Since 1917


100 years in business….Cheerwine soft drink. Why Cheerwine? The use of a cherry concentrate to flavor the soda….and it looks like wine!

There are some businesses that adapt….some that are unique. Cheerwine has been able to do and has become an legendary brand in North Carolina.


Business Cycle


The two-decade time span is “kind of the natural cycle for our restaurants,” – Crain’s Detroit Business This past week has seen announcements that businesses are closing (JC Penney’s – 130 locations, Bloomin’ Brands – 43 locations). 
In any economy, there are business cycles that cause a business to perform poorly. There are also disruptions that impact on business success.
In the case of JC Penney and other retailers….it’s on-line retailers (Amazon) that are creating the disruption. For Bloomin’ Brands…..probably the natural cycle for the restaurant business.
Whatever the economy…..some businesses are long-term and others only last for several years.

Era Shift

Baker Furniture Co.


A recent news article stated Baker Furniture Co.was sold by Kohler Co. to an overseas furniture manufacturer (the price $35M).

Baker was the high-end and most respected furniture manufacturer for many decades. Their offerings were expertly designed and crafted and were made in Holland and Grand Rapids, MI.

Baker Furniture Co. was always the “gold standard” in the furniture industry. While our markets were quite different….it was nice to know that we had similar names.





In a competitive economy, there are in most cases, a variety of products and brands. Some brands position themselves at the upper end….others mid to lower (or good, better or best).

Stihl products are certainly at the upper end of the product quality product spectrum. We have two Stihl leaf blowers….the BG 86 Handheld and BG 430 Backpad. While at the upper end of price point (the BG 86 sells for $239)….they are excellent products.

The hand-held blower has preformed well for many years. Good quality is worth the price.




One thing that always puzzled me was the lack of options from the business school to keep one updated in the business world. Of course, there are executive residence programs that are very good (and expensive).

Seth Godin has an alternative….altMBA. The “altMBA is an intensive, 4-week online workshop that delivers a condensed learning experience through teamwork, personalized feedback, coaching, curated readings and shipping thirteen projects in four weeks.” (Cost – $3,000). Seth Godin does excellent work and it seems like the altMBA is worth the time and effort. The key from my perspective is the tangible outcome….”shipping 13 projects”.

Another on-line choice is: “Udemy-An entire MBA in 1 course….Everything you need to know about business from Startup to IPO. This course has some good sessions on Presentations….Financial Analysis….Managing Cash Flow. (Cost-$15 normally $200). If anything, this is a good refresher for current business ideas.

While in no way do these online programs give one a true MBA….they certainly are options for keeping up to date.

The Best – No. 1



We watch a TV program that has been on the air since 1973. It has consistently been the best in its category.

What makes it the best?

  • Consumate professional actors
  • Creative writing
  • Substantial production values
  • Evolving and creative story lines
  • Cohesive commitment to excellence
  • Always striving to be No. 1

It seems that the actors realize that while they all are professional and individually well-regarded…..the collective performance is greater even than an individual performance. In other words….at least from the viewers perspective….it is an outstanding “team” effort.

The end result: worthwhile entertainmnet


Mission Accomplished


Comradery is the spirit of friendship and community in a group,  Who is a comrade?  Someone who comes to mind when you say, “We’re in this together.”

There have been a few times when comradery in the accomplishment of a task (or mission) has been most effective. One in particular when charting the long-term path of a growing organization….the team had the right people onboard and an unwavering commitment to accomplish the mission. The end result was extraordinary.

Does true comradery happen all the time….not necessarily. The key element like most anything else is getting the right people on the bus….heading in the right direction.

In our business….we did have a sense of community….after all we were together six days a week and working towards the same goal. Was it 100% comradery? No. perhaps because it was of such long duration.

Comradery develops at its best when forming a team to accomplish a specific task (mission). No matter how talented an individual….teams can achieve much more.