There's never a dull moment at sweetriot. The team headed to the World Headquarters of Time Warner & Fortune Magazine this past Friday for the Fortune Small Business Finals. We made our final pitch and were filmed by CNN while doing it. Cool, huh?
We met the great teams from far away places like Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Athens, Georgia too. We'll find out in October the news, and we'll keep you updated. We're just excited to make it this far!
sweetriot was truly honored to serve cacao at an event with Danny Meyer this week. If you're not familiar with Danny, he is truly one of the leading restaurateurs and business visionaries in the world. Danny was speaking to EO, the Entrepreneurs Organization, which brings together entrepreneurs from around NYC and the world. (I'm in EO's new program for start up entrepreneurs!) :)
Danny recently published a book, Setting the Table, and he shares pointers well beyond his own restaurant industry for any aspiring business leader. The event was also held at this amazing place overlooking the Hudson River, and the view was one you often don't see in NYC.
Right outside of the window, you could see the 'rays of light' that are shown at Ground Zero every 911 -- and the most special thing about the evening was what Danny shared about 911. He talked about his restaurant's responses -- for example, 11 Madison's team started cooking in the nearby Salvation Army where families were being taken, and Union Square Cafe stayed open just to serve its community as best it could. The Cafe became a place where those who couldn't find their loved ones were able to reunite. Those stories for him helped solidify the importance of his work overall as he realized his restaurants are indeed a 'home away from home' for his customers.
And most importantly, the restaurants individually all made their own decisions on how to carry out Danny's vision of giving and caring without his supervision in how to do it. I can imagine as a fellow entrepreneur how good it felt to see the teams around him fully empowered and executing in a meaningful and heartful way on such a tragic day. I commend Danny for his leadership in NYC and for creating institutions of warmth that welcome so many poeple from around the world every year. There simply is no other who can continue to claim top Zagats ratings in NYC year after year after year. Danny and the great team at Union Square Hospitality Group can.
The great women of Greenville flew me down to South Carolina this week for their women's conference, and it was a memorable trip. I spoke to over 300 enterprising woman about the story of sweetriot and especially the topic of: Follow your heart, follow your values, follow your passion and the energy and results will follow.
There was one glitch - the sweetriot samples, which had arrived in the Chamber of Commerce office on Friday afternoon had disappeared. Now I have many conspiracy theories. There was construction in the office, and we've seen construction workers dig into sweetriot before - yum! And perhaps most suspicious was the secretary who signed for the box on Friday and left for vacation the next day. Might she be eating sweetriot sampler packs on the beach? I think so. :)
Nevertheless, I love Southern Hospitality - they were there from the moment the plane touched the ground to the moment I departed. The folks from Nuts and Such even gave me a beautiful, amazing gift! Thanks to Anna, Debbie, and all of the great hosts!
We hit another fashion show this week, and I brought Rob our new rioting supporter along. This show featured the new designs of GHITA by Alexis Phifer and the lovely designer's boyfriend, Kayne West, was of course attending. He caused quite a stir and was happy to receive some sweetriot before the show. Kanye said to me, "Wow, I really need some of this right now."
Each attendee received sweetriot in their lovely Henri Bendel gift bag (pictured above). The show was awesome and also featured Matthew McConaughey's new Brazilian girlfriend, Camilla. Rumor is that Matthew was nearby and/or maybe even in the crowd.
It's Fashion Week in NYC and it wouldn't be the same without supporting Nicole Romano's work. She had a showcase for her Spring Collection with models on 'display' for her entire event. Nicole's fashion 'art' as I think of it was better than ever, and the crowd happily enjoyed sweetriot during the show.
The original cast of Rent is back for a limited run! Courtney, our fantastic NYU rioting senior, came back to work this week after a summer of many fantastic things, and we went to see one of our favorite shows. Needless to say, it was as good as ever, and the audience was so excited.
Courtney and I didn't realize that we would have an after performance too. Imagine the Broadway version of those bonus tracks you receive on movie DVDs. The cast comes out and you have a chance to speak with them. This time we had sweetriot standing by and the reaction was amazing. Tamyra Gray of American Idol fame had already purchased sweetriot at Whole Foods and was a cacao/dark chocolate fanatic. The rest of the Rent team was so excited to receive dark chocolate after a hard day's work. All and all Courtney and I had quite a memorable experience.
My last stop on my way home from Turkey and Cyprus was London. I love that city! I spoke about sweetriot to some great AIESEC alumni there and stopped by the new Whole Foods store. Here are a few new AIESEC friends - Rajiv, JJ, and James.
And now a commercial break from our regular programming.
Have I mentioned that I love Mediterranean food?....And as for tomatoes, I adore them! Leave it to the Cypriots to make the best tomato salad ever. I'll let the photos speak for themselves - the size of the display alone speaks volumes. Yum!