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.