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More on Cupcake Economics

I didn’t get to include anywhere near all the insight the owner of Muddy’s Bake Shop shared with me for this article I wrote about the explosion of cupcake shops in Memphis.

Here now is more from Kat Gordon, the sweet-treat-baking proprietor of an East Memphis eatery that prides itself on “lovin’ from the oven.”

Q. Why are cupcake shops so popular?
A. Cuteness and deliciousness aside, there’s a strong economic reason cupcakes have taken off. As consumers, we’re all looking for small treats that are “affordable”. Granted, “affordable” is very subjective and as the market variety grows, so does the variation in price. A lot of cities now have price points that range up to $4 or $5 each. But I guess in the grand scheme, even that still qualifies as a small treat when a lot of families are making larger budget cuts. Back to cuteness and deliciousness… they’re cute and single serving sized, so they’re a great treat that you can get in a variety of quantities. And it’s a miniature cake- who doesn’t like cake???

Council Ponders 30 Pound Cats And The Future

On a crowded agenda, the items that drew the largest crowd at this week’s City Council session were the three ordinances on pets.

Several dozen people showed up for what turned into a lengthy council debate on the merits of spay/neuter requirements.

Among the more vocal council members on the subject was Barbara Swearengen Ware.

“Some people think I don’t like dogs. Dogs don’t like me,” the former postal worker said.

One of the ordinances originally called for mandatory spay/neutering of dogs and cats weighing 30 pounds or more.

“I have never seen a 30 pound cat,” council member Janis Fullilove said. “Why is that in there?”

“In an effort to prevent feline obesity?” sponsor Shea Flinn offered tentatively.

Council member Wanda Halbert proposed and the council approved an amendment taking out the weight requirement.

Among those in the audience supporting the measure were Lucas and Laura Hoge of Nashville.

Lucas Hoge is among the animal rescuers featured regularly on the Animal Planet television show “Last Chance Highway.” The show documents the journey of stray dogs in Memphis and other Southern cities to Northern cities.
Aisling Maki wrote about the program’s Memphis connections in Tuesday’s edition of The Daily News.

Hoge is also a musician and confessed on his Facebook page to some jitters about speaking to the council.

“Wonder if they would let me sing instead. I think I could handle that,” he wrote.

Hoge and his wife expressed their support for the spay/neuter provisions.

They needn’t have been nervous.

It was a long day for the council that lasted over 12 hours, starting with committee sessions at 8:30 that morning.

By the early afternoon, the committee sessions were turning up some rhetorical gems.

Council member Joe Brown declared for all to hear that children are the city’s future and followed that with “There’s no future in it’s elderly people.”

When that committee session ran long and Brown was told to wrap up, he added, “That’s what government is about – running out of time – running out of resources.”

Several hours later, the council was in a playful mood after passing the pet ordinances.

Among the other items left on the agenda was $510,844 for some landscaping and renovation work at Lamar and South Parkway that will include a wrought iron fence, shrubs and a new pedestrian walkway at the busy South Memphis intersection.

Several council members, including chairman Harold Collins, noted the intersection is near the home of Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr. The park services projects includes $400,000 in state grant money.

“I’m not going there,” Collins said of the mayoral connection before having some fun with it several more times.

A Message From Ardent Studios Founder John Fry

Rachel Hurley and I decided to kick off The Ardent Sessions on BreakThruRadio.com 3 years ago this December. The idea was to give up-and-coming bands some internet radio exposure, and to give them an introduction to the Memphis music tradition and current scene by performing in front of a small live audience in one of our studios.

When possible, I enjoy combining that experience with a personal tour of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, as Stax is such a huge part of Ardent’s early history. It’s always fun for me to meet these young artists, and I am always amazed at how much they know about what all of us were doing in Memphis almost 50 years ago, not to mention how much they seem to enjoy some of that music.

Ardent Sessions, and its companion show, Ardent Presents (singer/songwriter acoustic) is now available on Ardentsessions.com in addition to BreakThruRadio.com.

Although this may seem like a new idea, it really goes back to the early 70s at Ardent. That’s when we had a pair of 15kHz equalized telephone lines to WMC-FM100, and we would originate live broadcasts from our Studio A with artists like Lynard Skynard, Pure Prairie League, Martin Mull, Big Star, Cargoe, The Groundhogs, Stories, Hookfoot, Elton John’s recording band on Tumbleweed connection, Ry Cooder with JLD, Wishbone Ash, Nazareth, and Charlie Daniels.

Yes, I do mean live – no delay, no opportunity to bleep or re-mix – no need to, really.

We started The Ardent Sessions because we thought it would be helpful to young musicians, and we have managed to keep it totally free of cost to the artists.

However, in the current economic conditions, this is becoming harder to do. At the moment we have no offsetting advertising income from the shows, so we thought we might ask fans to help us keep this a free service by donating to our Kickstarter campaign. Let us know what you think.

-John Fry 9/22/2010

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/341419106/ardent-sessions-funding-campaign

Consensus Q3 Estimate on First Tennessee Parent Co. – Small Loss

Prognosticators are forecasting the quarterly earnings of First Tennessee Bank’s parent company will slide back into the red next month when the company releases its third quarter numbers.

The consensus estimate from stock analysts about First Horizon National Corp.’s Q3 numbers is the Memphis-based company will see its earnings dip to a loss of three cents, compared with its Q2 profit of one penny.

The quarterly profit First Horizon achieved between April and June was its first in two years.

While the consensus estimate among 25 analysts following First Horizon is a Q3 loss of 3 cents, there are still variations on both the upside and downside. One analyst estimate, for example, has First Horizon’s loss at 14 cents.

The high estimate for Q3 is First Horizon hitting a quarterly profit of 3 cents.

Study: Obesity costs women more

Researchers at George Washington University have assessed the costs of obesity and determined that women pay more for being overweight.

The study looked at medical expenses and lost wages. The cost to a man was $2,646 a year, while a woman paid out $4,879.

Read about the study in The New York Times:
www.nytimes.com/2010/09/28/health/research/28disparities.html?_r=1&ref=health

Dansette

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