that are also found in the Jewelry Box. This box opens up to reveal a beautifully printed interior with plenty of space to decorate with stickers that are also included. There is a hidden drawer that can be used to place Barbie accessories.

There will also be some Barbie Store exclusive baked goodies. If you want to make sure you are trying our authentic products just ask them to clarify for you which ones are made by Sugar & Spice.

Hopefully, I will see you there!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Barbie Fashion Studio

Starting on the 12th of November (11th is for licensees and employees), and running through the 15th, Barbie will have her fashion studio. It will be a day of fashion and beauty for mom and the little ones. There will also be a café for the waiting dads and to re-energize after pampering and beauty sessions.

The hours are the same as the shopping mall's so basically it runs all day long.

Why would I be posting about a Barbie event? Maybe I will write about that in a second post...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Democrats!

Happy 45th Birthday!!

Come help blow out the candles (figuratively) and in true democratic fashion, you don't need to be a member, and you will not be charged anything to attend.

Basically everyone is welcomed!
Free and open to the general public

Freak Restaurant
Fitz-Roy 1715
Palermo Hollywood
Festivities start at 8pm

View Larger Map

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

50 Years!

What does Micheal Jackson and a Southern Right Whale have in common?

I had no idea until I heard one of my daughter's classmates come up with a clever mnemonic device at an open house. Their class was making a presentation on different animals that can be found in Argentina.

His turn came up and the teacher asked him what the life expectancy of a Southern Right Whale was. After chewing it over a little bit his eyes lit up and said "50 years, just like Micheal Jackson!".

He is 7 years old.

Just to clarify, no one really knows for sure the life expectancy, but I found several sites that mention 50+ years, so this works for me.

Picture from All Shows Blog.

Just a coincidence that Micheal wore his glove on his right hand?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tentate Cookies at Your Nearest Kiosco

We are still in the initial stages of launching these new cookies. So far, Open 25 is very interested as is SAM Mercados Urbanos among others...

You can find our new Tentate cookies at these locations!

Open 25 stores:
Abasto Shopping Mall (two shops, one on the food court)
Alto Palermo (Loc 2-G)
Av Cabildo 601
Av Cabildo 801
Av Cabildo 902
Av Cabildo 1562
Av Cabildo 2102
Av Cabildo 2302
Av Cabildo 2501
Puerto Madero
Florida 2
Florida 272
Florida 364
Florida 425
Florida 512
Florida 605
Florida 708
Florida 888
Florida 970
Galeria Pacifico (food court)
Dot Shopping Center (3 locations, one on each floor)
Paseo Alcorta Shopping Mall
Solar de la Abadia Shopping Mall - Arce 940, piso 2
Ezeiza Airport (3 locations)
Aeroparque (1 location)

SAM Mercados Urbanos:
Av Cordoba 1201
Marcelo T. de Alvear 1699 (esq. Rodriguez Peña)
Paraguay 902 (esq. Suipacha)
Quintana 108
Rosario 756
Güemes 3048

Pierina Dealessi 260, dique 4, Puerto Madero
Malabia 1720, Palermo Viejo (starting today)
Malabia 1637, Palermo Viejo
Mira Vida Soho
Darregueyra 2050, Palermo Viejo
Reconquista 479, Microcentro
Viamonte 673, Microcentro

I will be updating this list shortly...

By the way, read what San Telmo Loft has to say about our new cookies via Twitter:
had @SugarandSpiceAr cookies called Tentate. delicious. thrilled they can be found near SanTelmo in Puerto Madero. congrats Frank.
Which one is your favorite: Intense Chocolate / Chocolate Chip / Dulce de Leche with Chocolate Chips.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who Invented the Italian Beef?

Maybe it should be called the Chicago Beef since you can't find this little baby anywhere outside the windy city. And before any of you Chicago natives living in Buenos Aires get overly excited, no you can not find them in Buenos Aires either.

On my previous trips I did not get the opportunity to revisit one of my favorite sandwiches and today, through the magic of Facebook, I stumbled across an article that led me to a web-site that wrote the straight dope on Chicago.

One of the articles was on the origins of this sandwich. My taste buds kicked into gear and reminded me that if I don't eat at least one of these on my next trip to Chicago, I will have to stop calling myself a Chicagoan.

Apparently, there was a poll on America's favorite sandwich and my beloved Italian Beef came out third. That is not bad considering that the only place you can find these are in Chicago. That's a pretty heavy handicap to be playing with 'cause the other two you can find just about everywhere.

