Monday, March 23, 2009

Speaking Presentation at BAIN

If you are in town this Friday, and you would be interested in hearing me talk about my company´s humble beginnings then you should head on over to ICANA on Friday.

BAIN has invited me to be the guest presenter this month and I will be talking about how I started Sugar & Spice way back in 2002.

There will obviously be free cookies to munch on.

The following is the BAIN invite, which they also published in the Buenos Aires Herald.

This month's Downtown BAIN meeting will be held Friday, March 27 from
**** 3 to 5 p.m. ****

We will be meeting at our usual location of ICANA, at Maipú 672 (downtown between Viamonte and Tucamán).

This month's program will be "Starting a Successful Business in Argentina." Our speaker is Frank E. Almeida, proprietor of Sugar & Spice, Palermo Hollywood. Thinking about starting a business in Argentina? Learn first-hand from someone who has succeeded in the process.

If you have any English language books that you would like to donate to ICANA, please bring them along.

For the meeting: Downtown members - no charge; Suburbs members - $AR5 crossover charge; guests - $AR10

Please RSVP via email to Bonnie at

We're going to have an after-meeting social, at Empire Thai, Tres Sargentos 427, about four blocks from ICANA. Everyone is invited!

See you at the meeting!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Racist Test


Quick, what was your first reaction on seeing this Russian ad for a new ice cream?

I have to admit that I thought it was cute and funny. I saw this at Comedy Central´s Indecision blog, who in turn got it from Huff Po. Some of the comments are also pretty good.

But we are aware that you americans are a bit hysterical about accidently showing your racism.--Arodo

You know what's way more offensive than a smiling cartoon Obama in a Russian ad?
The American writer imposing his own culture-specific taboos on other countries--nobodyatall
I also remember reading someone saying that we in turn have used Russians to sell blast shelters, which one would be more offensive?

In any case, the Huff Po writer Alex Leo is all offended by this. I just can't see why.

This does remind me of several conversations I have had regarding racism here in Argentina. Yes, it exists like it does in just about every corner of the world, but it is also different. We as Americans can not come down to another country and impose our own culture specific taboos on other cultures.

One case in point is that many people in Latin America use the term "negrito" or "gordita" and they are used as terms of endearment. I remember being in the States and calling my girls gorditas and a friend of mine was shocked that I might be sowing the seeds of some future neurosis in my child. Yes, she is right that if I lived in the States I should not be calling my child fatso or chubby, but gordita has nothing to do with those terms and my girls live in Argentina. If I were to move back, I would have to stop referring to them in that way.

If you are an expat, have you started to notice some of your own cultural projections? Have you been able to overcome them? Or have you wrapped yourselves in this new culture, snuggled up to your significant other, slapped them in the ass and called them "mi gordita(o)de mi corazon" and have gotten a kiss back instead of a slap or a cold shoulder?

Instead of it being a racist test, you have now turned it into a cultural adaptation test. Good luck, now start practicing.

Now I just hope some of that Obama inspired marketing mojo finds its way over here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Client - Avicar

Last year, sadly, al Queso, queso opted out of our relationship. Yes, I was dumped and I was sad to see them go.

Now I have another fiambreria type store that has picked up Sugar & Spice.

Avicar started out modestly in 1972 as a neighborhood butcher shop. The husband and wife team opened up shop in the barrio of Almagro.

Today they have 22 locations and are opening up one more this year. They are also going to start offering franchise opportunities and are betting big on Argentina.

The owners are fans of our cookies and they specifically asked their people to contact us to see if we would be interested in gracing their stores´s shelves.

Since products like ours are still relatively new in this market, they are testing us out in four locations:

If you are a customer of theirs, you now have one more place you can buy our cookies and pound cakes. If you haven´t tried Avicar, now is your chance.

They have grown from just a butcher shop and now they are a cross between a butcher shop, fiambrería, and neighborhood autoservicio (food market). You could actually get all your weekend grill shopping done in one place from the meat, to the salad ingredients, to wine and now yummy cookies for dessert. Psst, they also deliver!

If your nearest Avicar does not carry our cookies yet, let them know that you would really like it if they would. I don´t want this to be just a relationship on the rebound.

I´m Sorry, Rush

I haven´t seen anyone apologize so quickly, and the list keeps getting longer:

  • RNC Chairman Micheal Steele
  • Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA)
  • Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC)

I wonder what it feels like to insult Rush and then go groveling for forgiveness...

Now you can find out and you can do it in your underwear if you want.

Give the Secret Republican Apology Machine a try.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Won! Now What?

Sorry. Yeah, I am sorry readers for staying away for so long. I have so much to write about, but I also have so much work to do.

Since my last post finished with me promising to tell you what I was going to do with the treasury, I suppose I should start there.

First of all, I know this is old news, but...

I Won!

I give my thanks to all of you who voted for me and basically put your trust in me. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

We have had two official meetings already and it is starting to feel like we are pushing this thing off the ground. It´s a slow start, but we had to reorganize and lay the groundwork for growth. The actual money of DAAR was delivered to me and I will be posting the details of the transactions on the Democrats Abroad site very shortly.

We are going to be looking for people to lead standing committees. It will be a great chance for anyone who actually wants to do something, to belong to a movement and to actually effect change in their community. I will let Mike make that announcement though.

As for me, once I post the details of the Treasury, I will have completed a promise of making that transaction as transparent as possible. I am very approachable and I urge any of you to reach out to me with any ideas, doubts, suggestions as to what you want from your Democratic Party in Argentina.

I plan on making this as transparent as possible and representative as possible as well.

Meanwhile, I have lots of pictures to post on my trip to Patagonia; I have several new client announcements for Sugar & Spice; And I could make so much fun of the Republican party right now, but I have so much to do and they are just being so goofy on their own little selves. Well, okay, maybe I don´t have time, but these guys do...

They have a new emperor you know.

And just to remind yourself just who lead the Repubs and the rest of the country into this clusterfuck of a situation, here is a round up of "President Bush´s Legacy: One of Our Greatest Presidents by Jon Swift"--a reasonable conservative who likes to write about politics and culture. Since the media is biased he gets all his news from Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and Jay Leno monologues.

Politics have never been so funny.