The Oldest Bars in America

There’s nothing quite like stepping into an old bar. You can just feel the history around you – the walls may be browned from years of tobacco smoke, the initials of past patrons may be carved into the tables, ancient posters and advertisements may be affixed to the wall – and you might feel as […] There’s nothing quite like stepping into an old bar. You can just feel the history around you – the walls may be browned from years of tobacco smoke, the initials of past patrons may be carved into the tables, ancient posters and advertisements may be affixed to the wall – and you might feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.  Bars have been a part of American society since before it was a country. In colonial times, taverns served as meeting places, banquet halls, inns where weary travelers could have a warm meal and maybe spend the night, and simply places to simply stop in for a flagon of ale or a tot of rum. Amazingly, some of these colonial-era taverns are still around, and still serving the same purpose.   Swanky modern cocktail bars and Irish-accented pubs have their place, but old bars are something else. The idea of having a drink in the exact same spot – bellying up to the same old bar – as many thousands of others have, over many generations, connects us to the past in a way that few other experiences can.  To determine some of the oldest bars in America, 24/7 Tempo consulted lists of longstanding watering holes on websites including Insider, USA Today, Thrillist, Wine Enthusiast,, Beer Info, and The Coolist.  To be considered for inclusion here, a bar or tavern has to have been in the same location from the time it first served alcohol, although continuous operation is not required. Determining a founding date for these places is rarely easy and often depends on the claims of the establishments themselves. Whenever possible, in addition to the sources named above, we consulted state historical societies in attempting to verify those claims. In each bar’s description, the date listed is when we believe the establishment first served liquor on its premises. Click here to learn about the oldest bars in America For obvious reasons, America’s oldest bars are taverns constructed in the eastern reaches of the country, where tavern-loving colonists and other early settlers, often from England, first set up shop. For venerable drinking establishments in other parts of the country, see our listing of the oldest bar in every state. Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstJun 8th, 2023

25 Best Cities for Singles over 50

In this article, we look at the 25 best cities for singles over 50. People have different needs at different stages of their life, and where they choose to live is particularly important. From vibrant nightlife to parks and opportunities to meet new people – you can skip our detailed analysis on the best-suited cities […] In this article, we look at the 25 best cities for singles over 50. People have different needs at different stages of their life, and where they choose to live is particularly important. From vibrant nightlife to parks and opportunities to meet new people – you can skip our detailed analysis on the best-suited cities for people aged fifty or above by heading over to our article, 10 Best Cities for Singles over 50. According to the PEW Research Survey, about 31% of Americans in 2020 called themselves single. The youngest and oldest age groups in the country were most likely to be single. 41% of the youth aged between 18 and 29 were single according to the survey. They were closely followed at second spot (36%) by America’s elderly population aged 65 or above. An estimated 28% of the population aged 50-64 were also single. While half of America’s single population is content being single, the other half is actively on the lookout for a relationship or casual dates. Interestingly, the older segment of the population that is aged 40 or above are more likely than younger adults to search for casual dates. A number of old adults are also turning to online dating platforms to find romance. A report by PEW in July 2023 highlighted that about one in six Americans aged 50 or above have used a dating application at least once. About 6% of the people in this age group who are now partnered say they found their significant other through online dating. Match is the preferred dating service for the elderly population. The service is owned by Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH), along with several other dating platforms such as Tinder, Hinge, Meetic, OkCupid, and Plenty of Fish. The company operates the largest portfolio of online dating services in the world and is a key player in the online dating industry, which had an estimated size of $9.62 billion in 2022, as noted by Research and Markets. The size of the industry is projected to grow at a CAGR of 6.9% to reach $16.4 billion by 2030. Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH) also owns OurTime, which is a dating app specifically created for men and women aged 50 or above. Fraud or scam on online dating apps has been a major concern for senior citizens, with about 47% reporting that they encountered persons trying to scam them. Moreover, 45% of the adults aged 50 or above said they faced unwanted behaviors such as receiving sexually explicit messages or images they had not asked for and receiving threats of physical harm. OurTime ensures safety of users with its features like web-based messaging system that allow matches to talk to each other without sharing personal information like phone number or house address. Catering to the dating requirements of all age groups has allowed Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH) to be the market leader in the dating industry and results show. Gary Swidler, the President and CFO of the company made the following remarks in Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH)’s Q2 2023 Earnings Call: “Q2 adjusted operating income, or AOI, was $301 million, exceeding $300 million for the first time ever. It was up 5% year-over-year, representing a margin of 36%. Q2 AOI and margins were above our expectations, as Tinder outperformed and we continued to achieve cost savings across the company. Overall expenses, including SBC expense, were up 4% year-over-year in Q2, excluding depreciation and amortization/impairment of intangibles. We incurred approximately $6 million of severance and similar costs in the quarter. Cost of revenue, including SBC expense, grew 4% year-over-year and represented 30% of total revenue, flat year-over-year. App Store fees increased $18 million year-over-year, including the $8 million escrow payment to Google. The last required escrow payment of approximately $3 million was made in July. We expect AOI of $320 million to $325 million in Q3, representing year-over-year growth of 13% to 14% and margin of 37% at the midpoint of the ranges. We expect overall marketing spend to increase year-over-year in Q3 by about 2 points as a percentage of total revenue compared to Q2. We’ll be spending up at Tinder and Hinge as well as some of our newer growth apps, including Archer and The League. We expect IAP fees to continue to be a year-over-year headwind in Q3, though we have stopped placing funds into the Google escrow after July per the terms we agreed to. We expect to continue to be cautious on spending in all other categories within our control. We expect to incur approximately $2 million of severance and similar costs in Q3. For full year 2023, Match Group is on pace to achieve 6% to 7% top-line growth and deliver better AOI margins than we did in 2022, as Tinder’s revenue continues to reaccelerate and we remain very cost disciplined overall.” Another big player in the online dating industry is Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL), which owns popular dating services Bumble, Badoo, and Fruitz. The company generated a revenue of $903 million in 2022, up by 19% compared to the previous year. Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) is one of the top dating sites for single women over 50 because of its unique feature of women initiating conversations. This helps them feel safer and more secure, as well as confident in starting conversations. Founder and CEO, Whitney Herd, shared in Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL)’s Q2 2023 Earnings Call about how this has driven strong word-of-mouth and had a positive impact on the company’s growth: “Bumble app’s business model is built around generating durable growth. We focus on building preference, particularly with women, for our brand and our product, which in turn, drives strong word-of-mouth, downloads and high engagement. This delivers consistent growth quarter after quarter and is sustainable as we scale. The results are clear. Our core markets continue to grow, fueled both by new registrations and re-engaged users. According to Morning [indiscernible], bumble continues to retain the top Net Promoter Score among dating apps for women in the U.S., and this favorable brand awareness translates into valuable customer acquisition opportunities and makes us a highly sought out marketing partner.” That being said, while dating services remain popular among young and old alike, and help them find the perfect match, no relationship can remain strong only in the digital space. It is of great significance to meet and understand each other in person. Cities that are best-suited for singles over 50 are those that have a sizable population of singles in their age group and have places of congregation where they can get the opportunity to gather, meet new people, and enjoy different experiences and activities. Methodology We have ranked the 25 best cities for singles over 50 based on the percentage of populations across various cities in the US that are aged 50 or above, and are single. This is because senior citizens are more likely to find a match of their age group in cities where there is a greater percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single. Data on population and marital status has been sourced from the Census Bureau and is for the year 2022. Men and women aged 50 or above who are divorced, separated or have never married have been considered in our analysis as well. wavebreakmedia/ Let’s now head over to the list of the best cities for singles over 50. 25. Boston, Massachusetts Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 46.13% Boston was listed as the best city for singles of all age groups in 2021 by Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL). The city has plenty to offer for senior citizens looking for their perfect match with its vibrant nightlife and an abundance of bars. 24. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 46.70% Philadelphia is a great place to be for singles over 50 since it has plenty of bars, restaurants, and places for outdoor activities during the warmer months. There are approximately half a million men and women in the 50 years or older age group in the city. 23. Fort Lauderdale, Florida Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 47.22% About 23% of the senior population at Fort Lauderdale has never married. It is a happening city that is well known for its beaches and parties. It also has several parks, outdoor restaurants, bars, and boutiques. The cost of living in the city is also lower compared to Miami. All of these factors combine to make Fort Lauderdale one of the best cities for singles over 50 in America. 22. Norfolk, Virginia Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 47.25% Norfolk in Virginia is home to more than 30,000 people that are aged 50 or above, and are single. About 40% of them have never married in their lives. Norfolk is among the best cities for singles over 50 due to its affordable and safe living. Moreover, its abundant wildlife and pristine beaches offer plenty for its residents to enjoy in outdoor activities. 21. Toledo, Ohio Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 47.50% A significant share of Toledo’s elderly population is single. The city offers various outdoor activities and places to visit. A notable one is the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Zoo, and the Toledo Botanical Gardens. There are also a number of restaurants and bars lined up in the streets that present singles over 50 a place to gather and socialize with people of their age group. 20. Oakland, California Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 47.55% Nearly three in every ten people in Oakland belonging to this age group have never married, while 18% are single after divorcing or separating from their partners. The city has a host of sports teams where people can go to attend games and socialize. Moreover, there are plenty of eateries and pubs that serve as great dating spots, such as the Mad Oak Bar, Telegraph Bar and Beer Garden, and Drake’s Dealership. 19. Columbus, Ohio Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 48.26% Columbus is one of the most populous cities in the United States and about a quarter of the residents are aged 50 or above, of which 28% are divorced and single, while 20% of the men and women in this age group never married at all. It is one of the best cities for singles in America for people over 50 and has a host of outdoor activities to attend that present opportunities to meet new people. The city is home to several sports teams including the Columbus Blue Jackets, Columbus Crew, and Columbus Clippers. Columbus is one of the top cities for seniors to find a date. 18. Newark, New Jersey Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 49.42% Meetup is one of the preferred dating platforms in Newark. It hosts several groups, comprising people aged 50 or above, that plan outdoor activities such cycling, hiking, book chats, and happy hours. These present a great opportunity for senior citizens who are on the lookout for their perfect match to meet and socialize with singles from their age group. 17. Miami, Florida Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 49.48% Miami is the second most populous city in the state of Florida and is known for its pristine beaches. Nearly half of the city’s population aged 50 or above is either divorced or has never married. Miami has plenty to offer in terms of outdoor activities for singles looking to date. It is also home to several sports teams – most notably, the soccer team Inter Miami FC. 16. Memphis, Tennessee Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 49.62% Memphis is one of the best cities for singles of all age groups looking to date, and is popular across the US for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment, where you can potentially find your future soulmate. It is one of the best cities for senior dating. 15. Birmingham, Alabama Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 50.10% One-third of the population in Birmingham, Alabama comprises men and women who are aged 50 plus. Of them, more than half are currently single, with about 22% who never married at all. The Library in the Forest, Birmingham Picnic Company, and the Oak Mountain State Park are popular dating sites in the city. 14. New Orleans, Louisiana Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 50.47% Love blossoms at every corner of New Orleans. There is a great vibe to this city with its jazz music, top notch cuisine, and vibrant nightlife. According to Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH), The National World War II Museum, Garden District, and Frenchmen Streets are some of the top places to go on a date. 13. Portland, Oregon Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 50.69% Portland is one of the best cities for singles over 50. It has consistently been rated among the top cities in America for singles, with about 45% of the adult population unmarried and 13% divorced. An estimated 24% of the population aged 50 or above in the city never got married. 12. St. Louis, Missouri Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 51.99% St. Louis has a collection of vibrant neighborhoods that are known for their nightlife. According to Fox 2, it has the fourth highest number of nightlife attractions in the country per 100,000 people. While dating services owned by Match Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:MTCH) and Bumble Inc. (NASDAQ:BMBL) remain popular, there is a home-grown dating app as well, called Approach Dating. This is developed by two women, Allison and Riley, who also arrange meet-events for users, which allows single people an opportunity to meet their match in person. 11. Minneapolis, Minnesota Percentage of population aged 50 or above that is single: 52.42% An estimated 23.40% of the elderly population in Minneapolis is divorced, while 29% never got married. The city is full of exciting locations and also offers affordable living, which is a key facet required by singles to thrive. Having a wide range of bars to museums, libraries, and beaches – Minneapolis is among the best cities for singles over 50. Click to continue reading and see the 10 Best Cities for Singles over 50. Suggested Articles: 25 Best Cities for Singles in the U.S. 20 Most Popular Dating Apps In The US 15 Free International Dating Sites Without Payment Disclosure: None. 25 Best Cities for Singles over 50 is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 21st, 2023