You can read all about the poll and what's coming down the pipeline with regards to Italian Beef at this site called

This little sandwich is about to be introduced to the rest of the country. Wait 'till next year Philly Cheesesteak.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Entrepreneur Invasion

I was interviewed a while back and I just found out about the article in Apertura magazine being on-line. Actually, the article mentions a whole bunch of fellow expat entrepreneurs:

Martin Frankel with Areatres, Sugar Bar and Expat-Connection.
Micheal Evans with Vines of Mendoza.
Jordan Metzner and Sam Nadler with California Burrito Company.
Micheal Legge with Natural Deli
Rémi Noiriel with Jacarandá Films
Nigel Tollerman with 0800 Vinos
Daniel Rosenber & Liran Jakob with Minihostels
Maria Macdonald with
Jed Rothenberg with

This happens to be a partial list by the way. Any other expat entrepreneur out there that would like to chime in and let us know of your businesses go ahead and let us know about you in the comments.

Google Maps & Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today we are in Google Maps! Go ahead, give it a try.

Type in Sugar and Spice, Buenos Aires and you should see an entry for us there. Actually, there are two entries; the other one is a mistake. You can tell ours by the picture of the store.

So it will be that much easier to find the most delicious Chocolate Chip Cookie in Argentina, as well as oatmeal raisin, biscotti, brownies, etc. and you can find out why the Chocolate Chip Cookie is the most popular cookie in the United States.

And now you can have that same experience here in Argentina.

************ Castellano **********

Hoy estamos en Google Maps! Dale, proba el link.

Tipea Sugar and Spice, Buenos Aires y veras nuestro local en el mapa. El nuestro tiene una foto en la descripción.

Ahora sera un poco más fácil encontrar la más rica Cookie de Chocolate Chips en Argentina. También tenemos sabores como la de avena y pasa, biscotti, brownies, etc.

Sabes que en EEUU 53% de adultos que participaron en un estudio sobre galletitas eligieron ese sabor como su favorito.

Dado que nosotros tenemos las cookies autenticas, pasá por nuestro local para ver que es lo que les fascinan a los Estadounidenses. Esto lo digo yo que soy un Estadounidense viviendo en Argentina.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Maraton Nacional de Lectura 2009

Last year more than 3,500,000 kids participated in the annual reading marathon. This year Fundacion Leer would like to reach even more kids.

This weekend there is bound to be coverage of the nationwide event in the newspapers and local media. Sugar & Spice is proud to lend a helping hand.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Hey, Don't Forget About Cookies in Argentina!

Sure, cupcakes in Dubai, Beirut and Amman get into the New York Times. What about American style goodies in Argentina?

Ian and Taos, you guys gotta get on the ball here. Come to think of it, Ian actually did write about most of us recently. Okay Taos, let's see what you can do.

Fadi Jader opened up a cupcake store and called it Sugar Daddy's and ironically enough his clientele is 95% women.

My hat is off to you Mr. Jader. Congratulations on the New York Times article.

Meanwhile, in Argentina it looks like the cupcake business is starting to boom. Apart from Gina's Palermo Cupcakery, I have started to see more and more cupcake bakers.

There is also a Bagel option called El Bagelazo that will deliver their freshly made bagels to your home.

And who can overlook The California Burrito Company bringing the burritos way down south of the border. They are so popular that they have three locations now.

If you like something a little lighter there is Pura Vida bringing you the freshest yummiest smoothies around. Others have tried doing their version of smoothies, but these guys got it right.

And of course, yours truly with home made chocolate chip cookies, biscotti, pound cakes, brownies, etc.

Just a small clarification. We don't actually have "pudding". That is a typo from our web site designer. The local name for pound cake is "budin".

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Cookie Salesman

I was visiting some new clients as well as some potential clients in Puerto Madero. We have been testing our new line of cookies called Tentate and one of the places that is testing it out is Corner. They are a brand new chain to Argentina.

When I got there I was told that they only put the new cookies out just this Saturday. They only had one box out of the three that I had given them so basically they went through a box a day!

This is fantastic news that I get to use for the other client, who is kind of sitting on the fence on this product right now, and who happens to have a store on the other side of the docks.

Meanwhile, you can see a couple of pictures that I took in the elegant surroundings of the store.

Nice day for a little stroll and then off to the office to prepare for a meeting with Jumbo Supermarkets.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How to get your DNI

Have you wondered how to go about getting your DNI legally, and were daunted by the bureaucracy you were sure to face? Are you tired of having to leave the country every three months?

You don't have an excuse anymore, in fact, you have a helping hand.

