Kenny Rogers & Donut Holes

mexican vanilla donut holesAs a small business owner in NYC, I am up against serious macro factors that are causing brick & mortar retail giants to fail. The tsunami in NYC crushing independent businesses is driven by those challenges, a grossly negligent local and state government, its anti-business regulatory environment, and landlords that extract all profits with egregious rents. Daily in the press, I read about restaurants failing, small businesses closing due to skyrocketing leases, and the shocking shuttering of long standing establishments because the economics don’t work.

I’m coming up on the end of my 10 year commercial lease. My how time flies. It’s phenomenal to me that more than a decade has gone by since being laid off from my corporate job. I’ve been blessed to create my restaurant & wine bar Sweet Revenge® in NYC, bringing together a community of kind and good hearted people and getting to share special life occasions with my friends, family, staff and patrons.  I count my blessings that my unique approach to pairing wines and beers with desserts has been generously supported by the editorial community since I opened. Countless good things have happened at 62 Carmine street.

Although the highs are high, I’ve never glamorized my life as an entrepreneur. I’m a straight shooter when asked. I believe the best advice I can give to those with entrepreneurial aspirations is honest, candid and frank.  It has been a challenging roller coaster for a decade straight.  For three years running, my charming west village block has gone ghost town quiet. The only other two restaurants on my street went out of business a couple of years ago, leaving my restaurant with the only lights on. Approximately 15 restaurants within one block of me closed during this time. On my block, two hopeful restaurants opened in the vacant spots. The one next door, Gentilly, closed last December after only being open for 10 months. Rumor has it the other restaurant is looking for its exit.

I am stubborn, positive, and passionate about my brand and business. I masochistically love challenges. I’m a first born and a Scorpio. I’ve been fighting the tide, and it’s my duty as an entrepreneur to fight the good fight.

gold dusted donut holesDespite the extreme challenges I’m facing, I find joy in the simple things that make life good and are at the heart of entrepreneurship. Recently I had a catering order for gold dusted donut holes. It was the first time we had made them, and they were so off-the-hook delish I put them on the every day menu. Who knew a little nugget could elicit such a big happy reaction? I wish it were possible to convey the aroma of donut holes frying up. It’s intoxicating and mesmerizing. Although we’ve always prided ourselves on baking and roasting everything in our double-stack electric convection oven, going to the dark side of deep fat frying has yielded hilariously happy results.

If you need a pickmeup from all the gray days we are subjected to by the unkind NYC weathergawds, or to find your happy place despite ConEd jackhammering on the streets surrounding us (Carmine street is the only exception), we’ve got just what you need. Our Mexican vanilla donut holes are coated in yummy cinnamon sugar glaze. We’re happy to drizzle raspberry coulis on your nugget turning it into a phenomenal mini jelly donut.

Inspiration from one of my all time fave songs:

“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em,
know when to fold ’em,
know when to walk away
and know when to run.
You never count your money when you’re sittin at the table.
There’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done” (Kenny Rogers, from The Gambler).

This song reminds me so much of my Grandma Mildred and Grandpa Ervin Hansel Scott. They were humble small business owners who worked tirelessly at their resort, Scotts on The Rocks, at the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri. They set a high bar on work ethic and integrity. They created a truly special place for our family and their guests. We played a lot of card games as a family. And my grandpa was genius when it came to counting them.

Food for Thought: The journey doesn’t always end down the path you expect, but once you’ve arrived, you’ll begin again.

cheers to great journeys and enjoying the joy along the way,


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