16 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World

In this article, we are going to discuss the 16 best-selling Champagne brands in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of the global Champagne market, the largest Champagne producer in the world, and the role of Champagne in Formula 1, and go directly to 5 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World.  Birthdays, engagements, […] In this article, we are going to discuss the 16 best-selling Champagne brands in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of the global Champagne market, the largest Champagne producer in the world, and the role of Champagne in Formula 1, and go directly to 5 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World.  Birthdays, engagements, weddings and Christmas – Champagne is synonymous with celebrations. But while its Italian cousin Prosecco is the drink of bottomless brunches and English Sparkling Wine is its up-and-coming counterpart, Champagne has long been associated with high society.  Although first produced in the Champagne region of France in the 1600s, the drink has its origins in the Roman period, with the enterprising invaders producing wine in the chalky terroir the area is renowned for. Global Champagne Market:  Champagne sales have bubbled to their highest point yet. For the first time ever, sales of the sparkling wine topped $6.5 billion in 2022, as French houses saw their exports surge to keep up with the roaring post-lockdown demand. The figure is 1.6% higher from 2021, as the total shipments hit 326 million bottles, according to a statement by Comité Champagne, a trade organization for the industry. Just over 57%, or 187.5 million bottles, of that Champagne made its way abroad last year, a boost in the stats from both 2021, with an increase of 1.4%, and a decade ago, when exports made up only 45% of total sales. The statement also notes that 2022 brought a bountiful harvest that was robust in quantity and quality, and those grapes should help replenish Champagne stocks to meet the current demand for bubbly. Many houses, including Moët Hennessy, which were running out of their finest golden elixir last year, will be looking to replenish their stash. France ranks among the Top Wine Producing Countries in the World.  Largest Champagne Producer in the World: Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC:LVMUY), through its various houses, is the largest producer of Champagne in the world. The consolidé MHCS boasted an annual revenue of over $2.2 billion in 2022. Commonly referred to as LVMH or Louis Vuitton, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC:LVMUY) is a French luxury conglomerate formed after the $4 billion merger of the renowned fashion house Louis Vuitton and wines and spirits company Moët Hennessy in 1987.  In April, Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE (OTC:LVMUY) became the first European company to surpass $500 billion in market cap, when the company reported a 17% rise in first-quarter sales, more than double the analysts’ expectations. Stock price of the French conglomerate reached an all-time high of $199.59 in July but has slumped down to $160.1 as of today. The stock has been weighed down by the slowing economies in the U.S. and China, persistent inflation, and rising interest rates. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), the largest spirits maker in the world, also owns a 34% stake in Moët Hennessy. There has been a lot of market talk about Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) wanting to buy out LVMH to gain full ownership of Moët Hennessy, but the luxury goods company has denied being in talks to sell its 66% stake in the Champagne and cognac maker. At current market valuation, the deal would cost Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) an estimated $12.9 billion.  As of Q2, 2023, 28 hedge funds hold stake in Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) based on Insider Monkey database, with Markel Gayner Asset Management boasting the largest stake at 1.35 million shares, valued at around $234.2 million. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) is also among Warren Buffett’s Recent Buys.  Champagne in Formula 1:  Spraying Champagne on the podium of an F1 race is something that every driver in the sport dreams of. In the case of some drivers like Lewis Hamilton and Michael Schumacher, the contents of hundreds of bottles have been emptied on top of numerous podiums around the world.  In the 70+ years of F1, several Champagne brands have been sprayed at the post-race celebrations. However, the sport switched to ‘Ferrari Trento’ Champagne in 2021 in a bid to save cost. In doing so, the podium ceremony has become significantly cheaper for Formula 1, with a three-liter bottle of the sparkling wine costing around €300 ($322). That means around $1,288 worth of champagne is sprayed on the podium at the end of every race. In comparison, the ‘Carbon’ Champagne bottles used in 2017, 2018, and 2019 cost nearly thrice as much per piece as the entire current podium bottles combined – at around €3,000 ($3,222) per bottle. Ferrari Trento has a contract with F1 until the end of 2025 and is likely to stay. While being colloquially referred to as ‘Champagne’, the content of the Trento bottles used on the podium is not technically so. Champagne is a sparkling wine that specifically originates from the Champagne region of France, while a sparkling wine made anywhere else on Earth cannot be called Champagne by definition – similar to the difference between Scotch and regular whiskey. Since the Trento sparkling wine originates in Italy, it cannot be called Champagne by the very definition of the word. As we mentioned in our article – 20 Countries that Drink the Least Beer per Capita – the celebratory Champagne is replaced by a pink and sugary water drink for the Saudi Grand Prix, due to the Islamic country’s strict laws against alcohol.  With that said, here are the Best-Selling Champagnes in the World.  Public Domain/Pixabay Methodology: To collect data for this article, we have referred to a number of sources, such as VinePair, Reddit, Drinks International etc., looking for the Top-Selling Champagne Brands in the World. We ranked the following brands by their annual production volumes, with approximate figures gathered from the aforementioned sources. When two brands had the same production volume, we ranked them by their total exports to the U.S. market.  If you also like your alcohol distilled, here are the 25 Most Popular Spirits in the World.  16. Billecart-Salmon Annual Production Volume: 2 million bottles Founded in 1818 with the marriage of Nicolas François Billecart and Elisabeth Salmon, Billecart-Salmon Champagne is still majority-owned by the Billecart family today, who own a 55% stake. The remaining 45% is held by the Frey group, which owns Château La Lagune in Bordeaux, Paul Jaboulet Ainé in the Rhône, and Château Corton C in Burgundy. The Billecart-Salmon Champagne House boasted a revenue of $86.6 million in 2022.  15. Ruinart Annual Production Volume: 2.5 million bottles Ruinart was the first sparkling wine house in Champagne, founded in 1729 by Nicolas Ruinart. Now part of the LVMH group, the Ruinart House does not have significant vineyard holdings, so a high percentage of production grapes are purchased from growers. Ruinart wines tend to be Chardonnay dominated, silky, and refined. Ruinart is not only the oldest established Champagne House, but it was also the first to create a rosé Champagne, shipping its first rosé in 1764 across Europe. Ruinart sits among the Top-Selling Champagnes in the World.  14. Bollinger Annual Production Volume: 3 million bottles Since 1829, Bollinger has been producing great Champagnes with a powerful, sophisticated, and complex style. Over the years, Bollinger has built its vineyards at the heart of the finest crus in Champagne. Champagne Bollinger’s 179 hectares of vines are made up of 85% Grand and Premier Crus and are farmed by growers across 7 separate vineyards.  Since its inception, Bollinger has been committed to sustainability and responsible farming. In 2012, the house was the first in France to be certified as ‘High Environmental Value’. Two years later, it made history again by becoming the first to receive a certification in sustainable viticulture in Champagne. 13. Perrier-Jouët Annual Production Volume: 3 million bottles Influential in the world of bubbly for more than two centuries, Perrier-Jouët was among the first Champagne houses to regularly stamp its cork with the date of a blend, also known as its vintage.  Ownership changed a lot over the years before the house settled with Pernod Ricard in 2005. Through it all, Perrier-Jouët has managed to retain an impressive 65 hectares that accounts for 25% of its 3 million-bottle production. Fruit is sourced from 70 villages, with half the holdings in the Côte des Blancs due to the Chardonnay focus. 12. Louis Roederer Annual Production Volume: 3.2 million bottles In 1845, Louis Roederer acquired 15 hectares in the Grand Cru vineyards of Verzenay. The idea – which was quite unusual at a time when grapes had little value – was to become a wine grower in order to master the entire process of creating his vintage wines. Ever since then, every Louis Roederer vintage originates exclusively from the house’s own vines, which is rare indeed in the Champagne region.  The House of Louis Roederer’s annual exports total three million bottles around the world, making it one of the Top 50 Champagne Brands.  11. Canard-Duchêne Annual Production Volume: 4 million bottles Canard-Duchêne is a Champagne House founded in 1868, currently owned by the Thiénot group, owner of its own label Champagne Thiénot, plus Joseph Perrier and Marie Stuart. Today, Canard-Duchêne is sold in over 130 countries across the world with an annual production of 4 million bottles, with claims that one bottle is opened somewhere around the globe every 15 seconds.  10. Lanson Annual Production Volume: 4 million bottles Founded in 1760, Maison Lanson is one of Champagne’s oldest houses, making great Champagne for 260 years and counting. Lanson matures its Champagnes for at least four years in its cellars to develop outstanding complexity. Since 2006, the brand has been owned by the Lanson-BCC group, which is headed by Bruno Paillard (who also owns the Bruno Paillard Champagne House). Lanson BCC had a revenue of $274.5 million in 2022.  Lanson is among the Top 10 Most Popular Champagne Brands.  9. Piper-Heidsieck  Annual Production Volume: 4 million bottles Since 1785, Piper-Heidsieck has proven its innovative prowess in producing exceptional wines. The Champagne House’s quest for excellence and open-mindedness is reflected in the entire range created by Chief Winemaker Émilien Boutillat, who safeguards Piper-Heidsieck’s unique style. The house continues to showcase its commitment towards a conscientious, sustainable future by joining a global community of B Corp Certified companies. In the late 1980s, Piper-Heidsieck became part of the Rémy Cointreau wine and spirits group. An estimated 45,000 9-liter cases of the iconic brand were exported to the U.S. in 2021.  8. Pommery Annual Production Volume: 4.5 million bottles Champagne Pommery was founded as Pommery & Greno by Alexandre Louis Pommery and Narcisse Greno in 1858. Pommery was the first house to commercialize a Brut Champagne in 1874. The brand is currently owned by the Vranken-Pommery Monopole Group (located in Reims), which also owns Heidsieck & Co Monopole And Vranken, Château la Gordonne, Domaine Royal de Jarras, and Rozès. The group had a turnover of $291.8 million in 2022.  7. Dom Pérignon Annual Production Volume: 5 million bottles With roots dating back to the 17th century, Dom Pérignon is one of the most long-standing brands in the LVMH empire. Its first vintage was introduced in 1921, and its latest vintage is a 2009. LVMH assumed control over the brand when it acquired Moët & Chandon. Dom Perignon is a big-ticket champagne that does well in high-end bars – particularly hotels. It was found to be the number one Champagne in 10% of Drinks International’s polled bars and a top-three serve in about a quarter. Dom Pérignon Champagne ranks among the Most Popular Champagne Brands in the World.  6. Taittinger Annual Production Volume: 5.5 million bottles Taittinger’s non-vintage Brut Champagne is a refreshing, fruit-driven bottle of bubbles. You have undoubtedly come across it in your local wine store, given that the Champagne House is one of the region’s largest producers. It’s common practice for Champagne Houses to buy, rather than grow, the majority of the grapes used in their production. With more than 700 acres of vines, however, Taittinger is one of the region’s largest vineyard owners. Despite those extensive plantings, Taittinger also buys up to 50% of the grapes it uses to supply its substantial output. Taittinger is one of the best Champagne brands in the world. Click to continue reading and see the 5 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World.  Suggested Articles: Top 20 Wine Drinking Countries in the World 25 Best Bourbon Whiskeys Under $50 20 Most Popular Liquor Brands in America Disclosure: None. 16 Best-Selling Champagne Brands in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeySep 12th, 2023