Solange Verón, an English-speaking immigration lawyer, will be on hand on Tuesday speaking at a seminar organized by IMAS and hosted by Areatres (There will also be some sweets provided by Sugar & Spice).

This FREE seminar will start promptly at 7pm and is scheduled to run for two hours.

So come on down and bring plenty of questions.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

There's a New Sherriff in Town

Okay, actually it's a new blog.

Sorry Ian, Sorry Taos, but Southpat Sue is patrolling the Buenos Aires beat now and she is taking no prisoners. She has "the most authoritative source of news for the Buenos Aires expat community".

Sorry Rosario, Cordoba, Mendoza, Mar del Plata, Ushuaia, etc. you are on your own and you can suck it.

From the looks of her posts she has a crack team of investigative reporters that have no problem talking truth to stupid. She herself is no weeping willow. Just read how she defended herself from a "prestigious member of expat community".

So fellow expats, take comfort in knowing that someone has risen to the challenge of bringing us old school investigative reporting.

The Buenos Aires Blog - The Most Authoritative Source of News for the Expat Community.

Might I add that no one knowing who this mysterious person is or what she looks like adds to her mystique. I have heard that a fan club is forming and a list of would be suitors can't be far behind.

Friday, September 4, 2009


Tentate is our new line of cookies for the Kiosco market. We are very excited (and a little scared) of entering into this market. Once again, we are diving into new waters, reaching into a new labyrinth.

In the Libertador corridor alone there are over 2,000 kioscos!

But, as you can see, we are putting some thought into this. The exhibitor case is very attractive and colorful, and it's made to stand out in those very crowded kiosco stands.

There is also a new flavor that I have not seen successfully carried out in a cookie. Yep, we have a Dulce de Leche Granizado Cookie!

The new flavors are:

  • Vanilla and Chocolate (chocolate chip)
  • Intense Chocolate (dark chocolate)
  • Dulce de Leche Granizado (Dulce de Leche with chocolate chips)

As you wander the streets of Buenos Aires, now you will have a Sugar & Spice cookie conveniently within reach. We will also have the new cookies at our own store as well.

As you can see, this is so new that I can't wait for my programmer to modify my web site. Right now, this is the only virtual place that mentions them.

********** Castellano **********

Tentate es nuestra nueva linea de cookies para kioscos. Estamos muy entusiasmados (y con un poco de miedo) de ingresar en el mundo de los kioscos. De nuevo entramos en algo nuevo.

Por ejemplo, en el corredor de Libertador, en Capital Federal, hay mas de 2,000 kioscos!

Además, creamos un nuevo sabor: Dulce de Leche Granizado!

Los sabores son:

  • Dulce de Leche Granizado
  • Vainilla y Chocolate (cookie de vainilla con chips de chocolate)
  • Intenso Chocolate (cookie de chocolate negro)

Nos enorgullece poder llegar a los kioscos finalmente con las mas ricas galletitas Argentinas!

También las vamos a tener en nuestro propio local.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

New Client: Corner

For those of you missing your 7-11 experience you might have a something similar pretty soon. The concept is supposed to be similar and the first two stores will be in Puerto Madero. They are planning on having at least 5 stores by the end of this year.

September 9th is the grand opening. Sugar & Spice will be there sampling our famous baked goodies, as well as some new ones.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Women and the Challenges of Transparency in Politics and Governing

On Thursday the 3rd of September ICANA and The Eisenhower Fellowships invite you to....

"Las mujeres frente a los desafíos de la transparencia en la política y la gestión"

Which loosely translates to "Women and the challenges of transparency in politics and governing"

The following people will be interviewed at this free event:

Gabriela Michetti (diputada electa PRO)

Hilda G. de Duhalde (senadora PJ)

Norma Morandini (diputada Justicia y Memoria)

Marta Velarde (diputada Partido Justicialista Republicano)

Beatríz Nofal ( Directora de Agencia Nacional de Desarrollo de Inversiones)

Moderan y Entrevistan: María O'Donnell y Silvia Bacher (periodistas)

el jueves 3 de septiembre de 2009 de 9 a 12 horas en el Centro Cultural Borges, Auditorio III

Viamonte esquina San Martín, Buenos Aires

Entrada libre y gratuita - Inscripción Previa: 5382-1537

más información>>


8.45 Acreditaciones

9.00 Bienvenida: Inés Etchebarne -Directora Cultural ICANA -

9.15 -10.45 "Lograr el equilibrio político partidario y distrital"

Moderan y entrevistan: María O'Donnell y Silvia Bacher (periodistas)

Oradoras: Hilda G. de Duhalde (senadora PJ), Norma Morandini (diputada Justicia y Memoria)
Marta Velarde (diputada PJ Republicano) y Gabriela Michetti (diputada PRO)

10.45 Cierre: Marita Carballo - Vicepresidenta ICANA, EF, Gallup-

11.00 Coffee Break Despedida

Brought to you by

From Logo & Art

Monday, August 24, 2009

Reading Corner for 201 At Risk Argentine Kids

Click on picture above for larger clearer image.

