Published on: February 26, 2010
I love this idea from The Wedge Natural Foods Co-op in Minneapolis.
Cupcakes are all the rage right now, fed in part, I think, because they represent a kind of minor indulgence during tough economic times. But people are also concerned about health and nutrition. So...The Wedge has come up with “portion-controlled cupcakes,” which sounds redundant but also is a very good idea.
Here’s how they describe it:
“The Wedge Deli Bakery cupcakes are undergoing a reduction program. People want their cupcakes and their waistlines too - as well as healthy checking accounts. We get that. You could consider this our part in the War on Waistlines. Or just think about it as a way to bring more cupcakes to more people - for less.
“On February 17, 2010 the Wedge Deli Bakery rolled out the first four cupcakes in the smaller size. They are priced right - $1.79 each, or you can get a package of four for just $5.99. Mix 'n match flavors and frostings in the four-packs as you like.”
This strikes me as a good idea - not necessarily a big idea, but the kind of good idea that gives a department a little twist...and keeps customers interested.
I’m still trying to understand this. ESPN has suspended Tony Kornheiser from PTI
for two weeks because he was being Tony Kornheiser (making critical comments about a female anchor’s clothing) on his local Washington, DC, radio show (from which he has not been suspended). And he apologized for making the wisecracks even before being suspended.
Yeah, that makes sense.
The New York Times
had an interview the other day with a woman named Jana Eggers, CEO of a company called Spreadshirt, which makes personalized clothing. She was asked about how she hires people, and I just thought her answers very interesting.
One thing she says she does is “see how they treat the receptionist. I always get feedback from them. I’ll want to know if someone comes in and if they weren’t polite, if they didn’t say, ‘Hello,’ or ask them how they were. It’s really important to me.
“I also check references myself. A lot of times people may leave that to their H.R. people or to someone who works for them. But, to me, it’s really important to talk to the person and build a rapport. I really want to know, what am I going to see? Everybody has challenges. One of the questions I usually ask on references is, ‘Where should I spend time coaching this person?’
“I’m usually listening for passion. I want that passion, because that passion is what’s going to get you through your failures. It’s when the tough things happen that a person’s real personality comes out. And I’m looking for whether someone’s aware that business is a team sport. You have to communicate. How do they describe the team, their role on the team? I always like to get their perspectives on the management, too.”
I haven’t applied for a job in more than 15 years, but I all I could think of is that I wish at some point in my career I’d been hired by someone like her.
I am in the Pacific Northwest for 10 days, which means - among other things - that not only am I in the place I think of as paradise, but I’m also missing the enormous snowstorm hitting my home right now. (For which I apologize profusely and publicly to Mrs. Content Guy. However, I also may not go home until spring.)
A couple of days earlier this week were spent on beautiful Orcas Island, north of Seattle, where I had the opportunity to share some amazing food and wines and a fabulous restaurant called Christina’s in the town of Eastsound. I started with an extraordinary appetizer of beer-braised local pork belly, pan seared and served over lentils, sauteed spinach and organic apple mostarda. And then moved on to a delicious truffled risotto made with Oregon Black truffles, poached local duck egg and Parmigiano Reggiano. This was just unbelievably good...and made even better (if that’s possible) because the owner of the place, Maureen Mullen, was a cheerful and informative presence throughout the meal.
The wines we all shared that night also were noteworthy:
• 2006 Ken Wright Pinot Noir, from Oregon’s Abbot Claim Vineyard.
• 2006 “The Boy” blend from K Vintners in Walla Walla, Washington.
• 2005 Yakima Red from Owen Roe, Washington.
• 2006 Angela Pinot Noir from Oregon’s Clawson Creek Vineyard.
My favorite of all these was the Ken Wright...but they were all delicious.
I’ve also had a chance to stop in for my usual visit to Etta’s in Seattle on this trip, and say hi to Morgan - one of my favorite bartenders in the world, who garnered a shout-out in our book, “The Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies.”
Morgan recommended a wonderful wine on my visit there: the 2007 Six Prong Cabernet Sauvignon, from Washington State...delicious and just spicy enough to handle one of the best pulled pork barbecue sandwiches I’ve ever eaten.
(This is how lucky I am. In the company newsletter for Tom Douglas Restaurants, which owns Etta’s and a number of other great restaurants in Seattle, they excerpted the passage in which I wrote about Morgan...and described me as a “long time Etta’s regular.” Which is true...but it also is true that I live 3,000 miles away from Etta’s. It is the measure of a fortunate life that I have the ability to be a regular at some place so far away from where I reside, and it is a measure of a wonderful establishment and great people - and fantastic food - that Etta’s is the kind of place where I return on every trip to Seattle.)
That’s it for this week. Have a great weekend...I know I will...and I’ll see you next week.