April 13th, 2014
Sometimes I suffer from SR myopia , a condition that affects my ability to see solutions to my small business issues as I get caught up in the daily to-do’s. Thank the goodness, I am blessed with fantastic friends and family who offer up kickass suggestions that cure me of this. I thought I’d share a few. Enjoy!
Recently, I enjoyed breakfast with a dear friend Joe Cote. Joe is an inspiring entrepreneur who has just launched CapsulePen, a cleverly disguised pill container that looks like a pen. I supported his kickstarter campaign and my mom is going to be the lucky recipient of these at Christmas this year (Please keep this under wraps! )). Joe and I were noodling on ideas to increase “real food” sales at Sweet Revenge®. One of his fab ideas was to deploy a popup coupon to drive website traffic into foot traffic at 62 Carmine. Can you believe this never occurred to me to investigate? Oyvay! I am currently reviewing StoreYa’s CouponPop app to integrate on the website and also possibly facebook. Stay tuned, I hope to have this badboy installed this weekend, offering delish dinner coupons as a thank you for providing your email address.
Last weekend, my dad treated me to a weekend escape in Florida where I got to enjoy some much needed R&R with my best girlfriend Heather (a friendship going back 40 years!) and her two munchkinas Alexandra & Katherine. Along with splishsplashing with A & K in the ocean and doing hold-your-breath-under-water competitions, I got some great ideas from Heather. My fave was her suggestion to sell pupcakes at SR and offer up a dog walking service. I love the idea of SR being a community spot for dog lovers, as I have been one since I was a munchkin like A & K. Funnily enough in the original business plan, I wrote about pupcakes! My dad suggested I put up a digital picture frame in the window with rotating pictures of our beautiful food. High five Dad on your mega watt idea!
A few days ago, a few of my friends and I pulled off an impromptu catchup at youguessderchester Sweet Revenge®. My dear galpals Nancy Rothschild Gerome aka fancynancy and Marcy Assalone aka marcilicious suggested I move up the “Small Plates” section from the bottom of the dinner menu and put it on the top, renaming it as “Nibbles” or “Appetizers”. They explained the bottom placement felt like “sides” and that’s less glamorous when one wants something to nibble on when sipping vino. They also suggested we add crostinis so I’m going to investigate! Needless to say, I will be in powerpoint this week making changes to the menu!
As a final nod of gratitude, my dear hubby Gurhan recently observed patrons doing takeaway lunches from the recently re-opened Grey Dog coffee shop across the street from us. The lightbulb went on and he said we need to get in on the to-go lunch specials game. We brainstormed a shortlist of easy to assemble wraps which will be offered up with a choice of soup or salad. Stay tuned – we will be debuting this fun new grab & go lunch by the end of the month!
Hugs & love to my all my loved ones for their love & support, rah rah rahs & brilliance.
April 9th, 2014
We’re thrilled for our sweet mention in Swipely’s feature on food & wine pairings and are delighted that we are named as an example for our fellow restaurateurs on how to incorporate pairings as a menu offering. Our cupcake, wine & beer pairings set the highest bar…matched only by our dinner, wine & beer pairings, of course .
Read the story!
April 2nd, 2014
One of the greatest perks to being your own boss is the freedom to be creative and bring your brilliance to life, assuming you’ve got the time, inclination & resources to execute. I love working on new products and projects – I get caught up in the good energy of the process and the excitement of a dream becoming real. I’ve always believed that my restaurant & wine bar Sweet Revenge® is a lifestyle. It represents a happy, sexy escape and living life deliciously. I believe resolutely these qualities translate into fabulous consumer products.
In my original business plan in 2007, I wrote about extending the brand into yummy products like candles, soaps, perfume & lotions and fun accessories like jewelry. Through the years, I wasn’t wont for the ideas, but I have lacked those key ingredients of time, inclination & resources. I’ve managed to pull off a couple of items like Sweet Revenge for Her Perfume and apparel. This year, motivated by intellectual property deadlines & financial objectives, I’ve had the good fortune to finally research bringing these other exciting products to life. I get giggly imagining a Fleur De Sel scented candle, blood orange vanilla scented lip balm and honeysuckle chamomile lotion. To me that’s Fun with a Capital F!
“You have to dream before your dreams can come true.” (A. P. J. Abdul Kalam)
Cheers to bringing beautiful ideas to life,
April 1st, 2014
Check out Marlo Scott’s interview with Kelley Ferro from TripFilms on USA Today! Kelley delves into our cupcake, wine & beer pairings and tries our lunch menu too. It’s a delicious interview!
Watch the video
March 24th, 2014
A couple of blog posts ago, I shared some cost-saving tips that I’d learned while attending my expensive (yet rewarding!) school of life at Sweet Revenge®. I mentioned our need for speed in converting recipes from self-rising flour to AP (all purpose), since self-rising is nearly double the cost. I thought this conversion project would be a snap. Add in salt & baking powder and voila, we’d convert our recipes and realize the benefits right away. Not so fast. And certainly there’s no snapping going on. Timewarp to my high school science class petri dish days. Batch after batch, we taste; we take notes; we make minor modifications; we do some guesswork, and we try again. Holyguacamole, this recipe development project requires patience.