I have written about Fundación Leer quite a bit before. Now they are taking part of the Global Open Challenge 2009 and specifically fund raising for a reading corner for 210 at risk children.

Click here to see pictures of the targeted community and learn more about how you can help.

Any small amount would help too, don't think that you are limited to the predetermined amounts on the page. You could give as little as $1.00 dollar.

This is a picture of some of the kids from the school that will benefit from the reading corner:

The following is a picture of some home made shelves holding some of the very few books that the school has.

The town they live in is called Uquía in the province of Jujuy. The link I provided to the town is actually a googlemap link if you would like to see just how small this town really is.

Please take a moment to visit the Global Giving site and if you can spare a little for these kids that would be wonderful.

If you would like to see the reading corner that Sugar & Spice created with Fundación Leer you could click here.

**** UPDATE *****
Having gone through the donation process, I wanted to let you know that the minimum donation is $10.00

Friday, August 21, 2009

Sugar & Spice in Fortune Small Business

Ian Mount, a local journalist who also has a blog called goodairs, wrote a story for Fortune Small Business and he included Sugar & Spice.

There are many other local expat success stories in the piece and I am happy to know and admire some of their handiwork.

The big story of the piece was written on Martin Frankel's Areatres.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Journal for my Daughters

I received a journal as a gift and right away I thought that I might write it for my daughters. My oldest (7 years old now) found it and started to ask me to read it to her at bedtime. It's not quite what I had in mind, but she really likes it.

She picked one entry as being the best of all. She decorated it with a hand-drawn star.

Yes, it's very personal, but I thought I would share this one with you as well...

As a boy I remember my local corner store with the creaky wooden floors and that corner store smell that every corner store had in Chicago. When I would go there I would yearn for a treat, 'cause that is what you went there for, as well as for milk, tape, or even batteries.

In the fall, when I would step outside to go to school, I would breath in the smell of the air. That was the smell of Canada, igloos, and polar bears. Snow would follow soon thereafter.

I remember the magical smell of the local public library, especially in winter. The smell of the books and the warmth of the room cradled me as I lost myself in the stories, some of which I have shared with you.

I loved the smell of pancakes and eggs from the local pancake house where I would occasionally sit down to a stack of blueberry pancakes (and sometimes banana pancakes). I still remember sitting in the waiting area with my parents. I remember being anxious and wanting time to pass quickly so my mouth could catch up to what my nose had been taking in.

I also loved coming home from a hard day of playing to be greeted at the door by the scent of home made enchiladas or even freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.

There are many more scents, sounds and sensations that paint my memories. I hope you do the same and remember some of the little things that make up your day. Remember those things that bring you comfort and a smile to your face. You never know, one day you may share those with your own kids.

Dad (gordito)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wine and Gourmet Cookie Tasting

Yes, Nigel and I are going to hold what we think will be Argentina´s first wine and cookie tasting event.

Familia Zuccardi will supply their Red and White Malamados (port-style wines), Sweet Chenin and Reserva Tempranillo.

Sugar & Spice will have Biscotti, Chocolate Chip Cookies, Brownies, and many more of Argentina´s finest baked goodies.

Please write to pedidos at sugar and spice dot com dot ar to reserve your spot. Their are only 20 spaces avaialable. The cost is $30 per person.

This is the second of two events planned. The first one will be held at 0800 Vinos on Thursday the 13th of August and this one will be on Friday, the 14th of August. Both events are from 7pm to 9pm.

Sugar & Spice Event on Facebook
0800 Vinos Event on Facebook


There is a date change for the Sugar & Spice event. The new date is Friday, the 21st of August.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies para el Día del Niño

Primero lanzamos "el pan dulce de tus sueños", y esta vez queremos darles una opción más, pero con nuestras deliciosas chocolate chip cookies bañanadas en chocolate.

Tienen que pedir la inicial que va en las galletas con 24 horas de aviso y tendran una galleta grande, deliciosa, bañada en chocolate y con las iniciales de sus hijos.

