#FWDG

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Health Concerns and the Sweets Industry

Woman Eating Chocolate

(Photo Credit: The Guardian)

When consuming sweets, it’s important for you to exercise moderation. If you make the choice to constantly overindulge in sweets, leading to excess levels of sugar in your body, you have no one to blame but yourself. While most of us love sweets, we all have a responsibility to consume them wisely. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a successful small business owner in the sweets industry and a small business and social media expert, about health concerns associated with sweets and how she works to mitigate those concerns in her own praxis. Dr. Glass also divulges Valentine’s Day specials Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC is offering, so you should certainly check out those specials to experience what “Pampering Your Sweet Tooth” really is about—without depleting your bank account.

In what ways, if any, do you attempt to make your sweets as healthy as possible?

One of the main things that I and my interns strive for and execute is using fresh, seasonal, and local ingredients. There is a massive difference in the taste of baked confections when using the best and most readily available ingredients. We do not offer any sugar-free desserts, but always encourage our clients to indulge in moderation with our addictive confections.

What is your response to those who say it is those in the sweets industry who are helping to make us an increasingly unhealthy nation?

You cannot blame an entire industry for the nation’s problems with obesity. As with delicious savory dishes, one must consume sweets and desserts with limits. I believe in using good, unsalted sweet cream butter and advocate celebrating life with something sweet; perhaps cheesecake, in moderation.

What special plans does Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC have for Valentine’s Day?

Magnolia’s Sweet Haven is running Valentine’s Day specials for the Savannah/Hilton Head areas. “Pampering Your Sweet Tooth” is something that we delight in doing year-round with mini-cheesecakes, chocolate-covered strawberries, wine-infused and traditional flavored cupcakes as well as dessert tables and candy buffets.

Connect with Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC:

Website: www.pamperedsweettooth.com

Email: msweeethaven@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/magnoliasssweethaven

Instagram: instagram.com/magnoliassweethaven

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Fridays with Dr. Glass: How to Use Instagram to Grow Your Small Business

Instagram and Small Business

(Photo Credit: Hype Beast)

Small business owners need to engage with Instagram to unlock the power and growth this social media platform offers to their businesses. Today, I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Santresa L. Glass, a social media and small business expert, about how to use Instagram in profitable ways in small business. Her doctoral research and dissertation investigated the power of using social media, including Instagram, in small business to promote growth, sustainability, and success.

What are some of the ways in which small business owners can use Instagram to grow their small businesses?

There are several things small business owners can do in using Instagram to grow their business:

FREE! – Instagram is free. Why are small business owners NOT using it!? Some people lack the knowledge of how to use Instagram, others feel Instagram would not be beneficial to their small business (and that’s alright), and some people are just lazy in pursuing absolutely free means of marketing for their small business.

Capitalize on the power of a hashtag – I implore business professionals, specifically those in the food, hospitality, and beverage industries, to USE HASHTAGS! Jason Miles wrote, “A hashtag is represented by the “#” preceding a word or several words without spaces in between them.  It allows simple categorization to be applied to an image.” This means small business owners can create brief or extensive, funny or serious, colloquial or formal hashtags for their brand.  Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, for example, uses the following hashtags that I’ve created:

#Sweetspreneur

#TheKitchenIsMyHaven

#DrGBakes

#EpicureanSweets

#PamperedSweetTooth

Unlocking the full potential of hashtags helps with gaining new followers and reaching a larger demographic.

Visual platform advantage – Instagram offers small business owners more than a filtered or non-filtered portfolio of photographs. A great photograph accompanied by a catchy caption or, as I often use, mouthwatering descriptions draw potential followers to the Instagram (IG) business or brand page feed. Instagram provides an immediate virtual portfolio for future clients and current patrons to peruse.

Linking back to website/blog – When people post pictures, they often use the location feature per post to link back to their website or associated blog post.

@ing other business pages in bio link – I do have more than one Instagram profile and I often “@” each of them from my personal page. Most people DO read the brief bios that small business owners are able to provide at the top of their IG profiles. I maximize on both my personal and business Instagram pages by #GoalDigger @magnoliasweethaven and #GoGiver @cheesecakeforthecure in the bio section.

Connecting with other industry professionals – I cannot stress how many awesome industry professionals and hobbyist I’ve met on both my personal and professional Instagram pages.  Individuals who I would have never potentially connected with had it not been for their pictures or hashtags drawing me in.

What has been the impact of your use of Instagram on your small business?

Using Instagram for Magnolia’s Sweet Haven, LLC has proven beneficial, specifically “the power of the hashtag.” The visual commerce does help in selling mini cheesecakes, chocolate covered strawberries, boozy berries, wine-infused and traditional cupcake flavors as well as marketing dessert tables for special events like bridal showers and weddings.

Are there any potential pitfalls small business owners should watch out for when using Instagram? If so, what are they and how can they be avoided or mitigated?

One of the disadvantages of small businesses using Instagram is operating their business page as a private account. Not only can this be off-putting to potential clients, but it could also hinder the development of the small business brand.  On the one hand, an immediate rebuttal would be that depending on the number of followers and IG posts shown on the business page, people should “request to follow” such an exclusive account. On the other hand, most people want to see the immediate loading of photographs, especially if the business page had a food or dessert-specific, catchy name of curiosity. Private business pages are missing out on unlocking the full potential of the hashtags they are using if the general public isn’t able to view them when they use the “search” feature on Instagram.