17 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Non-Drinkers

In this article, we are going to discuss the 17 countries with the highest percentage of non-drinkers. You can skip our detailed analysis of the global alcohol industry, and the opportunities for non-alcoholic beverages in countries with a low prevalence of alcohol, and go directly to 5 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Non-Drinkers.  Globally, […] In this article, we are going to discuss the 17 countries with the highest percentage of non-drinkers. You can skip our detailed analysis of the global alcohol industry, and the opportunities for non-alcoholic beverages in countries with a low prevalence of alcohol, and go directly to 5 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Non-Drinkers.  Globally, an estimated 35% of men are non-drinkers, while the rate for women is 55%. Alcohol has been outlawed in several countries today, in part or as a whole. All of these countries have a majority Muslim population and have governments that adhere to some form of Islamic law, known as Sharia. In the Islamic religion, two of the most significant prohibitions are eating pork and drinking alcohol. There are about 14 countries that have outlawed alcohol to some degree.  The Global Alcohol Industry: In 2019, the global alcohol consumption, measured in liters of pure alcohol per person of 15 years of age or older, was 5.5 liters, which is a 4.7% relative decrease from 5.7 liters in 2010.  As we mentioned in our article – Top 20 Alcohol Drinking Countries in the World – the global alcoholic beverages market size was valued at $1.62 trillion in 2021, and the market is projected to reach $2 trillion by 2031, with a CAGR of 2.2% in the forecast period concluding in 2031. Opportunities for Non-Alcoholic Beverages:  The low prevalence of alcohol in several Muslim-majority countries leads people to look elsewhere to quench their thirst, presenting opportunities to other non-alcoholic drinks. While the low- and no-alcohol trend is taking off in the Western world, another region which holds opportunities for this sector is the Middle East, where alcohol is banned in many countries. In 2019, Saudi Arabia was recorded to have the sixth-largest global market for alcohol-free beer consumption.  Several booze companies have hopped on the zero-alcohol bandwagon, and are now offering products with all of the taste and none of the booze. Budweiser Zero was launched in 2020 by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) as the company’s first non-alcoholic beer, setting itself up as the industry standard. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) also reportedly bought the rights to supply the FIFA World Cup for $75 million exclusively last year. As the sale of alcohol is strictly controlled in Qatar, Bud Zero ended up being the only brew available at the stadiums during the whole event. Last month, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) announced plans to invest $34 million in its Belgian breweries to help expand its portfolio of non-alcoholic beers, improve bottling capacity, and optimize a new non-alcoholic system used to make Corona Cero.  Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) is the Largest Beer Producer in the World but the company is facing some headwinds in the American market after the recent controversy regarding its best-selling brand Bud Light, which resulted in the iconic brand losing its crown as the Top-Selling Beer in America. Although, as we mentioned in our article – 20 Countries that Drink the Most Beer per Capita – billionaire Bill Gates’ portfolio managers decided to initiate a $96 million position in the firm during the second quarter.  Broyhill Asset Management said the following about Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) in its second quarter 2023 investor letter: “The largest detractors to performance over the quarter were First Horizon Corp (FHN), Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD), and Bayer (BAYRY). Problems at Anheuser Busch InBev began on April 1 with Dylan Mulvaney’s social media post, which ignited a fiery backlash amongst Bud Light customers across ‘Merica. With volumes down sharply, and competitors gaining share at BUD’s expense, operational deleveraging is set to weigh heavily on US margins amid peak demand pressure in the second quarter. Despite severe US headwinds (second-quarter operating profit maybe half of last year’s levels), we still expect BUD to grow consolidated operating profit at a mid-single-digit rate for the full year. With current issues well understood and investor sentiment in the gutters, we see significant upside in a stock, which is approaching a double-digit FCF yield. With FX headwinds and rising input costs reversing course, increasing margins are likely to drive positive surprises into FY24 as continued deleveraging accrues more value to shareholders.” Saudi Arabia also leads the Middle Eastern market in terms of its consumption of drinks from the The Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO), with Palestine not far behind. The Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s dominance in the Saudi Market is also due, in part, to the company’s focus on product innovation and customer-oriented marketing. Over the past few years, the company has been investing heavily in new packaging that allows customers to customize their drinks to their taste preferences. The Coca Cola Company (NYSE:KO) now represents nearly 40% of all carbonated soft drink sales in the Middle East. Sales of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) have traditionally been stronger in the Middle East, due, in part, to an Arab league-imposed boycott on Coca-Cola, which began when the firm decided in 1968 to open a bottling plant in Israel. PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) has been focusing on innovation and sustainability in its operations in the region – the company introduced the ‘Dawah’ bottle in the Middle East to recycle 88% of the water used in its production process. PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) also introduced a new beverage package in the Saudi market that is easier to use, recyclable, and doesn’t require any water to consume.  Similarly, the energy drinks market in the Middle East is one of the most promising in the coming years. It is true that during the pandemic, sales volumes dropped considerably due to restrictions. However, a slight recovery can be observed from 2021 onwards, reaching 859 million liters in sales during the year, and expected to increase to 100 million liters by 2026. Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) is a popular name in the Middle East, with the company boasting a 6.5% share in the regional market.  Following the health-conscious approach of many countries – including in the Middle East – to reduce obesity, Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) announced the launch of Monster Energy Zero Sugar earlier this year. According to the company, Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST)’s team of scientists have concocted what is 100% Monster and 0% sugar. Primed with 160 mg of caffeine – like its predecessor – Monster Energy Zero Sugar helps fight fatigue, and improve mental performance and focus.  With that said, here are the Countries with the Highest Proportion of Non-Drinkers.  Pixabay/Public Domain Methodology: To collect data for this article, we have referred to the Global Health Observatory of the World Health Organization, looking for Countries with the Highest Percentage of Lifetime Alcohol Abstainers. Lifetime abstinence is defined as the proportion of adults (15+ years) in a given population who have not consumed any alcohol during their lifetime.  If you also wish to read about countries with the highest rate of alcohol-use disorder, here are the 20 Countries with Highest Rates of Alcoholism.  17. Comoros Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 93.3% The Comoros is a volcanic archipelago off Africa’s east coast, in the warm Indian Ocean waters of the Mozambique channel. Although alcoholic beverages are available in certain parts of the country (notably the large Volo-Volo market in the national capital Moroni), the public consumption of alcohol is generally frowned upon in the islands, as over 95% of the country’s population are devout Sunni Muslims. Alcohol is also served in a few bars and restaurants though they tend to be expensive.  16. Saudi Arabia Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 93.4% It should come as no surprise that alcohol is not exactly the most popular drink in the birthplace of Islam. Alcohol consumption, import, brewing, and selling is completely banned in Saudi Arabia.  However, non-alcoholic beer, wine, and spirits are gaining traction in the Middle Eastern country, in part due to an increasingly well-traveled consumer base. Saudi Champagne – a mix of fruit and soda water that can easily be made at home – is a popular drink in the country.  15. Algeria Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 93.5% Due to strong conservative Islamic beliefs, alcoholic consumption is frowned upon throughout most of North Africa. Nevertheless, large exceptions are made for visiting tourists. If you wish to drink alcohol in Algeria, there are some options to drink in restaurants, bars, hotels, and private homes. However, it’s still illegal to drink publicly in the country.  Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Algeria, accounting for 57% of the recorded alcohol consumption.  Algeria ranks among the countries with the highest rate of alcohol abstinence.  14. Iraq Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 93.8% Iraqi attitudes towards alcohol have certainly had their ups and downs, from the relative ease of availability and acceptance in society in the mid-20th century to the Iraqi Parliament’s decision to outright ban the bottle in 2016.  In February, the Iraqi government published the long-proposed legislation banning the import of alcoholic beverages into the country, no doubt including Saddam’s beloved Johnny Walker Black Label.  13. Jordan Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 93.9% Although public displays of drunkenness are frowned upon, drinking alcohol in Jordan is accepted as long as it is done in moderation. Some restaurants will serve alcoholic beverages and there are a number of bars in Amman.  Amstel – owned by Heineken N.V. – remains the most consumed beer in the country with a 90% Muslim population. 12. Egypt Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 94.3% As Egypt is a majority Muslim country, many locals abstain from alcohol completely. However, it is possible to find liquor stores and bars in some upmarket neighborhoods, and many hotels and resorts serve alcohol.  Beer is the most popular beverage in the North African country, accounting for 54% of all alcohol consumption. Stella Lager – owned by Heineken N.V. since 2002 – is the most popular beer brand in Egypt.  Egypt ranks 12th among countries with the highest percentage of non-drinkers.  11. Morocco  Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 94.6% The general act of consuming alcohol is not illegal in Morocco and you can find all sorts of alcoholic beverages all over the country. They even produce their own beers, wines, and liquors. However, where and how you consume alcohol is what lawmakers and their enforcers care about.  According to the ‘2021 Financial Law Implementation’ report, Morocco had collected a total of $86 million from import taxes on alcohol and wine, while the import taxes on beer accumulated $106 million for the national kitty.  10. Sudan Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 95.2% For several decades, locally made alcoholic beverages and locally cultivated cannabis have been the two main substances of use among certain groups in Sudan. Alcohol, although it has been prohibited by Sharia laws since 1983, is still illicitly used in many parts of the country.  However, in 2020, Sudan legalized the consumption of alcohol by non-Muslims, which make up 3% of the north African country’s total population.  Sudan ranks among the top 10 countries with the highest percentage of people who don’t drink alcohol.  9. Iran Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 96% Alcohol has been illegal for Muslim Iranian citizens since the establishment of the Islamic Republic government in 1979. Most consumers drink homemade alcoholic beverages in the country.  However, the strong public demand benefits the illegal multibillion-dollar business of importing alcoholic beverages and facilitating their production inside Iran.  8. Pakistan Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 96.5% Alcohol is largely prohibited for Muslims in Pakistan, but this doesn’t stop a black market from ensuring the supply of illicit liquor. Murree Brewery Company Limited – Pakistan’s largest and oldest producer of alcoholic products – is one of the most successful companies on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.  Due to the social stigma it faces in the country, the brewery does not advertise and keeps a low profile. However, during the height of the pandemic, the company was able to somewhat improve its public image by producing 10,000 gallons of ethanol-based hand sanitizer.  Pakistan ranks 8th in our list of countries with the highest percentage of non-drinkers. 7. Solomon Islands Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 97.1% In the Solomon Islands, illegal liquor known as Kwaso is distilled and widely consumed. It is often of low quality and is thought to have caused death, blindness, and several health problems.  6. Syria Percentage of Non-Drinkers: 97.7% Alcohol is not banned in Syria as it is in some Muslim countries. Nor is it reserved for the upper class elite or religious minorities. Syria’s constitution uses Islamic jurisprudence as a primary source of law, but the Baathist regime has kept alcohol legal, available, and cheap. The Middle Eastern country has long produced its own alcoholic beverages, from beer to wine to the anise-based Arak. The leading brands in the Syrian beer market are Almaza, Heineken, and Al-Rayess.  Syria ranks 6th among countries with the highest percentage of alcohol abstainers.  Click to continue reading and see the 5 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Non-Drinkers.  Suggested Articles: Vodka Consumption by Country: Top 20 Countries  Top 20 Oldest Breweries in America 20 Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World Disclosure: None. 17 Countries with the Highest Percentage of Non-Drinkers is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyAug 26th, 2023

Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript

Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript August 20, 2023 Operator: You have joined the meeting as an attendee and will be muted throughout the meeting. Randy Giveans: Navigator Holdings Conference Call for the Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results. We have with us Mr. Mads Peter Zacho, Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Oeyvind Lindeman, […] Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) Q2 2023 Earnings Call Transcript August 20, 2023 Operator: You have joined the meeting as an attendee and will be muted throughout the meeting. Randy Giveans: Navigator Holdings Conference Call for the Second Quarter 2023 Financial Results. We have with us Mr. Mads Peter Zacho, Chief Executive Officer; Mr. Oeyvind Lindeman, Chief Commercial Officer; and myself, Randy Giveans, Executive Vice President of Investor Relations and Business Development in North America. I must advise you that this conference is being recorded today. As we conduct today’s presentation, we’ll be making various forward-looking statements. These statements include, but are not limited to, the future expectations, plans and prospects from both a financial and operational perspective, and are based on management assumptions, forecasts and expectations as of today’s date and are subject to material risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ significantly from our forward-looking information and financial forecast. Additional information about these factors and assumptions are included in our annual and quarterly reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. With that, I now pass the floor to Mads Peter Zacho, the company’s Chief Executive Officer. Please go ahead, Mads. UbjsP/ Mads Peter Zacho: Good morning, and thank you for dialing in to the Navigator Gas earnings call. I’ll start off by providing a brief overview of our Q2 results and then hand over to Oeyvind and Randy for greater details on business drivers and recent events. Our second quarter results came in similar to Q1 and much stronger than Q2 2022, with revenues of $135 million. Adjusted EBITDA, just below $70 million and net income of $27 million. The result was mainly driven by higher charter rates, whereas vessel utilization was below that of Q1. Our balance sheet is robust with cash of $180 million at the end of the quarter. The initial $50 million share purchase program was completed in Q2 and a further $25 million authorized as part of our new capital return program, opening up for both dividend payments and for further share buybacks. Utilization came in Q2 at 89%, below the 96% seen in Q1, but higher than Q2 2022 of 87%. Terminal throughput ran well above nameplate capacity of 278,000 tonnes. As previously announced, we grew our vessel capacity through the acquisition of five efficient modern secondhand vessels. The takeover was completed faster than originally planned and completed mid-April. Expansion of the Ethylene Export Terminal at Morgan’s Point has come off to a good start. And the first installment of $9 million have been paid, we’re expecting to pay another $9 million in August. The expansion will give us up to 2 million tonnes of additional export capacity. Total CapEx for our share is expected to be around $125 million and completed by the end of next year. We sold Navigator Orion in May, above book value, and we also formed Bluestreak, a joint venture with Bumi Armada to transport CO2 from a UK-based stranded emitters. Outlook is good. Q3 utilization is expected to be above 90%, which is high in a historical context. Time charter rates are solid which lays the foundation for another robust EBITDA results in Q3. Terminal throughput in Q3 is expected to remain strong at or above main fleet capacity, and the ethylene continues to flow long distance to Asia. The global handysize order book has not changed much. So in combination with good demand, the sea bourne gas transport and an aging global fleet, we think that the outlook is better than what we’ve seen for a long time. This is normally the time when the presentation changes to proper English language, albeit with a distinct Irish accent. So this time around, you have to bear with my broken English and the very English (ph) accent that I have got, I apologize for that. Slide 6, please. The Q2 financial result was a continuation and even slight improvement compared to previous quarter and a clear improvement over the same period last year. The financial result was mainly driven by a stronger top line. Total operating revenue of $135 million was up 9.3% year-on-year, driven mainly by higher TCE rates. As you can see from the lower right table, TCE rates came in at $27,241 in average, which is a clear improvement over the $24,630 earned same time last year, and also better than the $25,620 earned in Q1. Utilization also increased to 89.1% (ph) during Q2, up from 87.4% in the same period last year. It was below the exceptional 96% that we achieved in Q1, but as you would appreciate, it’s been more than offset by higher TCE rates. Our Greater Bay joint venture, which is 60% owned by us, acquired its final vessel during the second quarter of the year, the third 22,000 cubic meter 2019-built ethylene capable liquified gas carrier, Navigator Vega, on the April 13 and the vessel acquisition is now completed. This also increased vessel available days, which contributed to an increase in revenue during the quarter. You’ll note that the operating revenue from the Luna Pool reduced to almost nil (ph). Following the acquisition of the fifth vessel by the Greater Bay joint venture in April, the revenue from these vessels will now be fully consolidated into our financial statements and will not be shown as operating revenues or voyage expenses from the Luna Pool collaborative agreements. Our vessel operating expenses or OpEx, as we call it, increased by 11.3% to $43 million in Q2, compared to the same quarter of last year, which resulted in vessel operating expenses per vessel day increasing 6% year-over-year to 8,500. This was a reduction from the previous two quarters as we continue to focus on our vessel operating costs. Depreciation of our vessels increased slightly by 2.3% or $0.7 million, as the additional Greater Bay venture vessels joined the fleet. Keep in mind that we depreciate all our vessels to their scrap value, recycling value on the 25th anniversary. We realized a book gain of $4.9 million from the sale of Navigator Orion in the month of May. There was also an unrealized gain on our derivative instruments of $3.2 million during the second quarter as the fair value of our fixed interest rate swaps increased. Interest expense for the second quarter was $16.9 million, compared to the $11.5 million for the second quarter of 2022, as a result of higher interest rates on the portion of our debt that is subject to floating interest rates. With fixed interest rates that have interest rate swaps were just below 50% of our debt. The tax charge for the quarter was $2 million, it is predominantly relating to both cash and deferred taxes on our share to profits from the Ethylene Terminal in Q2. Our share results from the term loan was $6 million in Q2, down from the $6.8 million for the comparative quarter of last year, as a result, lower gas prices and therefore, reduced throughput rates. Throughput of 277,582 tonnes compared to 268,444 tonnes during the same quarter of last year. Net income for the second quarter was $26.6 million or $0.36 per share. If we turn to the balance sheet on Slide 7. You can see that it remains strong with a cash balance of $180 million at June 30. This compares to a minimum liquidity covenant on our bank loans and credit agreements of $50 million. This cash balance is after buying back $50 million worth of [indiscernible] shares during the first half of the year. The strong cash balance will be used for capital redistribution, the Ethylene Terminal expansion. And as mentioned earlier, we keep looking for projects and investments that can enhance our shareholder returns. While the debt has increased due to the financing of five Greater Bay joint venture vessels, our net debt to capitalization flow at 36.9%, and the net debt to EBITDA amounts to a manageable 3.4 times. Following the recent refinancing, the company now has no loan maturities until 2025, as shown on Slide number 8, please. Maturities for 2025 includes the $100 million senior unsecured bond, which may or may not be refinanced depending on any investment opportunities that may occur. The two bank facilities totaling $190 million will likely be refinanced at a higher than current loan-to-value, as the vessel serving as per natural amongst our younger vessels. So we expect that this refinancing when it occurs in 2025 will be the cash-positive event. On Slide number 9, we outlined the estimated cash breakeven for 2023 at $19,460 per day. This low level relative to the charter rate market enables us to generate positive EBITDA throughout the shipping cycle. In the box on the right, Slide 8, we provide our daily OpEx expectations for 2023 across our different vessel size segments, ranging from $7,600 per day for the smaller vessels, up to $10,100 per day for the larger, more complex ethylene vessels. We also provide a rate to the expected annual spend for the G&A cost for depreciation and for interest expense preventions On Slide number 10, we outlined our historical quarterly EBITDA showing a step-up over the past seven quarters and a further step-up in this quarter. A trajectory that I mentioned at the outset that we expect to continue at least in the near term. On the right-hand side of Slide 10, we show our historical EBITDA bar with the last 12 months incorporating the latest quarter and an annualized EBITDA based on this second quarter results. In addition, the EBITDA bars to the right of those, show the effect of an increase in EBITDA in average charter rates were to increase by increments of $1,000 per day. With this, I’ll hand it over to you, Oeyvind. Please go ahead. Oeyvind Lindeman: Thank you, Mads, and good morning, all. Moving to Slide 12. After a small drop in US natural gas liquids production during the first quarter, the EIA statistics are currently showing a strong return to US production. The final figures from May came in at a record level of nearly 200 million barrels per day production. US price of LPG is therefore attractive against oil equivalents, measured both in price and energy content. This will continue to support export fundamentals. So far, LPG exports for the month of August, this month, is up 12% compared to August of ’22. These volumes are happening simultaneously to inventory build in Mt Belvieu, Texas. Typically, during summer, inventory-build exports are soft, but that’s not the case for this year. The impact of recent US natural gas production growth can be seen on the price of ethane on Page 13. It has decreased over the last two months, further increasing the competitive price production of American ethylene. The price arbitrage of ethylene to Europe and Asia is widening. The current spread at least to Asia is about $400 a tonne, which is sufficient to allow for terminal handling and freight at decent returns. Asia Pacific consumers are importing about 65% of total US ethylene exports, with the remaining 35% heading to Europe. Our ethylene market conditions benefit with every cargo heading through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific Ocean due to the long duration of these voyages. Similar to ethylene, ethane as a feedstock also enjoys US domestic excess supply. Therefore, it is cheap and its exports are increasing. And remember, all our ethylene capable ships can also carry ethane. On Page 14, please. Ammonia has become an important commodity for us. Despite natural gas prices are starting (ph) to return to normal levels, the demand for maritime logistics for ammonia’s input to the fertilizer industry has remained. Europe continues to source ammonia from across the oceans, both from North America and Asia. And this is a shift from the past, whereby most of the volumes were supplied from within the continent. European ammonia importers tend to favor handysize and medium-sized vessels. Seven out of the nine gas carriers, we currently have contracted for ammonia employment, are servicing these European consumers and ports. So it matters to Navigator. Asia has reached about 50% share of the 17 million tonnes of yearly