Nota de prensa.


Last holiday season we came out with customized Panettone; "el pan dulce de tus sueños". Basically, you had a list of ingredients to choose from and we would make it for you.

This time we are offering you the opportunity to choose the initials that will go on a chocolate-dipped, chocolate chip cookie.

The promotion runs from the 20th of July through the 10th of August. Remember, we need a 24 hour advance notice.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Un Bacio Per Favore

Looks like I won´t have to wait until I am in the duty free shops anymore to get my fix of baci.

Coming to a store near you in Buenos Aires...

Keep your eyes peeled and your hearts open...

"I baci sono come il sole: mettono in fuga le ombre."
"Kisses are like the Sun, they make the shadows fly away."

The suggested retail price is supposed to be $14,99

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Campbell´s Soup

Moving on....

For some of you expats who maybe missing a little taste of home. Within a week or two you should be able to find the familiar red and white cans at a Falabella near you.

I imagine that eventually they will find their way to the supermarket shelves.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I thought my exposure to bullies was over after the 6th grade, boy was I wrong. Currently I am being ganged up on, and it´s the 6th grade all over again for me. I should explain...

A couple of days ago a woman posted a critical review of a couple of my products on a public forum called BAexpats. On this forum, some other virtual personalities (some of them could be represented by one or two people--that is a couple of people having multiple accounts; that´s an impression anyway). I was able to respond to that young woman and I found myself trying to stand up to some dubious complaints from some of those other virtual personalities on that site.

So far, no biggie. I can hold my own when talking about my company or my products. Hell, everyone is entitled to their own opinion on just about anything. I don´t expect absolutely everybody to fall in love with my cookies, but I also find comments like the one below a little dubious.

In regards to the cookies my friends and I have found them bad on all occasions
dry and lacking flavour. They are also overpriced and geared to the expat

How many occasions? Overpriced and geared to the expat market? My biggest client base, and the target market of mine, are locals. I don't know who harryp is, but if you look up all his posts you will find that 100% of them are just nasty hate filled messages. Where are the moderators expressing how disturbing his messages come across? (I just checked and some of those posts have started to disappear. How convenient. Right now he is at 10 posts and he used to have 14)

I found myself responding to those types of accusations and generalizations about my company on this public forum. My responses were always tempered and respectful. Since I could not be rattled into losing my patience someone decided to delete my last response, then put me on moderated status and would not let my follow up responses through.

Now they are saying:

"Bianca the truth is that we do not close down threads and allow all topics to
be freely discussed. The last thread on Sugar and Spice was closed down due to
inproper languaage used by a member . The only remarks that we censor are the
replies to the deleted comments as they are no longer appropriate due the
comment not being visible."--adminstrationba

However, I received a private e-mail from them saying the following:

Dear SugarandSpice,
You have received a new private message at Baexpats -
Community of Expatriates in Buenos Aires, Argentina from chris, entitled "Rules
of our Site".
To read the original version, respond to, or delete this
message, you must log in here:
is the message that was sent:***************
Our site is not a advertising
portal for businesses as explained by our terms and conditions. We have clear
rules for every member and we do allow that topics that do not relate to Buenos
Aires be rehashed more than one time.
There have been three threads on
this topic since last week and many members have found this disturbing as
has our Board of four members.
Please feel free post but only on
relevant topics.

Furthermore, another quote on another thread makes reference to the advertising angle again. By the way, tell me this does not remind you of Fox News:

Baexpats is the fairest site in South America with freedom of expression on all topics. Saying that that does not give someone the right to attack other members publicly as well as use every post to advertise his business.
This is stated clearly in our terms and conditions.--pericles-E

If you were to look up all of my posts on that forum (which you can, there is the ability to look up posts by persons) you will find that I have 9 posts. One was me responding to a thread from someone from Chicago (my home town) and the rest are of me defending myself. (there was the original post that was deleted that would have made it 10 total).

Now this false argument of theirs regarding their stance on not allowing advertising really falls through after this next bit of news. See, when you first sign up, the very first section is called
"Newcomers Forum, if you are new here please introduce yourself!"
Which is exactly what I did. I was welcomed with open arms. How could I tell you may ask?

from Webteam
to frank dot sugarandspice at gmail dot com
date Thu, Aug 17, 2006 at 2:12PM
subject from

Dear Frank,

Could you visit website

and rate some of the companies you have had a chance to deal with? Or may be you can even write a review?

He hope you have enjoyed site. With we are trying to build another valuable resource everybody will be able to benefit from.

Thank you in advance. webteam.

