Friday, November 20, 2015

Do You Know The Old Lady on Brady??

There is a new book in town and you really need to get it!
The author of the book is Jamie M. Townsend and the beautiful book is Memoirs of the Old Lady:  Tulsa's Historic Brady Theatre Tells Her Story.
Jamie is a 3rd generation native Tulsan, graduate of T.U and thoroughly devoted to the Brady Theatre.  Her bio tells of the many coincidences between the Brady and her family. 
The 100 year history of the Brady is a fascinating story.  Jamie's book has the entire list of events which have taken place at the Brady since 1914.
The Brady has been know as Tulsa Convention Hall and Tulsa Municipal Theatre.  It has been the performing space for so many different kinds of actors, singers, dancers and speakers.  Truly, Tulsa is proud of the long, long history of this building and the fact that it is still alive.
Hats off to Peter Mayo for years ago buying the Old Lady and saving her from destruction.
Sweet Tooth is one of the stores in Tulsa at which you can purchase Jamie's book.  Cost is $35.00 and with all the photos and information is well worth every penny.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales will benefit the Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa. 
We are proud to be working with Jamie on the sale of this book and we are looking forward to a special afternoon in December where we have several local artists and writers in our store to meet, greet and sign their works.
Stay tuned, folks.  Let's support our local arts and our local stores.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Holly Jolly Christmas Time

What is involved in turning over our store from Fall/Halloween to Christmas Holiday gifts and candy?  It would be so helpful if there were Elves who came at nighttime and with a dash of magic dust and a little scurrying around, we would find the store completely set up when we opened the doors the next day.
However, WE are the Elves and it takes a whole lot more than magic dust to get that work done.
Every year we shake our heads and wonder how everything is going to fit in the space we have.  We put things up, then we move them around several times, we dust and clean, we use every little tiny bit of space available and then sometime in December we find a candy or gift item on a shelf that we have completely forgotten to put out for sale!!
It ain't easy being US and yet it is so much fun to see how beautiful or how humorous or how exciting our gift and candy items are at this time of the year.
Remember, Duck In A Hat, which I wrote about at favorite Easter item which we have had in our store for 23 Easters?
Well, my favorite Christmas Candy Item is relatively new, but fun, yummy and just perfect for the Christmas season.  It is Hammond's Chocolate Filled Peppermint Candy Cane.  We predict that this Hammond candy will not last until Christmas.  Once our customers discover it, they can't get enough of that wonderful treat.
Second to the Candy Cane is anything which Sweet Shop puts out for Christmas.  This year Sweet Shop has been even more creative and I predict that our customers will be very excited about the decorated pretzels and the absolutely melt-in-your-mouth chocolate covered and decorated Oreos.
So here goes.
We have a number of events coming up in the store:  Holiday Party, Trollbeads Party, Obsidian Jewelry Party and this year, for the first time, Santa Bob will visit our store on Sunday afternoon, November 22.
We would just be thrilled if you visited Sweet Tooth over and over during this season.  Call us for times and dates.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sweet Tooth and The Pioneer Woman

Let me tell you the story of how we met Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman.
The reason I bring this story up right now is that just a few minutes ago we received our 1st order of Ree Drummond's new cookbook, The Pioneer Woman Cooks Dinnertime.
Our daughter Sabrina spends time online hunting down things of interest.  Years ago when she worked at a Museum in Tulsa, she had discovered a blogger named Ree Drummond.  At the time, Ree was not as well known as she is today.
Sabrina ordered The Pioneer Woman's calendar (no longer available) to give her co-workers for holiday gifts.  Sabrina continued to follow Ree's blog.
At one point, Ree announced that she was going to have a cooking demonstration at her lodge and invited followers to put their name in a drawing to be invited to this demonstration.  Sabrina put her name in and she was selected to go, along with a guest.
Her guest??  Jeff, her dad. 
On the appointed day, Sabrina and Jeff drove up to the lodge and had a great time with several other guests participating in the cooking demonstration with Ree Drummond and her guest from New York.  Among other things they learned to make pretzels.  The highpoint of the afternoon, though, was the delicious lunch which Ree served to her guests.
That day sealed Sabrina's enthusiasm for The Pioneer Woman and started Sweet Tooth ordering all her cookbooks, her autobiography and some of the Charlie story books which Ree wrote.
In addition, Sabrina's enthisiasm for Ree caught on with me and Jeff.  We have become devoted followers of her cooking show.  We even place our commercials on her show. 
Every Sunday afternoon we sit down to watch Ree's t.v. program which we have DVRed from its Saturday debut.  Sometimes we even catch our ad on the show and that is a lot of fun too.
So, Pioneer Woman, we have adopted you completely.  We know the feeling of the beginning of the empty nester stage of life as you sent your oldest daughter off to college.  We have used your recipes for our meals and we truly enjoy the idea of a vegetarian, now devoted to eating beef!! We also enjoyed watching you create Falafel in Pita Bread this past week, a sandwich we truly love as well.
Oklahoma has many wonderful celebrities.  Ree Drummond is certainly one of our favorites.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

What You Should Know About Credit Card Chip Technology

October is a special month for credit card technology.  Retailers are required to have new credit card processing machines in place which will accept the new chip technology, as well as the magnetic strip on your card.  Gas stations have until 2017 to install that technology.
You will be relieved to know that Sweet Tooth has had its new credit card machines for about 2 weeks.  Frankly, there is very little change on our side about how to use credit cards with the chip on them.  Let me tell you a few things you need to know about this new technology.