amount of ammonia exported by shares. However, we strongly believe that the light blue line in the graph to the right will increase over the next few years, as US Gulf, blue and green ammonia production comes on stream with a focus for exports, targeted for global energy demand. Page 15, please. On the back of healthy natural gas liquids production in the US, robust ethane and ethylene exports, as well as continued demand coming from Asia Pacific, we are glad to see utilization reducing less this quarter as we have historically experienced during the summer months. And we’re also happy to see that the utilization has bottomed out and, in fact, increased earlier than previous summer months. This gives us a certain degree of confidence to guide third quarter utilization for the three months above the 90% mark. Page 16, illustrates the latest gas carrier rate indicators, all pointing in the right direction. One point to note, we are far — away from the COVID dip during 2020 and 2021. And we see the trajectory continuing. On Page 17, the graph here illustrates the gas carrier segment and the respective order book and age profiles. As Mads mentioned, the handysize segment has a meager 4% order book against an existing fleet of 122 vessels. Of these 122 vessels, 25 of them are over 20 years of age and will be recycled at some point during this decade. With order book lead times of more than three years, we have a pretty good line of sight of the vessel supply situation in our segments. Randy will take over from here to give an exciting — rundown of the latest developments. Over to you, Randy. Randy Giveans: Thank you, Oeyvind. So following up on some several announcements we made in recent months, we want to provide additional details on those updated developments regarding a few of these announcements. So as you can see on Slide 19, we are pleased to announce our return of capital for the second quarter of 2023, including our first-ever dividend as a public company. In line with our recently announced return of capital policy and the illustrated table below, we are returning 25% of net income or $6.7 million to shareholders this quarter. The Board has declared a cash dividend of $0.05 per share, payable on September 22, 2023, to all shareholders of record as of September 8, 2023, equating to a quarterly dividend payment of $3.7 million. Additionally, with NVGS shares trading well below our NAV of above $20, we will use the variable portion of the return of capital policy to repurchase sales. As a reminder, between December and this past May, we repurchased 3.8 million shares at an average price of $13.12 per share for a total of $50 million. Subsequently, the Board authorized a new $25 million repurchase program. As such, we will repurchase approximately $3 million of common shares between now and quarter end, such that the dividend and share repurchase together equal 25% of net income, $6.7 million. Returning capital to shareholders is relatively new to Navigator, but something we see as a requirement for a shareholder focused on. Now turning to Slide 20. Following up on our previous announcement regarding the expansion of our Ethylene Export Terminal, under our existing 50-50 joint venture with Enterprise Products Partners over at Morgan’s Point, we agreed to a capital project to increase the export capacity from approximately 1 million tonnes per year as it is today, to at least 1.55 million tonnes and up to over 3 million tonnes per year by converting an existing ethane refrigeration train to also refrigerate ethyl, and you’ll see that in the yellow box. The project is now underway as the long-lead items have been ordered. Groundwork is progressing, and construction is still expected to be completed by the end of next year. The total capital contributions required from us to the joint venture are approximately $125 million, the majority of which will be paid in 2024. You can see the schedule in the bottom-right corner. We contributed the first progress payment of $9 million in April and the next payment is scheduled for late August. Remaining CapEx is expected to be paid from cash on hand, until new financing agreements are completed sometime in early 2024. As you can see on the bottom-left chart, the terminal continues to run at or above nameplate capacity, with 20 — with second quarter ’23 throughput, reaching a new quarterly record hot of 278,000 tonnes. The slight dip in July, which is due to an early loading of a cargo in late June and August is already trending higher. Discussions are ongoing, current and new customers for multiyear offtake contracts with the vast majority of the additional guaranteed capacity expected to be contracted during the construction phase next year. On Slide 21, our fleet renewal program continues to be implemented as we sell our oldest vessels and replace them with modern second-hand type vessels. Starting with the sale on May 2, 2023, we sold our oldest vessel, the Navigator Orion, a 2000-built 22,000 cubic meter LPG carrier to a third-party for $20.9 million, resulting in a $4.9 million profit. That leaves us with only three of our original Navigator vessels built in 2000, and we continue to engage buyers who are showing interest to acquiring those older vessels. On the acquisition side, our new joint venture, owned 60% by Navigator and 40% by Greater Bay Gas has now taken delivery of all five vessels, completing the acquisitions earlier than previously expected. As a reminder, the total cost is $233 million and 65% was financed by the $151 million bank loan with 60% of the remaining costs, roughly $49 million paid from our available cash. So as a result of this S&P activity, our current fleet consists of 56 vessels, average age of, right at 10 years, and an average size of 21,000 cubic meters. Now finishing on Slide 22, I want to personally invite all of you to our upcoming 2023 Analyst Investor Day here in Houston, Texas, a few months from now. So on Wednesday afternoon, November 15, we’ll be hosting our Morgan’s Point Tours of the Ethylene Export Terminal and [indiscernible] vessels. So just take a look at that middle picture and imagine yourself climbing on board that beautiful ethylene carrier. Later that evening, with the management team and some members of the Board of Directors, we will host a dinner for our analysts and investors. And then the next morning, Thursday, November 16, we will host company and industry presentations covering current market trends, a financial update, as well as our medium-term strategy. We will then have lunch followed by an appreciation event for our analysts, shareholders, customers, and partners. And unlike today’s heat, the weather will be lovely. So you won’t want to miss it. We really hope to see you in November. And with that, I’ll now turn it back over to Mads for closing remarks. See also 15 Biggest Pasta Sauce Brands and Companies Behind Them and 10 Stocks Getting a Huge Vote of Confidence From Wall Street Analysts. Q&A Session Follow Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) Follow Navigator Holdings Ltd. (NYSE:NVGS) We may use your email to send marketing emails about our services. Click here to read our privacy policy. Mads Peter Zacho: Perfect. Thanks a lot, Randy, perhaps. Yeah, just to round it off and I just wanted to clarify that to emphasize here that Navigator is on a good path, earnings are trending in the right direction with robust utilization and gradually higher charter rates. Both are supported by the high utilization of our ethylene export facility at Morgan’s Point, with more to come once the expansion is complete by end of ’24. The balance sheet is in its best shape ever with an appropriate level of debt and also recently refinanced in portfolio. This gives us capacity for further growth, balancing growth, redistribution of capital through dividends and further share buybacks, and now we will do both with dividends to be received on the 22nd of September and share buybacks to be initiated imminently. We published our annual ESG report in June. I hope you had a chance to read it. Our efforts in making our business more sustainable and significant and were quickly picked up by the Webber Research 2023 ESG Scorecard. We now ranked seventh among 64 shipping companies and we have more initiatives ready to climate up further. So looking forward to seeing you in November in Houston, and thank you very much. Back to you, Randy. A – Randy Giveans: Thank you, Mads. So, operator, we will now open the lines for some Q&A. [Operator Instructions] So first question, your line should be live. Ben Nolan: Hey, guys. Did I — can you hear me? Am I unmuted? Randy Giveans: Loud and clear. Mads Peter Zacho: [indiscernible] Ben Nolan: Hey, good. Figured it out. Hey, good quarter. I have a couple of questions. First, Oeyvind, you talked about, it seems like more and more of cargoes of all varieties are going to Asia. But at the same time, I mean, we’re seeing seemingly news every day about congestion around the Panama canal water levels and so forth. I assume that’s a positive for your business, but is there any way to sort of think about the implications or how positive it is? Is it modest or something that’s making a meaningful difference? Oeyvind Lindeman: Ben, excellent question. It’s something we’re looking at on a daily basis, because we — our ships transit there every week. And it has an impact positive. Now for the industry, for the gas industry, any inefficiencies or from a shipping point of view, takes capacity out of the available market. So that is — if you look at it from a shipping point of view, that’s a good thing. And that is very much applicable for the bigger ships that has to transit through the new Panama locks. And the new locks only allow for nine transit each way each day. And the gas carriers are competing with the bigger ships of containers and LNG and so forth. So we’re starting to see large delays there, whereby ships are being deviated around the Cape, if they go to Asia. So clearly, a positive from a shipping capacity point of view. For us, some of our midsized ships that are trading on ethane, so taking ethane from US to also Asia, have also started to move via Suez or Cape, so that is an immediate impact on our business. Our handysize ethylene ships are quite nimble. So they — we have a pretty fixed schedule on them, so we can reserve canal slots and so forth in advance. So, we see less of an impact on the handysize ethylene ships going across the Pacific. But I think, it is definitely one to watch, the more delays, the less shipping capacity, and that’s a good thing. Now, the other question that you might be thinking of, if that’s the case and that is going to be for a long time, then does the market lack vessels to get back in time to load LPGs, ethane, ethylene and that’s an entirely different question. But for now, it brings some positive implications to our freight market. Ben Nolan: Okay. That’s helpful. And I appreciate all the color there, Oeyvind. I guess, for my second question and I’ll turn it over. We did see — there’s hardly anything in order, but we did see a different shipping company, or as a multi-gas carrier in last month or so that can do ammonia, CO2, LPG, all sorts of different things. I’m curious if that is something that you guys have considered doing just you’re going through the fleet renewal program as Randy have outlined, there’s not much on order. You still have some older assets that you’re looking to divest. Any thoughts about maybe replacing them with something like that? Mads Peter Zacho: If I can just start out and then you can complement me, Oeyvind and Randy. It’s unlikely at this point in time that we’ll be building ships that can transport CO2, as well as other gases. Right now, there’s still some uncertainties around the technology. It’s far from certain that given CO2 technologies such as low pressure or mid pressure is going to be the right one. And we will be working with a number of projects as we do through our Bluestreak joint venture. And here, we will be working very closely with the emitters to ensure that the technology and the capacity that we will be building for will be matching what is required here. We don’t think that the risk of building that on speculation right now it’s worthwhile. Ben Nolan: Sorry. Excuse me. All right. I appreciate. Thank you, guys. Randy Giveans: Thank you, Ben. Okay, operator, I see Omar has his hands up......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyAug 22nd, 2023