By the way, our dinner is tomorrow!

From Sugar & Spice
Sent at 4:02 PM (GMT-03:00). Current time there: 1:39 AM
reply-to frank dot sugarandspice at gmail dot com
to Webteam
date Thu, Aug 17, 2006 at 4:02PM
subject Re: from
Hello Baexpats,
I actually listed my own company on there and plan on using your site to add some more. It's just going to take me some time so please be patient with me. For now, anyone who looks up the food section will have Sugar & Spice to rate if they want to.

I hope your dinner comes off great. I have a very hard time to get away during those hourse since I am a proud father of two little girls (one is 21 months old and the other is 4 years old) who I don't get to see too often during the day.

Frank E. Almeida
Sugar & Spice
Soler 5547 (entre Humboldt & Fitz-Roy en Palermo Hollywood)
Tentate & Disfrutá

So back in August of 2006 they were perfectly okay with my very first post introducing myself just like they asked. They even invited me to dinner.

Pericles where was that slap on my hand for "advertising" right out of the gate?

Here is another great quote from them that adds to the argument that they are trying to mislead everyone:

There is a lot of misinformation about this topic but the truth is this is due to big business interests wanting control of the Ba expats forum.--adminstrationba

So now I am a big business interest that is using their site as advertising while scheming to take it over? People, please use a little bit of analytical thinking while reading their site.

Sugar & Spice is a family run business. I not only feel a responsibility to be successful because my own family relies on me, but I also feel a responsibility for the 20 or so families that are represented by my employees.

I also feel a responsibility to my community and frequently give and help local non-profits. I don´t do this for the sake of padding a resume. I do this out of a sense of responsibility.

This same sense of responsibility has led me to face up to these bullies because I am not the only one that they have done this to in the past, and even now as you read this they continue to gang up on other local business owners.

I am also a fairly public figure; I have been interviewed on TV, radio, and print; I have been asked to make presentations at universities to U.S. grad students; I have my picture posted on my blog. It doesn't take a sleuth to find me. I am a very open, and approachable figure.

I am not a superman. This stuff is painful to go through. Yes, Pericles and company, if it makes you feel any better your actions, your name calling and your aggressiveness hurts. It hurts to know that you are actively trying to drag my name through the mud, that you want to actually hurt me and my company and therefor hurt my family and my employees.

What do you think goes through a young girl's head who has just recently been hired when you call her and tell her that her boss and her company is going to be facing a lawsuit?

Are you so small that you have to spread your vile to my employees?

Not everyone has a stomach for a public showdown. I really don't go looking for confrontations.

I just got a second chance in life to stand up to a bully.

Wouldn't you take that opportunity?

And all of this happened because they deleted my posts, as I was just trying to stand up for my company and myself, and kept me from posting more replies.

No, they did not ban me yet. They have just, as you can see from their message above, kept me from responding and standing up for myself on their forum.

One last thing. I don't link to much to their site. They delete posts regularly. It has already started with these threads. I made copies of the posts that are out there and I noticed some are missing now.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Haiku Anyone?

The Landing Pad is running a contest right now; in fact, it ends by midnight tonight. What´s the rub? You gotta come up with a Haiku, bonus points for using the words "Buenos Aires".

For those of you who need the ground rules for what a haiku is, it is a simple poem consisting of 3 lines. The syllable totals of each line are 5,7 and 5 respectively.

So if you would like a shot at winning a Sugar & Spice gift bag (worth $65 pesos) get your poetry muscles moving.

Here are some of my favorite ones so far (obviously I am going to like the ones that mention Sugar & Spice):

Happy to eat here
Sugar and Spice delightful
Buenos Aires smiles

Yum Yum Sweet Cookies
Yum for me and not for you
Gourmet goodnessy

With Sugar and Spice
City of Buenos Aires
So good for the soul

Cookies para mi?
Oh que bueno it would be
Ganar los goodies!

Sugar and Spice cookies
are my drug and my weakness
I wanna be intoxicated now!

Beer Goes Artsy

“Filled with mingled cream and amber I will drain that glass again. Such hilarious visions clamber Through the chambers of my brain -- Quaintest thoughts -- queerest fancies Come to life and fade away; Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today.”

Edgar Allan Poe (American short-story Writer, Editor, Poet and Critic, 1809-1849)

When I first arrived in Argentina there was very few artisan beer makers. This is the land of Quilmes and in most places you just ordered beer. Sometimes they would have Heineken or some other equivalent of an excuse for a beer.

Now there are many microbreweries and I think it´s fantastic.