A chip card is a debit or credit card with a built-in microchip which you can easily see on the front of your card.  The chip provides greater security and convenience for you when you use your credit card.  The microchip is encrypted and that makes it extremely difficult for someone to copy or counterfeit your credit card.
European countries and Canada have had this technology for a while.  If you made a recent trip to one of those places you may have run into some difficulty if your credit card did not have the microchip.  Even though chip cards may have a magnetic strip on the back, it is much better and more secure for you to use the chip.
Because we are a retailer, we do not require a PIN number to process purchases.  However if you are attempting to withdraw money from an ATM you may find that you cannot do so without a PIN number.

Jeff is due a huge pat on the back for working early to make certain that Sweet Tooth had the correct technology for accepting chip credit cards.  I think I need a pat on the back for remembering how to process that card.  We have already had several customers make purchases with their new chip credit card.  Those customers have the security of knowing that they will not be a victim of fraud as long as they use their "chip".

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Our 24th Halloween Season....Boo!

Thursday was a banner day.  For the 24th time in the history of Sweet Tooth we received our Halloween candy from Redstone.  We had just finished celebrating the end of our 23rd year in business and now we are officially into the Fall season just like we were 23 years ago in The Farm Shopping Center.
On Monday of next week we are sitting down to order our Valentine and Easter Candy.  Since our Christmas candy has been ordered months ago, we are actually going to have 12 months of seasonal candy on order by Tuesday morning.
Does that seem strange to you?  Many professions have to stay way ahead of their current season in order to be ready for our customers when the next important occasion arises.
So, what's special about Halloween?  We (and you!) have gone through many changes with Halloween.  Years ago, as a kid, we had no fear of experiencing the Trick or Treat night, running around our neighborhood, gathering up candy, caramel apples, popcorn balls, cookies....etc.....all these things our neighbors had prepared for us.  We never felt in fact, we probably scared ourselves and our friends with the home made costumes we wore!
While in The Farm Shopping Center, we saw Halloween completely change.  Afraid of kids getting glass in their candy, and other horrible things, Halloween became a really scary time for many people.  Add to that the aversion to witch costumes and references to witches and vampires, people turned to having their own parties, or churches sponsoring a fun night for families.  Trick or Treating became a thing of the past.  The Farm sponsored a safe Trick or Treat night and we always participated.
What we have seen more recently is a come-back of celebrating Halloween.  Does it have something to do with the success of Zombie t.v. programs, and other such "horror type" movies and t.v. programs?  I think there is something to be said for that.  Witches are more popular, perhaps because of the Harry Potter books and movies.
In any case, putting the fun back in Halloween is a good thing to see.  I don't imagine that there will ever be the carefree manner in which, as a kid, I celebrated Halloween.  Those Wowie Whistles that I longed for years ago (and wrote about) still have not returned.  However, gourmet Halloween candy can definitely make up the difference.
Remember, seasonal gifts and candy.....cannot be re-ordered.  Shop early and have fun!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Cooler Weather & A New Cookbook From Ree Drummond

There is something about even slightly cooler weather which lifts the spirits of a retailer.
This summer not only has the weather been sort of unusual, the normal shopper has not been visiting local stores.  One can never analyze this kind of situation and come up with a very specific and accurate answer to why this summer has been a slow shopping season.
Of course, we retailers speculate all the time about such things.  What are we doing wrong?  Where are all the normal shoppers?  Is it the economy?  Is it the severe drop in oil prices?  Is it just too hot to get out?  Are people tired of the rain?
You can see how such questions generate a panic and a continual commentary.  When a sales rep visits, we give that person "the 3rd degree".  What has he or she been seeing in other cities?  Other states?  What is the word on the street? 
Of course, if retailers aren't ordering, then sales reps aren't getting their commissions.  In many respects, everything is tied together and each element affects the others.  Sometimes it feels like we are in a bumper car, crashing into others whom we can't even see until they are right there in front of us.
So, back to how weather affects the attitude of retailers.
Cooler weather means 4th Quarter and 4th Quarter means (1) more shoppers  (2) lots of new and fresh merchandise (3) store promotions  (4) holiday parties  (5) gift baskets and candy buffets  (6)  frequent visits from favorite sales reps  (7)  gift with purchase promotions  (8)  new ribbon, new gift bags, new merchandising  (9)  more hours for staff members  (10) lots of things to be grateful for!!
That's what I am thinking at the moment.  And a new cookbook from Ree Drummond!!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Cecil and "Beanie" Baby: A Sleazy Story

Remember Beanie Babies?  They are still around and so is Ty Warner, the founder of the Ty company who has recently been accused of hiding $96 million in a Swiss bank account to avoid paying taxes on all the money he earned from those little plush animals.
The Plea Agreement which the judge accepted in this case against Ty Warner was based on $5 million evasion, not on the $96 million Warner clearly stashed away to avoid paying taxes.
Normally someone accused of this sort of crime is given jail time of up to 4 years, 9 months.
Warner was given probation and community service.
Bernie Madoff was given 150 years in prison for a similiar crime.
Now Ty Warner has announced the creation of Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby in memory of the beloved 13-year-old lion killed on July 2, 2015 at the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe.
What kind of sleazy business is this, that Warner is going to make a bunch of money off the tragic and illegal killing of this lion?
On the one hand, consumers' hearts will be touched by this little plush lion.  On the other hand, consumers who purchase this plush animal will just be supporting Ty Warner and his unacceptable ability to make millions off the killing of that lion.
I guess you can tell that I am a bit incensed about this whole situation.
I clearly remember going to the Dallas Market several times where the Ty company had a large area in the Temporary Booths, roped off and secured by Security Guards.  If you wanted in to check out the Ty plush, you had to wait until someone else left and you were watched carefully by the guards as if you were going to steal one of the samples.
 What sort of comment is this on good faith between a manufacturer and his customers?  Once again, a black eye on the face of the retail world.