Small Business Briefing

Cake, chocolate and brownies: sweet swag for Oscar losers

The Globe and Mail

Brownies (Photos.com)

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Just desserts for Oscar losers

Card-carrying members of the "I'm just honoured to be nominated" club may not have brought home a golden statue last night, but that didn't mean they left totally empty handed. The 2012 Academy Awards swag bag – filled with amazing loot with a total value of $62,023.26 – could cheer up even the most dejected soul, especially one looking to fill the void of defeat with fats and carbs.

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Here's a small sample of the sweet treats nominees will sink their teeth into:

  1. Seven-layer caramel cake ($58.00). As the rest of the world feasts on frozen McCain or Sara Lee cakes, nominees will indulge in a towering seven-layer caramel cake from Caroline's Cakes, a small Maryland-based bakery. According to the company's website, the moist yellow layers filled with Caroline Ragsdale Reutter's famous “melt-in-your-mouth” caramel icing was a recipe that took her two years to perfect. The towering treat is already a rock star on the baking scene, appearing on the Today Show, the Food Network, in Oprah's list of favorite things and even in the movie The Help.
  2. Chocolatines Jewelry Box ($50.00). Next to a tub of ice cream, nothing washes sorrow away quite like a decadent box of chocolates. This year, nominees will receive a jewelry box of handcrafted treats from Chocolatines, based in Illinois. Flavours include lavender honey, sage lemon, blueberry Bombay sapphire, among others. The company was founded in 2004 by the well-traveled French pastry chef Chef Rieko Wada.
  3. Naughty Bits Brownies ($50). If cake and chocolates aren't enough, a box of brownies may do the trick. The imaginatively named desserts – such as Man Catcher (the all-American, nut-free brownie) and Cabana Banana Boy (featuring toasted coconut, dried bananas and salted macadamia nuts) are the brainchild of Leigh Lambert, an ex- pastry chef and food writer who also happens to be addicted to The Bachelorette.

The happiness-success equation

The author of The Happiness Advantage argues in this TEDxBloomington talk that while we may think success will bring us happiness, the lab-tested truth is that happiness brings us more success. Recognizing this is particularly valuable for entrepreneurs, he says in an interview, posted by Inc.com.

"Reverse the happiness and success formula. We think if we work harder and achieve some entrepreneurial goal, then we'll be happier. But the research is clear that every time you have a success, your brain changes what success means. So for you and for your team, if happiness is on the opposite side of success, you'll never get there."

EVENTS AND KEY DATES

National Business and Technology Conference

NBTC 2012 invites all aspiring young entrepreneurs to compete in their premier Entrepreneurship Competition taking place Mar. 23-24 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. More details can be found here.

Boot camp for small business

Starting Mar. 29, KPMG is hosting a two-day boot camp for small businesses at the Victoria Marriot Inner Harbour. From writing a business plan to understanding regulations and creating an online presence, the sessiosn are aimed to help your business operate smoothly and efficiently.

EDITOR'S PICKS FROM REPORT ON SMALL BUSINESS

‘You have 30 seconds’ for reality-TV pitches

The most common mistake people make on shows such as Dragons’ Den or Shark Tank is a long-winded delivery

FROM THE ROSB ARCHIVES

Five ways to keep workers happy

Here are moves to help hang on to star employees

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