25 Most Sexually Liberal Cities in The World In 2023

In this article, we will take a look at the 25 most sexually liberal cities in the world in 2023. Some people who have a sexual disposition, particularly those who reside in repressed cities, would dearly desire to reside in a sexually free city where they won’t be criticized but will be embraced and permitted […] In this article, we will take a look at the 25 most sexually liberal cities in the world in 2023. Some people who have a sexual disposition, particularly those who reside in repressed cities, would dearly desire to reside in a sexually free city where they won’t be criticized but will be embraced and permitted to practice their sexuality. Similar to liberated cities that had been gradually embracing and open to societal changes but chose not to adhere to particular standards, the reasons why some continue to be sexually conservative can be rooted in cultural factors. For instance, as Weeks mentioned, the changes in British sexual life from 1800 to the present are clearly rooted in the larger context of British social, political, and cultural life. These changes range from industrialization, urbanization, and the effects of Empire and colonization to the experience of economic disruption, World Wars, the establishment of the welfare state, changing patterns of gender, the emergence of new sexual identities, and even the rise of both progressive and conservative ideologies. The history of sexuality is frequently depicted as a progression from a traditional, suppressed sexuality to a modern, liberated, and hedonistic sexuality, but, as Kaplan believed, this conventional perspective disregards the significance of class in influencing sexual cultures. Generally speaking, two competing ideas of sexuality coexisted in many nineteenth-century Western societies. A lower-class, permissive, deviant sexuality existed from the perspective of the middle class, and there was a middle-class, “respectful” sexuality. However, this separation was turned around throughout the course of the 20th century. The middle class has romanticized a culture of sexual gratification and great sexual joys, while working-class sexuality is frequently seen as conservative and restricted. This class has slowly become more accepting of sexuality, Kaplan added. According to Bailey, it is clear that significant changes in sexuality have occurred in the latter part of the 20th century. One may argue that changes in sexual habits and sexual mores, the prominence of sex in popular culture, the acceptance of gender equality and reproductive liberties, and the increasing visibility of gay men and lesbians in American society are among these developments that are most notable. By the turn of the century, numerous big-name companies provided benefits to same-sex domestic partners; lesbian, gay, and bisexual student organizations were active on a wide range of college campuses; and annual gay pride parades drew sizable audiences of supporters from all over the country. Talking about nations that have the most sex, Greece is included in the list of the most sexually active countries in the world, as an impressive 87% of adults in Greece engage in sexual activity at least once a week. Bangkok, Osaka, Makati (Philippines), Hyderabad (India) and Saigon (Vietnam) are part of the most sexually active cities in Asia. These Asian cities emerged as the top five cities for promiscuous male sex, where the percentage of men reporting over five sexual partners per year varies from 72% to 83%, as reported by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Heading over to Europe, beyond its reputation as one of the most sexually active cities in Europe, Amsterdam offers more than just the allure of the Red Light District. A diverse array of adult stores and the nation’s overarching progressive stance on matters of sexuality collectively contribute to positioning Amsterdam as one of the most sexiest cities globally. f11photo/ Our Methodology In order to come up with the 25 Most Sexually Liberal Cities In The World In 2023, we conducted thorough research and consulted five separate sources (1, 2, 3, 4, 5). A single point was awarded to each city that appeared on a source’s list. These points were then utilized to rank these cities, resulting in the identification of the top 25 most sexually liberal cities in the world in 2023. You can also take a peek at our article, titled, 16 Most Sexually Active Cities in the World, to have an idea about the countries included in the list. So without further ado, here are the 25 most sexually liberal cities in the world in 2023. 25 Most Sexually Liberal Cities In The World In 2023 25. San Francisco, USA San Francisco has served as both the nation’s epicenter for sexual libertinism during the 1960s and a potent emblem in those conflicts. As Sides noted in his book The Erotic City, the political climate and the neighborhoods of San Francisco were significantly altered by erotic dancers, prostitutes, proponents of birth control, pornographers, free love, and gay liberationists. 24. Houston, Texas Houston, Texas, makes an impression because of its convenient position right on the Gulf of Mexico. The lovely city draws a large number of people seeking independence and an unconservative lifestyle since it is often regarded as Texas’ liberal epicenter. After all, not everyone in the American South is a Republican cowboy. But speaking of cowboys, there are five LGBTQI-related annual events that take place every year, including a parade on Christopher Street Day and at least 24 gay establishments. It only loses a few points in this ranking because access to contraception can be a little tricky. The fact that prostitution is illegal practically everywhere in the United States, including Houston, does not necessarily improve the safety and standard of living for sex workers. However, there are many exotic pubs and strip clubs that also provide private sexual experiences. Houston comes in last on our list but rates higher than many other cities globally, making it an unexpected newcomer to the list of the most sexually explicit cities in the world. 23. Dallas, Texas This prosperous city not only has a striking skyline but also a surprisingly liberal outlook on life, which draws individuals who value freedom from all over the world. Dallas is home to at least 26 homosexual clubs and around 78 sex stores, which attest to the city’s prevalent sexual liberalism. Four times a year, there are significant LGBTQI-related events, such as the Christopher Street Day celebration. Additionally, there are a lot of strip clubs and facilities that are similar. In addition to the wonderful weather, sexual freedom of movement is a given in the city, which adds to the positive atmosphere and outlook on life. Everyone who is considering a vacation to the USA should see the city. 22. Melbourne, Australia The LGBTQIA+ community in Melbourne has a long history of activism, involvement, and visibility in this open and varied city. The Victorian Pride Center houses a branch of the well-known gay bookstore Hares & Hyenas and acts as a nexus for LGBTQIA+ groups and resources. Following the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2017, St. Kilda’s Jackson Street was decorated as a Rainbow Road in remembrance of marriage equality. The Midsumma Festival and the annual Pride March in February are important occasions on the LGBTQIA+ calendar that draw members of the homosexual community and their supporters out to celebrate with a lot of pleasure and spectacle. The venerable Melbourne Queer Film Festival regularly presents a top-notch lineup for cinema fans. There are five yearly parades and activities for the LGBTQI community that draw sizable crowds. The liberal component of European culture has always had a significant influence on Melbourne’s cultural, social, and artistic growth, including the city’s sensual scene. There are a variety of brothels here to satisfy every preference. Street prostitution is especially prevalent in places like St. Kilda and Gray Street, where many sex workers are facing drug issues. 21. Rome, Italy While same-sex marriages are not officially recognized in Rome, Italy, civil unions and partnerships have been accepted there since 2016. As a result, same-sex couples there now have access to many of the same legal protections that married couples in Italy enjoy. 20. Miami, USA Miami, according to its representation in popular culture, is a manifestation of total joie de vivre and has long been used as a setting for movies. Miami’s extravagant lifestyle does not let down the millions of tourists that travel there each year. Miami is even referred to as the “sex capital” of the United States by South Florida Style Magazine, and it appears that certain pharmacies never run out of condoms. The beach, palm trees, and vacation atmosphere encourage an upbeat outlook on life. There are several strip clubs in the city, which are the ideal starting point for further sensual experiences, but due to the yearly spring break parties for which the city is renowned, there is often a sexually charged vibe everywhere you walk in Miami. Thus, despite the fact that sex work is illegal in Miami, as it is practically everywhere else in the USA, there is still a good standard of living, and sensual pleasures are undoubtedly not overlooked. Miami is exceptional and, despite certain limitations, a very openly sexually liberated city. 19. Chicago, USA Northalsted, sometimes referred to as Boystown, is the oldest officially recognized homosexual neighborhood in the United States and one of the most inclusive LGBTQ+ communities in the whole of the country. It is renowned for its friendly atmosphere, constant nightlife, companies owned by LGBTQ people, and good culinary options. Some of Chicago’s most well-known events and festivals are also held there. 18. Sydney, Australia In 2023, Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and Sydney World Pride collaborated to produce an LGBTQIA+SB pride event that was in fact international. Over a million festival goers gathered in the lovely city to enjoy the finest in LGBTQIA+SB creativity and to join together in a resounding cry for equality at the inaugural WorldPride in the Southern Hemisphere, which lasted for 17 days. Together with the wonderful First Nations and LGBTQIA+SB communities, the festival’s theme, GATHER, DREAM, AMPLIFY, was created. It showed dedication to equality and inclusivity and recognized and honored Australia’s traditional caretakers. 17. Atlanta, USA Atlanta’s many worldwide triumphs in the arts and music, as well as its blend of urbanity and environment, make the city appear much larger than its 500,000 residents. There are 38 sex stores in the Atlanta metropolitan region, at least 15 gay pubs, and seven yearly LGBTQI events. Atlanta is a lone American city that stands as a symbol of liberalism and freedom. Atlanta likely ranks among the cities on our list of sexually liberal cities because of its beautiful, vibrant, and diversified mix of facilities. Consider visiting Atlanta if you want to learn more about the USA outside of the typical tourist hotspots. 16. Barcelona, Spain There are many shops you may visit in Barcelona if you want to buy an erotic item while on a romantic getaway with your significant other or even if you need to buy something for a bachelor party. You do not even need to have a specific reason to visit one of the city’s numerous sex clubs. With or without a partner, sexuality is a part of life and should be investigated in a healthy manner. The first ever sexy grocery store in Barcelona is called Sex Toys Center. The Sex Toys Center features a large selection with approximately 8,000 items on a surface area of over 800 square meters. 15. Paris, France Paris became known as “the brothel of Europe” during the Third Empire due to the phenomenon of sex tourism, which was especially prevalent during the World Fairs and other significant fairs in the city. Historians estimate that there were 2,650 official prostitutes in Paris in 1878 and 6,000 in 1900. The City of Light has transformed from the “European brothel” to the quintessential love metropolis thanks to the advancement of Parisian women in society. 14. San Diego, California San Diego not only provides a fantastically liberal way of living but also the assurance of nice weather—a formidable combination! Numerous beaches are nearby, and the city has lovely promenades that beckon you to take lengthy strolls to take in a stunning view of the sunset. The area also has a lot of sunshine. The city, which has a population of over 1.5 million, also has 24 homosexual clubs and about 50 sex stores, despite the fact that prostitution is forbidden. Of course, this does not imply that prostitution does not exist in San Diego; it just means that it exists, with all the hazards inherent for those participating, and that it does so behind closed doors. 13. Toronto, Canada One of the world’s cities with the most sexual freedom is Toronto, Canada. It has a sizable and vibrant LGBTQ population, and people there are typically quite accepting of sex and sexuality. If you’re seeking a casual encounter or something more serious, there are many wonderful venues to find sex in Toronto. Along with several pubs and nightclubs where people go to hook up, the city is home to several fantastic swing clubs. Toronto is home to a wonderful selection of excellent adult stores and sex shops, if you’re searching for something a little more daring. Toronto has anything you’re searching for, whether it be toys, DVDs, or anything else. 12. Montreal, Canada One of the world’s cities with the highest level of sexual freedom is Montreal, Canada. There are various gay pubs and clubs in the city, as well as a sizable and active LGBTQ population. There are several adult entertainment establishments and sex businesses in Montreal. The city also holds a variety of sex-friendly occasions, such as the yearly Fetish Fair. 11. Vancouver, Canada The city is renowned across the world for its liberal position, which prohibits discrimination based on lifestyle. Vancouver also places a high value on sexual freedom, which accounts for its good position. Five times a year, the city hosts significant LGBTQI festivals and activities, and it has comprehensive legislation protecting minorities’ rights. However, prostitution is not formally permitted in Vancouver. Similar to Montreal, Vancouver follows the neo-abolitionist philosophy after failing to effectively restrict prostitution with a sex purchase prohibition. Around the City Center metro station in Vancouver, there are a ton of strip clubs that are certainly worth visiting. There are also covert suggestions for more sex acts for patrons. 10. Los Angeles, USA The Walt Disney Company is one of the businesses in Los Angeles that is taking measures to become more progressive and “woke.” The Walt Disney Company recently made a number of moves in the direction of diversity, such as having two female characters kiss in the film Lightyear and casting the African American actress Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. The Walt Disney Company also unveiled a new appearance for Minnie Mouse in January 2022, replacing her red polka-dot outfit with a ‘progressive’ blue pantsuit created by Stella McCartney. 9. London, UK With numerous clubs and pubs that accommodate all preferences, London boasts a booming evening culture. Additionally, there are many places to go for adult entertainment and sex. In addition to several “lifestyle” events that appeal to the more daring, London is home to several swing clubs. 8. Vienna, Austria Vienna is actually one of the most sexually free cities in the world, despite its image as being rigid and conventional. It was even recently dubbed the “most liveable city” on the entire globe. For a very long time, Vienna has been accepting of many cultures and sexual orientations. This is evident in the city’s numerous adult theaters, strip clubs, and sex stores. A number of yearly celebrations of sexuality are also held in the city, including the Life Ball and Fetish Week Vienna. Additionally, Vienna is home to a number of sex-positive groups, such as the Austrian Association for Sexual Education and Therapy, which provides free sexual guidance and therapy. 7. West Hollywood, USA Given the size of the population, West Hollywood has much more gay bars per capita than many other big cities in our ranking, with an average of 32. The LGBTQI scene also includes many gay saunas as well as a number of hotels and eateries. There are 28 different sex establishments in West Hollywood that cater to all inclinations and desires. Even though prostitution is still illegal in West Hollywood, like in most other US communities, all of this adds up to the seventh-place placement in our rankings. 6. Santiago, Chile There are cafes in Santiago that specialize in sexy waitresses. These are referred to as “cafe with legs” or “cafe con piernas.” Due to the overall ban on strip bars in Santiago, these cafés offer the least explicit sexual entertainment. Real strip clubs do exist, although they tend to cluster around Santa Lucia Park or Providencia Street. In Chile, prostitution is unquestionably legal. People must register with the government and can work in sex work if they are 18 or older, much like in Germany. The practice of sexual activity in public places is also forbidden, as are brothels and pimps. Due to the fact that prostitutes sometimes have limited space to do their trade, there are occasionally disputes with the police, who have the authority to penalize or even imprison sex workers for up to five days. However, Chile has made significant advancements in terms of sexual freedom. 5. Amsterdam, Netherlands The finest anti-discrimination legislation and protection for a sex-positive existence are found in Amsterdam. Despite hosting the pivotal annual Pride festival, the Dutch city ranks fifth because it holds fewer regular LGBTQI+ activities and has fewer gay pubs and sex stores than other cities on the list. But the city’s red light district is a well-known tourist destination. Numerous sex clubs, swing clubs, and other places for adult amusement are also located there. 4. New York City, USA There is no better location to begin your search for a sexually liberal city in the United States than New York City. This vibrant city is one of the most LGBTQ-friendly cities in the world and is home to some of the most progressive and open-minded individuals in the nation. In addition to having a robust gay bar and club culture, New York City is home to a booming sex club industry with everything from kink-themed events to swinger clubs. In New York City, there is something to do, whether you are single or in a relationship. Kamira/»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyAug 13th, 2023

Lebanon"s oldest soap factory makes 30,000 bars at once

Artisans have been producing traditional olive oil soap at Masbanat Awaida in Lebanon for over 140 years. Artisans have been producing traditional olive oil soap at Masbanat Awaida for over 140 years. A century ago, there were dozens of soap factories like this in Tripoli, Lebanon. Today, Masbanat Awaida is the only one remaining.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderAug 8th, 2023