One of those microbreweries that I like is Otro Mundo.

My favorite is the Nut Brown Ale; it is made with a blend of 70% Pilsen and 20% Munich malt with the remaining 10% coming from caramelized malt from Bamberg, Germany.

It is a dark, top fermented beer, its aroma is pure malt and toasted nut heaven, with a taste that includes hints of chocolate, nuts and butter.

They just came out with artwork on their labels. I really like the look of them. I think they are fantastic!

What do you think?

Oh, by the way, that beer goes great with our savory Parmesan cheese cookies.


Cuando llegue a la Argentina me acuerdo que una de las cosas que estrañaba era la cerveza artesanal. No habia muchas opciones.

Hoy en día sí las hay y estoy recontento.

Unas de mis favoritas viene de la empresa Otro Mundo. En particular me gusta la Nut Brown Ale.

La cerveza Nut Brown Ale de Otro Mundo cuenta con un blend de maltas compuesto por un 70% de malta tipo Pilsen, 20% de malta tipo Munich, ambas originadas a partir de cebada cultivada en el sur de la Provincia de Buenos Aires.

El 10% restante corresponde a maltas especiales caramelizadas y tostadas en la renombrada maltería Weyermann, de la zona de Bamberg, Alemania.

Se trata de una cerveza café oscuro, con tinte rojizo. El aroma inspira sensaciones de malta y nuez tostada y el sabor tiene notas de chocolate, nuez, y manteca. Con cuerpo mediano y suave, posee un final a malta.

Ahora tienen Art Series - "una muestra de arte exhibida en las etiquetas" y ademas un maridaje de esa cerveza con nuestros copetines es espectacular!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Jocks vs Geeks

I know this is already about a week old by the time I post it here. Both the geek and jock in me really loves this speech, so I could not help but share this with you in case you have not seen it yet.


I admit that I have not known of John Hodgman before I started to see him in the Mac ads.

I then started to hear of him on public radio. He is a contributor to This American Life, which happens to be one of my favorite programs.

I also heard him on The Moth--another favorite of mine. I then learned that he has written a couple of books and that he is also a contributor on the Daily Show as a "Resident Expert". That show is brilliant in every way.

So I guess I am a John Hodgman fan and part of the time I did not even know it. So does that make me a Jock or a Geek (c'mon it's John Hodgman)?

Which one are you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Free Brownies!

From Sugar & Spice

Empezando desde hoy, y siguiendo todo el mes de julio, con tu compra de mas de $5,00 te regalamos un pack de brownies (cada pack tiene 4 caudraditos y un total de 150gr).

Esta promoción es valida en nuestro local únicamente.

Guatemala 5415 (esq. Juan B. Justo)
Lunes a viernes de 10 a 13:30 y 14:30 a 19 horas
Sabados 9 a 13 horas

Starting today and running all through July you get a free brownie pack (150gr - 4 squares in each pack) with any purchase that is at least $5.00 pesos.

This promotion is valid only at our store.

***update - Their is a limit to 4 visits per month***

Friday, June 19, 2009

Regalo del Día del Padre 2009

From Regalos 2009

Regalo del Día del Padre! Una cerveza de Otro Mundo con un set de copetines por $36,00.

Happy Father´s Day gift. Have a microbrewed beer from Otro Mundo along with a set of our savory cookies.

War what is it good for?

absolutely nothing say it again y´all
--Edwin Star

I sometimes ask myself what is Facebook good for and without a doubt it has helped me to reach out, and be reached by my family and friends as well as high school friends from long ago.

From Facebook I learned that a high school friend of mine is actually living and working in Brazil (Hi Ven!).

And, just now, another high school friend of mine has sent me a link to this video that I thought was pretty cool, at least it´s not like "We Are The World".

This one actually sounds pretty cool.

The project that put that all together is Playing for Change.

Check out the website. It is worth a look.

Thanks Faith!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I´m Off to Great Places Again

Last year I did a couple of presentations for some visiting MBA students. I shared a couple of funny anecdotes in that post.

This year I was also asked by BAIN to speak at one of their monthly meetings as well. And just most recently, I was asked by the Universidad Torcuato di Tella to present once more.

These presentations give me that rare opportunity to talk about my company (and myself) in English. It´s nice to practice this once a year or so. And I noticed that I get a little rusty with the mother tongue if I don´t use it.

There are some questions that they always seem to ask me and I thought I would share one of those with you this time. They always want to know about cultural differences. Did I run into something that I thought was normal, but that locally it´s not really?

