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Archive for November, 2008

Someone text Obama, we need to bribe the kids again!

With all the hype and excitement on the new super charged America coming soon, due to the election of the new President-elect, tech savvy Barack Obama, I thought it was a good time to share a little experience I had this week.

I had the opportunity to go speak at a local grade school  and explain to the 4th and 5th graders how at this stage (age) in my life, I’m still using my basic  grade school fundamentals, reading , writing and arithmetic to operate my online candy store.

I walked in armed and ready for this group of 9 and 10 year olds.  I had gummi burgers in one hand, lollipops in the other and chocolates under my coat.  They were ready for me as well with their Apple wireless laptops waiting for me to tell them they could boot them up. Oh let me add, every single one of these grade school students knew how to operate and maneuver around with them.

I began with how important spelling and reading is and without them I wouldn’t be able to communicate to my customers nor would they be able to  communicate to the world or play or shop online. Then I touched on the old basic Math skills, add, subtract and divide and how I use them everyday to price my items so I make some money. I stressed they need math skills because they have to make sure they have enough money to buy things like my candy. When I got to the old geography lesson and how it’s important for me to know about each state’s history, including their weather and time zone difference… I could hear and see I was loosing them.

They were more interested in exploring my silly fun website with boatloads of their favorite candy staring at them. Matter a fact one young girl spoke out and asked me if I had games to play on my website. Ugh…

So, I had to put on my teachers hat, raise my voice a tad and flat out say, “if you don’t pay attention, you won’t get any of the candy I brought”, Poof… it worked like a charm! Dead silent, eyes front and center and the hands began to raise.  Ahh was nice to know the good old bribe still works!

All the sudden every student had a ton of questions and suggestions for me.  It was almost like they felt the more they asked and listened,  the more candy they would get. The candy I brought was brought with a lesson in mind, not just enjoyment. I brought dum dum lollipops and told them they needed to pay attention in school so they wouldn’t be a dum dum and maybe someday they could have their very own website. I brought along my favorite candy the marshmallow ice cream cone  and explained to them when I was in 4th grade, they were my favorites. Then I jumped up to their era and showed them the  mini gummi burgers that are the big thing now to them. I took it a step further and  really sealed the deal by bringing  chocolate Hershey’s Kisses for the teachers, because I knew the teachers loved chocolate. The kids got a real chuckle out of that.

It was a really fun afternoon for me, even though I sorta had to bribe them. Driving back to my office it made me think about something I read awhile ago. It seems a lot of school districts have now banned candy as a reward for their students. Teachers in a lot of areas are not allowed to reward with candy. I feel these administrator’s that came up with this lame idea have never seen in action the attention kids can give, all for a sweet treat! Maybe if we brought back the old fashion ways of teaching even if it includes a sweet reward, we’d see a lot more class room participation and many more Steve Jobs types and not just everyone wanting to be video game designer. Now all I need to do is somehow figure out how to text message President-elect Barack Obama and let him in on my observation. I bet the kids could figure out how to. lol

Pimping Your House This Season?

What better time of year than to pimp your house for the Holiday season. Not only do most of us decorate a tree or the outside of our homes, but many still do what I did years ago as a kid. We built gingerbread houses with our moms or grandmothers. Back when I did it, there wasn’t that much creative thinking that went into them as there is now.  Oh we’d put the typical red and white swirled starlite mints or a few chocolate stars here and there, and a few M&M’s and gum drops, but times have changed. People now have taken this nostalgic Christmas tradition to new heights and turned it also into contests.

We have many people from big and small corporate offices calling and wanting to buy some pretty cool candy items to help Pimp Out Their Houses. We have church groups and school teachers calling as well. It seems now,  the bigger the better and the sweeter looking they are the more attention they get.

Customers have some pretty cool ideas. They are using spearmint green leaves for trees, and bubble gum balls for decorations, some even have gone as far as using red licorice for shingles on the roof and those red colored french burnt peanuts to resemble a brick sidewalk. The school teachers are into the gum drops, marshmallow peep trees and different colors of tootsie roll frooties to bring their houses alive.

I guess it all boils down to just how sweet looking you want yours to be!

Another One Bites The Dust!

OK so I’m not a kid anymore, but I still love bubble gum and from the sounds of all the emails and calls we have received over this discontinued bubble gum flavor, I’m not alone. I have been chewing the same sugarless bubble yum bubble gum flavor for as long as I can remember, and all the sudden someone at Hershey’s decided it had to go. Who? Couldn’t have been anyone over the age of 25 that’s for sure!

Bubble Yum sugarless peppermint bubble gum is what I’m ranting about. We sold tons of this flavor to adults everywhere. It was the perfect bubble gum for adults to chew. You didn’t have to feel silly carrying around a big pack of bubble blowing gum. Nope this was the perfect adult version of bubble gum.

The peppermint flavor lasted as long as your jaws did chewing it. So who made this decision?

After numerous calls to our Hershey rep and many to Hershey’s customer service department, the only answer I got was ” they discontinued it due to lack of sales” Huh?

I’d like to know just where these lack of sales came from. Certainly not in the USA. We could never keep the flavor in stock. Our customers from all over the USA would order this flavor continuously. It was Hershey’s Corporation themselves that never manufactured enough of the flavor to sell for sales.

Blair Candy would order it, Hershey’s would backorder it?

 Hershey’s does still make bubble yum sugarless bubble gum, but now only offer it in the regular bubble gum flavor and that’s no different than buying Bazooka sugarless or Double Bubble sugarless.

To me, Hershey’s had a niche in the sugarless bubble gum world with the peppermint flavor. Adults still love to chew bubble gum, but as they get older they don’t want to smell like a tuti fruit gonzo grape child. Nope,  the peppermint flavor made it ok for them to still enjoy their bubble gum blowing days.

So who pulled the plug and why? Were they that afraid of letting adults still enjoy blowing bubbles and having fresh breath at the same time? Do they really think adults want their breath to smell like grape, cotton candy or screamin lime? Just doesn’t make sence to me, nor does their answer for why they did it. This would be the prime time for Bazooka or Dubble Bubble to squirt a little peppermint flavor into their sugarless bubble gum! We have thousands of customers who would love to buy it!

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