20 Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World

In this article, we are going to discuss the 20 cities with the most bars per capita in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of the history of bars and pubs, the global bars, pubs, and nightclubs market, the effects of Covid-19 on the bars and pubs industry, the resurgence of Guinness, the […] In this article, we are going to discuss the 20 cities with the most bars per capita in the world. You can skip our detailed analysis of the history of bars and pubs, the global bars, pubs, and nightclubs market, the effects of Covid-19 on the bars and pubs industry, the resurgence of Guinness, the rise of brewpubs, and the ongoing consumer shift towards a healthier lifestyle, and go directly to 5 Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World. Retail establishments that serve alcohol date back to ancient Greece, where men would gather in the evenings for food, drinks, music and theatrical entertainment. In ancient Rome, taverns were being built alongside busy roads and trade routes, to meet the needs of travelers and soldiers. In England, up through the 11th century, public houses (or pubs) became the designated places to hold personal or business meetings. The British loved their bars so much that they enacted laws during the 1600’s, making it illegal to not have a pub in town. Even during the colonial days of America, taverns were often built before churches.  The Global Bars, Pubs, and Nightclubs Market:  According to Verified Market Research, the global bars, pubs and nightclubs market was valued at $95.33 billion in 2022 and is projected to reach $124.57 billion by 2030, growing at a CAGR of 3.4% during the forecast period. A major cause of this is the increased urbanization in developed countries, leading to the development of more bars and other related establishments. Infrastructure development, such as new airports and highways, also encourages restaurant and hotel chains to build more bars and pubs. Additionally, the global disposable income has also received a boost during the last decade, leading to a higher demand for premium drinks, which brings in more revenue for the said establishments.   Effects of Covid-19 on the Bars and Pubs Industry:  Bars and pubs are inherently social spots, so the social-distancing rules in the pandemic obviously had devastating effects on the industry. After the closure of bars, more and more people started drinking at home, leading to a rise in the off-premises sales of alcohol.  According to data from the National Institute of Health, lockdowns and social distancing between March to September 2020 led to a 27% decrease in on-premises sales of alcohol and a 20% increase in off-premises sales, suggesting a shift from bar consumption to home drinking. However, the industry witnessed a sharp revival after the restrictions were finally lifted and people rushed back to their favorite taverns. According to a report by Provi, a B2B e-commerce marketplace for the beverage industry, the on-premise sales of alcohol witnessed a YoY increase of 350%, for the 12 months ending December 21. The Resurgence of Guinness:  Ireland’s biggest export is its drinking culture. Irish pubs are characterized by a unique culture centered around a casual and friendly atmosphere, hearty food and drink, Irish sports, and traditional Irish music. Their widespread appeal has led to the Irish pub theme spreading across the world. And it goes without saying that an Irish pub is virtually incomplete without the iconic Guinness Draught. Owned by Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), the iconic Irish dry stout is currently Britain’s most popular pint but the last decade hasn’t exactly been all rainbows and butterflies for the brand. Guinness witnessed very little to no growth in sales since 2010, and 2020 was especially bad when the worldwide sales of the brand plunged by around 15%, as compared to the previous year. However, due to the relentless, innovative and aggressive marketing strategies of Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), the brand has now witnessed a sudden resurgence and boasted a 16% increase in global sales in 2022. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) is also set to open a $94.5 million Guinness ‘Culture Hub at Old Brewers’ Yard in Central London that promises a ‘grain-to-glass immersive visitor experience’ in the mold of the Dublin original.  Guinness is among the Most Consumed Beer Brands in the World in 2023.  The Rise of Brewpubs: The rise of the craft beer industry over the last few decades has led to the development of brewpubs, which combine the efforts of a craft brewery with the concept of a traditional English pub. Brewpubs sell beer brewed on the premises, with brewmasters working within the confines of the pub-style restaurant, in order to provide customers with unique beers on tap. According to the Brewers Association, the American brewpub segment grew 5% by volume in 2022.  The alcohol industry giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) also entered the brewpub business after its acquisition of the craft beer maker Goose Island. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) ventured into the craft business in 2011 when it acquired the Chicago-based brewer in a deal worth $39 million. Since then, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) has invested aggressively to establish a chain of Goose Island brewpubs in America, as well as internationally.  If you want to check out the biggest craft breweries in America, please refer to our article 25 Largest Craft Breweries in the US by Volume.  Shift Towards a Healthier Lifestyle: The modern consumer, especially Gen Z, is getting more and more health conscious and health conscious drink trends are becoming increasingly important in the competitive bars and pubs business, as they saw a 55% increase in the U.S. in 2022.  We are witnessing bars move towards supplying vegan food and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, which means that drinks are becoming healthier and more imaginative.  With that said, here are the Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World.  Copyright: stockbroker / 123RF Stock Photo Methodology:  To collect data for this article, we have looked up the cities with the most number of bars and pubs on TripAdvisor, and then divided that number by the respective cities’ current populations to get the Cities with the Most Bars per Capita Globally. To keep our list relevant, we have only selected cities with populations of 250,000 and above. When two cities had the same number of bars per capita, we ranked the one with the most bars and pubs overall higher.  20. Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A Bars per Capita: 0.0001 In Las Vegas, the bars aren’t just on any old street or in any specific neighborhood, they are right in the heart of all the action. Alcohol is served 24/7 in Sin City, so you’ll always find somewhere to grab a drink.  19. Portland, OR, U.S.A Bars per Capita: 0.0001 With a total of 67 bars in the city as shown on Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP), Portland ranks 19th in our list of cities with the most bars per capita. Crux Fermentation Project is a craft beer maker in Portland and the brewery recently opened a new brewpub in Rose City.  18. St. Louis, MO, U.S.A Bars per Capita: 0.0001 St. Louis also has a strong beer culture and the Civil Life Brewing Co. Brewpub is the city’s top-rated bar on TripAdvisor. St. Louis-based Major Brands is the largest wholesale distributor of wines, spirits, and beer in the state of Missouri and the company is now being acquired by the Breakthru Beverage Group. Breakthru is one of the leading alcohol wholesalers in the U.S. and the largest broker in Canada. They employ over 7,000 people and boast more than $6 million in annual sales.  17. Pittsburgh, PA, U.S.A Bars per Capita: 0.00011 Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) has mentioned a total of 34 bars in Steel City on its online platform. The city’s Carson Street offers a variety of nightlife options, from top-shelf whiskey selections at Carmela’s Plates and Pints to a wide selection of beers on tap at the Vault Taproom.  16. Tallinn, Estonia Bars per Capita: 0.00011 Like any other metropolis, Tallinn has a number of Irish pubs and sports bars where you can meet football fans or world travelers searching for a friendly atmosphere. You can also discover Tallinn’s stylish speakeasies that are inspired by American secretive bars operating during the Prohibition Era in the early 20th century.  15. Kraków, Poland   Bars per Capita: 0.00011 For many visitors, the main attraction of Kraków is its nightlife. The Old Town, in particular, and Kazimierz are packed with fantastic basement bars and beer gardens. Poland is also one of the Top Alcohol Drinking Countries in the World.  14. Edinburgh, U.K Bars per Capita: 0.00012 Edinburgh’s city center and New Town are absolutely bursting with cocktail bars and cozy pubs. The Scottish capital provides a wide range of taverns, catering to different moods of the visitors, as well as catering to choices across generations. The U.K. is the country with the most pubs in the world, followed by Japan.  13. Orlando, FL, U.S.A Bars per Capita: 0.00013 With 40 bars and pubs on TripAdvisor, Orlando is among the Cities with the Most Bars and Pubs per Capita. However, the city council passed two controversial new measures in March this year, restricting nightlife in Orlando’s downtown. Orlando is the city with the most bars per capita in North America in our list.  12. Amsterdam, Netherlands Bars per Capita: 0.00013 Popular for its nightlife all over the world, Amsterdam has a wide variety of bars, pubs and coffee shops to keep its visitors entertained. A major tourist attraction in the heart of Amsterdam is the Heineken Experience, a brand experience with Heineken’s oldest brewery in the Dutch city. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Heineken N.V. boasted a revenue of over $37.35 billion in 2022. 11. Tel Aviv, Israel Bars per Capita: 0.00015 Tel Aviv is awake 24 hours and the city’s nightlife is known to be remarkable, as one can engage in many amusing activities after the sun goes down. The city has 67 bars and pubs available on TripAdvisor. Verstill is an Israeli startup which develops technology capable of producing premium spirits quickly and cost-effectively. The company announced a collaboration with the Israel-based Malka craft brewery, coming on the back of funding of more than $3.2 million.  10. Rome, Italy Bars per Capita: 0.00015 Trastevere is a touristy neighborhood and is probably the top spot for a pub crawl in the Eternal City. It features lots and lots of wineries, restaurants and bars, where you can enjoy a nice aperitivo. Peroni Nastro Azzurro, owned by Asahi Holdings, is a very popular beer in Roman bars. Rome is among the top 10 cities with the most bars and pubs per capita in the world. 9. Seville, Spain Bars per Capita: 0.00016 Tripadvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TRIP) has listed a total of 107 bars in the Spanish city of Seville on its online platform. Tourism represents 18% of Seville’s GDP directly and the tourists flock to the numerous establishments in the Alameda de Hercules plaza in the city.  Tanqueray gin, owned by Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), has recently added a new expression to its alcohol-free range inspired by the flavors of Seville, called Tanqueray Flore de Sevilla. Spain also holds the record of being the country with the most bars per capita in Europe.  8. Barcelona, Spain Bars per Capita: 0.00016 La Rambla street is especially popular for its bars and pub crawls in Barcelona, a city with 254 bars and pubs listed on TripAdvisor. Paradiso, a bar hidden behind a pastrami shop in the El Born neighborhood of Barcelona, was named the top drinking spot by World’s 50 Best Bars in 2022.  7. Dublin, Ireland Bars per Capita: 0.00018 In Dublin, the local pub is a pillar of the community in the same way a local church would be. It functions as both a place to consume alcohol at leisure, as well as the place in which to meet and greet the people of the locality.  A tour of the Guinness storehouse is a popular experience in the Irish city and since its opening in 2000, the major tourist attraction has attracted over 23.9 million visitors.  International investors see great long-term value in the Dublin pub market and 27 pubs, with a capital value of just over $102 million, were sold in the city in 2022.  6. Prague, Czech Republic Bars per Capita: 0.00019 The combination of thousands of students and visitors fuels a lively, eclectic mix of bars and music clubs in the UNESCO World Heritage city. Do as the locals do and decamp to a neighborhood pub or head off to catch a live show. Prague’s vibrant nightlife has something in store for everyone.  Click to continue reading and see the 5 Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World. Suggested Articles: 25 Top-Selling Beers in America 25 Most Imported Beer Brands in the World 20 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023 Disclaimer: None. 20 Cities with the Most Bars per Capita in the World is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyJul 20th, 2023