There are lots of things that are different, but I thought that this time I could actually use some feedback that we recently got from one of our employees.

He approached my wife and thanked her. He basically told her that he was so grateful to us for giving him true autonomy. We actually ask him for his input and when he has an idea we let him try it out and see if he could make it work.

You see, we hired him because we thought he would be good for the job and would not need us to stand above him and approve every decision that he makes. He does not have the run of the place, but instead he has some guidelines, some rules, some limits. If he bumps into one of those he then calls us in.

He said that he had never worked under those conditions before and because we work that way, he is very motivated and more critical of his own performance and those around him. Basically, he has put on the Sugar & Spice team tee-shirt and he is wearing it proudly.

So yeah, while it´s funny to write about the girl who applied and told me she couldn´t learn English no matter how hard she tried and realized that maybe it was due to her hating Americans; or, the girl who suggested that we change the company color from orange to some other color (very first link above for those stories), they don´t move me like the thanks this employee gave us.

I don´t know how local companies in general treat their employees. I am sure there are those that treat them great. This guy, and some other employees as well, have shared their specific experiences with us; and for them, this has not been the normal employee-employer relationship; it hasn´t been for us either, and I have to add that this is all new to us as well.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Villa 31 (part 3 of 3)

To some extent, if you've seen one city slum, you've seen them all.

-Agnew, Spiro Theodore

This is the first time I use a quote that I do not agree with. Villa 31 is not really a slum, not at least how I have seen before. It is a makeshift city created by the people who have come to live there. In this case, it is a city within a city.

The school we went to on this day was most likely the nicest structure within this city. Compared to its surroundings it was a modern marvel and had 1,500 kids within its walls and tin roofs.

So, for half a day, Sugar & Spice closed up shop and went to the Villa 31 to set up a reading corner and stock it full of books. They say that pictures are worth a thousand words...

We could not venture out of the school with a camera in hand. The professional photographer, Caitlin Kelly, did that once and she was nearly separated from her camera for doing so. We did not want to run that risk. Besides, we were not there for sightseeing anyway, we had a much more important task at hand.

This is a peek at what our donations to Fundación Leer can do and have been doing. Rest assured that with every purchase of our cookies we set aside a percentage of our sales that go towards making sure that more and more kids have access to books.

In the future, I am toying with the possibility of inviting you, my dear readers and fans of Sugar & Spice, to participate with us, if you are interested in helping out directly. I guarantee the smiles and experiences shared that day will leave you hungry to help out even more and you will sleep like a baby that night for sure.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sentidos en Transito FM 93.9

Sugar & Spice will be featured this Saturday on Natalia Lesyk´s radio show "Sentidos en Transito" beginning at 8pm. She will be talking about the 5 O´Clock tea time ritual. She asked us for some suggestions to accompany the tea.

She will be giving away some Sugar & Spice products during her show.

Her show is a general interest on air magazine. She covers various human pleasures related to our five senses, and tea time is included.

It´s too bad she did not ask me to participate. It sounds like it will be an interesting show.


La conductora de "Sentidos en Transito" Natalia Lesyk nos contacto para que podamos compartir nuestras sugerencias a la hora del te.

"Sentidos en Tránsito" es un magazine de interés general, un espacio informativo que propone un recorrido conceptual de los diferentes placeres humanos a través de 5 áreas temáticas relacionadas con cada uno de nuestros 5 sentidos.

Suena muy interesante el programa. Empieza el sábado a las 20 horas y Natalia va a sortear algunas delicias de Sugar & Spice durante el transcurso del mismo.

Villa 31 (part 2 of 3)

Later that night, after spending the afternoon decorating the reading corner for the school, I got to tuck my 7 year old into bed.

daughter: "I have an idea. When I grow up and have a business selling food, if a family comes that does not have any money, I will give it to them for free."

me: "That´s nice sweety. I have done that on occasion myself; but you don´t need to wait until you are older to help people. Today, you did something much better than giving people food."

She was looking at me, wondering what it was that she did that was so important.

me: "There are some kids that don´t know how much fun it is to read a book. Today you helped daddy decorate a reading corner and now there is a whole bunch of kids (1500 children attend that school) that will have a fun place dedicated to reading. I am so proud of you."

She went to sleep with a big smile on her face.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Carrefour Productos del Mundo

Carrefour Salguero is having a promotion for the whole month of May and they dedicated a whole page of their catalog to us. They also had a great display at the front of the store.

On the weekends we are sampling the cookies as well at their Salguero location.

Stop by and get your favorite cookies at a discount. You can click on the image above for a larger view.