In our test, we are trying to re-create the Pure cupcake, one of our four signature flavors that we make every day. The Pure is a Mexican vanilla cake with Mexican vanilla frosting. It’s nutty and creamy, and the vanilla is luxe. In our attempts to re-make this batter, we’ve come up short on the essence of this distinctive vanilla. At times the texture has been too much like a pound cake or not moist enough. Sometimes the batch has tasted like a quintessential vanilla cake, but that’s not the Pure. And our Purists, our devotees aka addicts, expect and know their beloved Pure. So there’s no workarounds. There’s no shortcuts. There’s no throwin’ in the towel to say “that’s good enough”. We push forward in our quest….
Stay tuned for more on Operation Cupcake Conversion….
March 24th, 2014
Making the mile high airwaves once again, this time our restaurant & wine bar Sweet Revenge® has a shoutout in Norwegian Airlines magazine! Because of our obsession with Jarlsberg cheese (it’s fabulous in our Shepherd’s pie, melted atop our Signature burger & on our Plat du Fromage), we’ve made the radar screen of this delightfully nutty creamy cheese from Norway along with their patria’s airline.
Read the story!
March 17th, 2014
It’s a 4 leaf clover for us to be featured in UpOut’s story on embracing one’s inner Irish in NYC! Our Black & Tan cupcake (Young’s Double Chocolate Stout Cake with Chocovine Cream Cheese Frosting), along with it’s Chocovine & Young’s pairings gets a leprechaun worthy inclusion.
Read UpOut’s story!
Get your lucky Irish on with us at Sweet Revenge®!
March 11th, 2014
It’s healthy to be happy, and it’s especially important to incorporate playfulness into one’s work environment. When the two come together in beautiful harmony as they often do at my restaurant & wine bar Sweet Revenge®, I refer to it as my workplayce. Get ready for Fun with Chicken…
Recently I needed to analyze how how much labor goes into breaking down chicken into ready-to-use portions. I wanted to compare this cost against the cost of buying chicken for a higher cost per pound in the portion size we’re looking for. Breaking down chicken entails removing the skin and separating the drumstick from the thigh. I filmed my chef Danielle doing this “chicken dance” , and she calculated the time spent doing the project, along with the weights of the chicken once separated and the weight of the removed skin. I took this data and ran the numbers. Result: we will be buying just the thighs going forward. The incremental increase per pound is offset by the savings in labor and how we can utilize that employee time to accomplish other activities. I have to say, I kinda crack myself up….and yup that’s me laughing in the background.
Watch the video & be entertained. Sweet Revenge: Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road
The “Chicken Dance” at Sweet Revenge from marlo scott on Vimeo.
BONUS: you now know the real reason why the chicken crossed the road!
cheers chicken little,
March 3rd, 2014
Talk to any small business owner, and they’ll likely share with you that they are a jack of all trades in their business. They’ll also reveal that hiring, training and managing staff is one of their most challenging responsibilities. The restaurant industry is especially notorious for its revolving door. When a team-member departs, there’s a real void that must be filled and that’s where it proves helpful, and frankly necessary, to be Jack. I am currently in one of these human resource vortexes. This past weekend, our chef Jocy moved home to Rhode Island, and our new chef Natalie started training. It takes about 7 days for training, so we’re toggling a week to being fully staffed back up.
As a result, my husband Gurhan and I are in the kitchen this week handling dinner service. Patrons, you should totally come for dindin & for kicks. We’ll make the best of it together:). Monday night we rocked some drunken noodles which is no small feat!
The cliche of wearing many hats is never lost on me. I jump in to cover shifts when my front of house can’t cover off for each other; thankfully this happens very infrequently. I tidy the bathroom. I bring up food & bev and to-go boxes from the basement. On any given day, I switch gears from analyzing costs, paying bills, dealing with vendors, julie the cruise directoring with patrons, doing social media and chipping away at a never ending list of projects big and small.
Rolling up the sleeves, doin’ the dirty & the delicious work…it’s all part of the journey.
Cheers to shooting for the stars while keeping grounded,
February 25th, 2014
For the first 5 years in business about once a month, a patron would pop into Sweet Revenge® and ask if we offered gluten-free pastries. We didn’t, so we’d try to convince them to drink (gluten-free) wine as a treat. Sometimes our creativity worked (at night), and mostly it was unsuccessful (during the daytime). I overhear & observe lots of tidbits as I work on my laptop in the restaurant. I glean learnings and make business decisions from these patron nuggets.
At the start of this year, the frequency of gluten-free requests became a daily occurrence, so we busted a move into recipe development. CONFESSION: I’d always turned my nose up whenever I saw GF pastry items. The few random times I’d tried them around town, they were uber disappointing. My chefs Shannon, Danielle & Jocy worked their magic to create outrageously delish cookies & cakes (individual sized). Now of course I’m convinced that even if you can eat gluten, you will be addicted to our GF goodies if you walk on the wild side to try them.
Although we still don’t offer gluten free cupcakes, I’m keeping my eyes wide open and ears on high alert for the day that I overhear the frequency of those patron requests.
What’s the frequency Kenneth?
cheers to the sweet taste of cha cha cha changes in small business poco a poco.