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|Articles - February 2010|
|Thursday, January 21, 2010|
Even in these sour economic times, people are still willing to pay for some sweets.
With the exception of Portland’s St. Cupcake, whose 2009 sales were up only $200 over 2008, cupcake bakeries around the state report increased sales in the past year, perhaps making artisan cupcakes as much an escapist item as movie-going during the Great Depression. Two bakeries are even moving out of home kitchens and into retail space.
Artisan cupcake bakeries are a recent phenomenon in Oregon and a growing niche market with about half a dozen bakeries in the state.
St. Cupcake owner Jami Curl says the “definite craze” for cupcakes is growing. “I think cupcakes have become fashionable,” says Liz Marek, the owner of Artisan Cake Company in Keizer.
Owners attribute the success to a number of factors.
“They’re inexpensive, and they’re a great treat,” says Ida Gurule, the owner of Ida’s Cupcake Café in Bend.
And the variety of flavor, cake, and frosting combinations, such as Albany’s Rocket Queen Cupcakes “Squealer” cupcake — a vanilla cake with bacon, maple butter cream and a piece of candied bacon on top — appeal to the eyes as well as the stomach, making spending a couple dollars on something you could get for a dollar at Safeway palatable.
St. Cupcake charges $1.25 and $2.50 for mini and regular-sized cupcakes. Cupcake Jones, Portland’s second cupcake bakery, sells its “jumbo” cupcakes for $3.25 and $1.25 for mini ones.
“It’s the cute factor. They’re just so adorable. People really enjoy the whole bite-sized-cake idea,” says Marek.
Gurule sees as many 100 customers daily, and sales have increased by 100% in the last year, which she attributes to word of mouth, increased advertising and a location on a busy downtown street next to a popular restaurant.
Thaddeus Moore, co-owner of the Divine Cupcake in Eugene, says sales are “down a little bit,” but they are expanding beyond a home kitchen this March after being open for three years. “We’re doing pretty good, actually,” he says.
“It’s an affordable indulgence,” Curl says. “Everyone can seem to justify it.”
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY OB STAFF
Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.
Saturday, December 13, 2014
Seven tidbits of information from an agency partner and co-founder of Waggener Edstrom in Lake Oswego.
Monday, November 10, 2014
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
A market for low-carbon transportation fuels has a chance to flourish in Oregon if regulators adopt the second phase of the state’s Clean Fuels Program.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY OREGON BUSINESS STAFF
An SEC rule targets the disparity between executive and employee compensation, reigniting a long-standing debate about corporate social responsibility.
Sunday, December 07, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
On Friday, Uber switched on an app — and with one push of the button torpedoed Portland’s famed public process.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:
The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace.
Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.
This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay.
Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.
New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”
That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!
Thursday, November 20, 2014
BY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
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