Is there any empirical research available pertaining to Instagram use in small business? If so, share what the professional literature has said about this area of research?

Yes! There is a wonderful book by Jason G. Miles that discusses using the power of Instagram to your advantage.  Also, I’ve always enjoyed this infographic from Social Times about the power of the hashtag.

What are some of the critical gaps in the professional literature pertaining to Instagram use in small business?

There are few dissertations of reference that address Instagram as well as the use of social media in small business. There are also numerous industry professionals who have proven to be successful as social media marketers and social media consultants.

STAY CONNECTED TO DR. GLASS…

Email: msweethaven@gmail.com

Instagram: instagram.com/magnoliassweethaven

Dr. Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Fridays with Dr. Glass: Getting to Know Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Cancer Awareness

Photo Courtesy of Santresa L. Glass

What led you to found Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.?

Cancer is an atrocious beast that has impacted my family and friends, and I am a resilient and boisterous fighter who wants to bring awareness through baking cheesecakes as a medium to communicate awareness, so in March 2014 I founded Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

I knew I wanted my first venture in philanthropic work to be based in food. There is something about a connection that exist between a cook . . . a chef and his or her cuisine, between an artist and his or her canvas, between a baker and his or her confections, between a musician and his or her instrument. I wanted to embody the word meraki, a Greek verb often used to depict what happens when an individual leaves a piece of who he or she is (his or her love, creativity, soul) in his or her work; simply, the adoration of doing something from the core of who you are and embedding that into your passion. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it—that’s the essence of what meraki means.

Without funding for research, it’s difficult to seek any form of advancement in treatment for each cancer awareness. Why not explore “Pampering your Sweet Tooth” for “Year Round Cancer Awareness” through baking or purchasing some darn good cheesecake!? I want there to be more awareness, education, information out there about ALL of the cancers battled during the awareness month.

I noticed that Breast Cancer (pink ribbon), for instance, is recognized vehemently during its awareness month of October by local communities, professional sports, and celebrities, but not every cancer has a celebrity face to it. October is also Liver Cancer Awareness Month (emerald ribbon), and most individuals aren’t aware of this nor do they acknowledge it during the month of October. One of the main reasons, therefore, that I started Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is to bring “Year Round Cancer Awareness” to each cancer during the awareness month.

What does Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. do?

The mission of Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is to generate an interactive and educational platform about the various cancer awareness causes that take place throughout the year. This is accomplished through the baking and selling of individual portioned cheesecakes during the respective host month where significant contributions by Baking Ambassadors through donations to cancer research and cancer research facilities can be made.

January, for example, is Cervical Cancer Awareness Month with the cancer ribbon colors of teal and white. The color of the ribbon is taken into consideration for flavor profiles and decor of the mini cheesecakes. Part of the proceeds from the sales of CFTH, Inc. and the organization of the Baking Ambassador will go to the local charities, research, events, etc. specific to the cancer awareness month. Most people don’t know that every month of the year, except August and December, has a national cancer awareness and ribbon color(s).

What distinguishes Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. from other non-profit organizations?

All cancers, no matter how rare or lesser known, have an immeasurable impact on the individuals who battle them daily as well as their families. The research, however, for most of the cancers are underfunded.  YEAR ROUND CANCER AWARENESS, funding, research, education and empowerment are needed to provide ALL individuals battling cancer a FIGHTING chance for a cure.

Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. is different because in the spirit of love, compassion, darn good cheesecake, and hope we will foster empowerment, gratitude, the healing power of laughter, revenue, and community to lead efforts across the globe in promoting “Year Round Cancer Awareness.”

Where do you see Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. in the next five years?

In the next five years, my desire is to see Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. trending on Twitter and Facebook, flourishing on a national and global scale with Baking Ambassadors from various states and countries, established grassroot events for each respective cancer awareness (races, walks, bake sales, etc.), funding grants and new treatments for various cancers, and scholarships for cancer patients and survivors in pursuit of higher education.

How are you able to balance running a successful for-profit small business and a successful non-profit corporation?

Again, as I stated in our last interview, “No success is ever an individualistic act.” Yes, on most days, I find myself having late nights and early mornings processing thoughts and organizing all I want as an empire builder, but the power of laughter and just letting go of the reigns helps tremendously. I ask for help from those I trust, seek advice from mentors, ask as many questions as possible from other cancer non-profits based in the food industry receptive to answering, TIME MANAGEMENT, I say “no” without qualms to some extended opportunities, hard work in keeping up with both organizational cultures, volunteers, interns, and libations.

What do you need from others to reach optimal success with Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.?

One of the main things I need from other individuals is to capitalize on the power of social media and good old-fashioned running your mouth to others: follow Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. and use hashtags on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, share Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc. posts on their personal and business Facebook pages, tweet/retweet about the cancer awareness for each month, and purchase the cheesecake flavor(s) featured from us and our Baking Ambassadors in each respective month. Oh! If someone could let Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey, and Jimmy Fallon know about Cheesecake For The Cure, I’d be forever indebted.

Stay Connected with the Power of the Hashtag . . .

#CheesecakeForTheCure® – #CheesecakeForAwareness® – #TheKitchenIsOURHaven® – #Sweetspreneur® – #YearRoundCancerAwareness® – #FudgeCancer

Site: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Instagram: cheesecakeforthecure

Facebook: Cheesecake For The Cure, Inc.

Twitter: cheesecake4cure

Antonio Maurice Daniels

University of Wisconsin-Madison