Best Craft Beer Brands in Each U.S. State

In this article, we are going to discuss the best craft beer brands in each U.S. state. You can skip our detailed analysis of the history of modern craft brewing, the craft beer industry in the United States, the state with the most craft beer, the craft beer capital of the U.S., the craft beer […] In this article, we are going to discuss the best craft beer brands in each U.S. state. You can skip our detailed analysis of the history of modern craft brewing, the craft beer industry in the United States, the state with the most craft beer, the craft beer capital of the U.S., the craft beer challenge faced by the major beer producers in the country and the future outlook of the craft beer industry and go directly to Best Craft Beer Brands in the 10 Biggest U.S. States. Craft beer is small-scale, individually brewed beer, made using traditional and non-mechanized methods. Many people love craft beer for its better taste, health benefits and the wide variety of options that it has to offer. For this reason, we’ve done a list on the best craft beer brands in each state in the US. History of Modern Craft Brewing: Although the art of brewing has been around since ancient times, the modern-day craft beer began in the 1960s in the United States, when Fritz Maytag bought the Anchor Brewing Company in San Francisco. He decided to improve the quality of beer using new brewing techniques, leading to the introduction of the handcrafted Anchor Porter in 1972, and Liberty Ale and Christmas Ale in 1975, thus starting a craft beer revolution.  Craft Beer Industry in the United States:  According to the Beer Association, retail dollar sales of craft beer increased 5% to $28.4 billion in 2022, accounting for 24.6% of the $115 billion overall American beer market. The major reasons for this increase in dollar sales were price increases and the continued shift back in beer volume to bars and restaurants from packaged sales.  The craft brewing industry also contributed $72.2 billion to the U.S. economy in 2022. This figure includes the total economic impact of beer brewed by craft brewers as it moves through the breweries, wholesalers and retailers, as well as non-beer products, like food and merchandise sold at brewpub restaurants and tap rooms.  The industry also provided 460,000 jobs in the country in 2022, including almost 190,000 direct jobs at breweries and brewpubs. The total number of craft breweries in the U.S. also increased to 9,552 in 2022, an increase of 99% from 2015, hence clearly depicting the craft revolution that has been taking place in the American beer market.  State with the Most Craft Beer: When it comes to craft brewing, the top beer producing state in the U.S. is California, with the Golden State boasting 957 craft breweries in 2021. California is also the state with the most craft beer produced in 2021, with over 3.5 million barrels, or 3.8 gallons per every 21+ adult in the state.  On the contrary, Mississippi has only 20 craft breweries present and hence would be the worst state for craft beer in a way. But this doesn’t mean at all that the Magnolia State doesn’t have any worthy brews to offer, as you’ll see later on in our list of best craft beer brands in each state.  Craft Beer Capital of the U.S.:  San Diego, with its rich and historic beer culture, holds the title of being the craft beer capital of the U.S. With over 150 breweries, countless beer bars and innovative tasting rooms, the craft beer experience is massive in this region. The city even has a signature craft style — The West Coast-Style IPA, known for its flavor and ridiculous amount of hops packed into one pint.  The Craft Beer Challenge:  The gradual rise of the craft beer industry over the past few decades has presented a crucial challenge to the major beer companies in the country. The principle strength of craft brewing lies in its vast array of beer innovations to reflect the shift of today’s consumers, as it offers its customers ‘something different’ from what they’re normally used to.  Large beer producers, like Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) and Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) have invested heavily in the craft trend and acquired regional breweries, or created their own craft beer brands. The blockbuster deal last year was Japanese giant Sapporo’s $165 million purchase of Stone Brewing.  Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP) acquired the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company in 1988, enabling the family brewery to grow and expand into a national brand. The Leinenkugel Specialty brand is currently among the top 10 craft beers in the U.S., with total dollar sales of over $100 million in U.S. multi-outlets in 2022. Blue Moon is another important craft beer brand owned by the Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP).  Similarly, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) also owns a variety of regional craft brewing companies, including Goose Island, Elysian and 10 Barrel Brewing Company etc. Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) spent an estimated $200 million in four separate transactions to acquire Goose Island, Elysian, 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Blue Point Brewing.  Another Japanese giant, the Kirin Holdings Company, acquired the Colorado-based New Belgium Brewing Company in 2019, in a deal worth $352.8 million. New Belgium is the #1 craft beer brand in America in terms of dollar sales, with reported sales of $429.3 million in the U.S. multi-outlets in 2022.  If you wish to read about other big beer brands, please refer to our article 20 Biggest Beer Brands in America.  Future Outlook: Although the American craft beer industry has enjoyed significant growth in the recent past, it still has many challenges to face. These include rapidly climbing shipping and raw material costs, distributors reluctant to take on new brands, and a market saturated with hard seltzers, canned cocktails and other alternatives to traditional beer. Craft beers also tend to be more expensive than regular domestic beers, because of their rich ingredients and smaller production volumes, so they are also more sensitive to economic downturns.  No matter which route craft beer takes to tackle these challenges, it is evident, thus far, that the craft trend is here to stay. It is likely that there will be no shortage of varieties, and innovation will play a strong role in the industry’s future.  As we also mentioned in our article 25 Most Imported Beer Brands in the World, the global craft beer market was valued at $93.69 billion in 2021, and is expected to reach $243.15 billion by 2030, with a CAGR of 11.2% in this forecast period.  With that said, let’s move on to the most popular craft beer brands in every state in America.  Natalya Okorokova/ Methodology:  To collect data for this article, we have searched through sources such as Reader’s Digest, Rolling Stone, BeerAdvocate and RateBeer etc., looking for the best American craft beer brands in every US state, and also looked for the best craft beers in every American state on Google Trends.  In the end, we came up with this hand-picked list of best craft beers in each U.S. state, ranked alphabetically in a descending order. The ABV, or alcohol by volume, content of certain craft beers can vary from batch to batch.  If you would also like to read about which states are consuming the most amounts of beer, please refer to 25 U.S. States with the Highest Beer Consumption per Capita.  Here’s the list of best craft beer brands in each US state: 50. Wyoming Snake River Zonker Stout, 6% ABV This epic stout from Jackson Hole’s Snake River Brewing is an intensely roasty sip of malty smoothness. Zonker is a testament to the pleasures of an adjunct-free, rich-and-roasty stout, redolent with deeply roasted barley and dark chocolate.  49. Wisconsin New Glarus Spotted Cow, 4.8% ABV The spotted cow is a blend of pilsner malt, white wheat and caramel malt. The water comes from a well on the brewery property and has a hard character to it. New Glarus only distributes within its own state, so you’ll have to travel all the way to America’s Dairyland if you want to get your hands on a cold Spotted Cow.  48. West Virginia  Greenbrier Valley Mothman, 6.7% ABV The ABV limit in West Virginia was finally raised from 6% to 12% in 2009, thus opening the door for more innovation, experimentation and styles for everyone to enjoy. The Mothman is a Black IPA, brewed with Columbus and Amarillo, reaching 71 IBUs. The malt profile provides a touch of roasted toffee and chocolate.  47. Washington Fremont Brewing Universal Pale Ale, 5.6% ABV Washington is the second largest hop-growing region in the world, so you know the beer is as fresh as it comes. The Universal Pale Ale from Fremont offers a distinctive Northwest twist on the classic pale ale and is a blend of old-and new-school hops and malts. All the ingredients are locally sourced by Fremont for their flagship product. This American Pale Ale from the Evergreen State deserves the spotlight, hence we’ve included it among the Greatest Craft Beer Brands From Each U.S. State.  46. Virginia Hardywood Park Gingerbread Stout, 9.2% ABV This seasonal brew from Hardywood, only available in the fall, actually does taste like gingerbread booze. Made with baby ginger from Casselmonte Farm and wildflower honey from Bearer farms, Gingerbread Stout captures the terroir of central Virginia in a rich, creamy libation with a velvety mouthfeel and an intriguing evolution of notes.  45. Vermont  The Alchemist Heady Topper, 8% ABV With a world-class score of 100 from Beer Advocate, Heady Topper is one of the best craft beers in America. It is an American double IPA which is meant to give you wave after wave of hoppy goodness on your palate. A tremendous amount of American hops will bombard your taste buds, and leave you with a dense hoppy finish in your mouth.  44. Utah Epic Big Bad Baptist, 11-12% ABV Salt Lake’s Epic Brewing produces many beers that are exactly that: Epic. The Big Bad Baptist is an annual-release imperial stout brewed with cocoa nibs and a rotating roster of coffee beans. This luxuriously rich imperial stout is aged in used whiskey/Bourbon barrels and the ABV varies with every batch.  43. Tennessee Blackberry Farm Classic Saison, 6.3% ABV The secluded Blackberry Farm Brewery comes out on top among many other highly-rated breweries in Tennessee. The Classic is a Belgian-style farmhouse ale brewed with floor-malted barley, wheat and noble hops.  42. South Dakota Crow Peak WICCA (Wickedly Charming Chili Ale), 6.6% ABV Craft beer is few and far between in South Dakota but there’s definitely some good stuff to be had. The team behind Spearfish’s Crow Peak earned their spot at the fiery top when they came up with this malty seasonal ale, with heaping handfuls of locally sourced and fresh roasted Anaheim and jalapeño peppers. Chili beers are not everyone’s cup of tea, but the WICCA is a must-try for the more adventurous craft beer enthusiasts, so we have included it in our list of Best Craft Beers From Every State in America.  41. South Carolina Westbrook Brewing Gose, 4% ABV Unusual in its methods, The Westbrook Brewing Company often collaborates with other breweries across the country and has given us a number of popular craft beer brands. A modern take on an old German style of beer, the Gose is a refreshing wheat beer brewed with gray sea salt and coriander. While the addition of salt may sound strange, it adds a pleasant touch to an otherwise mild beer.  40. Rhode Island Grey Sail Flying Jenny, 6% ABV The Flying Jenny, named appropriately for the nautical location of the brewery, is unusual in its unfiltered taste. It is an extra pale ale crafted with five different malts and complemented by northwestern hops, that can be enjoyed year-round.  39. Oregon 10 Barrel Cucumber Crush, 5% ABV With over 200 breweries and brew pubs, Oregon is considered the best beer state in the union and the craft beer capital of the west. The Cucumber Crush is a Berliner Weisse style beer, with a crisp, light and refreshing aftertaste, courtesy of fresh cucumbers.  38. Oklahoma OK Cider Barrel-Aged Appletoberfest, 8.4% ABV Ranked as one of the best craft beers of 2022 by Bloomberg, the Barrel-Aged Appletoberfest is made by taking the fall favorite, caramely Appletoberfest and aging it in Elija Craig barrels while lagering, to add a light Bourbon character, with hints of oak and a nice tannic finish.  37. North Dakota Laughing Sun Brewing Sinister, 9% ABV Born from a monthly poker game and a well-timed conversation, this brewery pumps out beer among the mountains of North Dakota. Sinister is a playful, easy-drinking, effervescent, Belgian Golden Strong Ale that packs the punch of a heavyweight champ. When it comes to best craft beer brands in each U.S. state, North Dakota sure is a highlight. 36. New Mexico La Cumbre Project Dank, 7.5% ABV Project Dank isn’t only one of the best craft beer brands in the US, it’s also a continuously evolving recipe that the maestros over at La Cumbre tweak and tinker with every time they make it. It is a rotating lineup of American IPAs that typically offer a bold, clean and classic IPA experience.  35. New Jersey Carton Boat Beer, 4.2% ABV There are several top-notch Garden State breweries flying under the national radar, but Carton Brewing deserves a nod. Low in alcohol content, this IPA has touches of grape fruit and pine, with just enough hoppiness to remind you that it’s beer. And it’s been around way before the session IPA trend took hold! 34. New Hampshire Smuttynose Robust Porter, 6.2% ABV Next up on our list of Best Craft Beers From Each State is the smooth and very-drinkable Robust Porter from the Granite State. This hearty, mahogany colored ale is brewed to evoke the dark, full-bodied ales that were a favorite of dockworkers and warehousemen in 19th century London. With its distinct flavors of chocolate and coffee, and just enough of a hoppy taste to keep things interesting, the Robust Porter is as tasty in the 21st century as it was in the 19th.  33. Nevada  Revision IPA, 6.5% ABV This India Pale Ale, with its low impact bitterness and high impact aroma and flavor, is the flagship IPA of the Revision Brewing Company. The beer’s Simcoe hop flavor melds seamlessly with tropical citrus, orange and pine.  32. Nebraska Zipline Daaang! IPA, 8% ABV This new American IPA is so dank and tangy, its name was instantly obvious! A muted malt backbone gives way to a highlight reel of American hop flavors, from tangerine, honeydew, guava, and mango to evergreen, resin and bone-dry grapefruit pith. Daaaang! is a highly-rated Imperial IPA that is a go-to beer for many in the Cornhusker State, so it deserves a spot among the Leading Craft Beer Brands From Each American State.  31. Montana Big Sky Trout Slayer, 5% ABV If you’re road-tripping through Flathead Indian County, a stop at Big Sky Brewing in Missoula is highly recommended. The Trout Slayer is a filtered wheat ale, fermented at cool temperatures, making it a smooth, drinkable session beer.  30. Missouri  Perennial Artisan Ales Savant Blanc, 8% ABV Determining the top brew coming out of a city that was quite literally built on beer is no easy task, but at least we can count on the heavily-decorated Perennial Artisan Ales to alleviate some of the guessing work. The Savant Blanc is a 100% Brettanomyces fermented Belgian Blonde Ale, aged for 5 months in Chardonnay barrels with Chardonel grapes.  29. Mississippi  Lazy Magnolia Southern Pecan, 4.3% ABV Located in Kiln, Mississippi’s oldest craft brewery produces a range of delicious craft beers and their flagship Southern Pecan Nut Brown Ale was the first in the U.S. to use whole-roasted pecans as part of the grain bill. It is a nutty, caramelly, boozy brew definitely worth trying.  28. Minnesota Surly Todd the Axe Man, 7.2% ABV Minnesota is known for having one of the best craft beer brands of all US states. When you name a beer Todd the Axe Man, it better be worthy of such an attention-grabbing name. First brewed in collaboration with Amager brewery in Denmark, this beer finishes rich and dry with Golden Promise malt.  27. Massachusetts Samuel Adams Boston Lager, 5% ABV Massachusetts is home to the largest microbrewery in the world, The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE:SAM). Now the fourth largest brewer in the U.S. with a revenue of over $2 billion in 2022, The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE:SAM) helped start a craft beer revolution with the Samuel Adams Boston Lager. First introduced in 1984, Jim Koch, the founder of The Boston Beer Company, Inc. (NYSE:SAM), first brewed the Boston Lager in his kitchen – a recipe that belonged to his great great grandfather that he found in his father’s attic. Samuel Adams had dollar sales of $219.8 million in U.S. multi-outlets in 2022. The Boston Lager has played an instrumental role in the development of the craft beer industry in the country, so it deserves a spot in our index of Best Craft Beer Brands From Every American State. 26. Maryland Heavy Seas Loose Cannon, 7.25% ABV Even though there has been a lot of repackaging for this iconic IPA over the years, thankfully the recipe remains unadulterated. This flagship beer of Heavy Seas is brewed with loads of Simcoe, Palisade and Centennial. Loose Cannon boasts an expertly blanched nose, reminiscent of grapefruit and pine, with a soft, floral bitterness.  25. Maine Allagash White, 5.2% ABV One of the oldest and best American breweries focusing on Belgian styles, Allgash has given us some of the best craft beer brands in the state of Louisiana, but their claim to fame is their phenomenal witbier. This Belgian style wheat beer is brewed with oats, malted wheat and raw wheat for a hazy ‘white’ appearance.  24. Louisiana Abita Amber, 4,5% ABV Sourcing their water from natural springs approximately 30 miles away from New Orleans, Abita’s first and still best-selling beer is the Munich style Amber Lager. Brewed with pale and caramel malts and German Perlel hops, this lager has a smooth, malty, slightly caramel flavor and a rich amber color.  23. Kentucky Lexington Brewing Kentucky Bourbon Barrel Ale, 8.2% ABV If Kentucky is known for one thing, it’s bourbon. This Kentucky Ale is aged in freshly decanted bourbon barrels from some of Kentucky’s finest distilleries. Subtle yet familiar flavors of vanilla and oak are imparted to this special ale and it is aged for at least six weeks. This English Strong Ale certainly deserves to be among the Top Craft Beer Brands From Each U.S. State.  22. Kansas Free State Copperhead Pale Ale, 5.8% ABV Free State Brewing was opened in 1989 and became the first legal brewery in Kansas in over a hundred years that year. The Copperhead Pale Ale was literally inspired when the head brewer was bitten by a venomous snake. Sneakily balanced, this beer has just enough of a hop bite to balance the nutty Golden Promise malt at its heart.  21. Iowa Toppling Goliath Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout, 12% ABV  This Decorah-based IPA and barrel-aged ale specialist has been lighting up beer nerd bucket lists from the jump. Rated as the Best Craft Beer in the World by BeerAdvocate and RateBeer, the Kentucky Brunch Brand Stout is chocolate chip pancakes drenched with maple syrup, served with espresso and a shot of bourbon, all in one sip. The culmination of everything one would want on a chilly morning. This American Imperial Stout is a no-brainer in our list of Best Craft Beers From Every State in America.  20. Indiana 3 Floyds Zombie Dust, 6.5% ABV The 3 Floyds brewery is known for making some of the best craft beers in the Midwest and for commissioning artists to design bizarre labels for their beers. This ‘Undead Pale Ale’ is a medium-bodied single hop beer showcasing citra hops from the Yakima Valley.   19. Idaho Grand Teton Double Vision Doppelbock, 11% ABV Not too many American brewers tackle the Doppelbock style, a German lager that was once brewed by fasting monks during Lent, as a stand-in for bread. This rich, decadent beer is worth savoring each winter and has a bourbon barrel-aged cousin too.  18. Hawaii Maui Brewing Imperial Coconut Porter, 9% ABV It feels wrong to pick a Hawaiian beer unless it has a taste of the tropics. This Imperial Porter from Maui Brewing is probably the best use of Hawaii’s plentiful coconuts. Brewed with toasted coconuts and giving off chocolate notes from the dark malt, this beer is a Hawaiian dessert in a glass.  17. Delaware Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, 9% ABV Called ‘Perhaps the best IPA in America’ by Esquire Magazine, the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA holds the distinction of being the favorite brew of many IPA drinkers the world over. Named after the amount of time the beer is continuously hopped, ‘90’ also reflects the amount of IBUs, hop additions during the boil and 9% ABV. The 60, 75 and 120 versions that follow suit are equally fantastic.  16. Connecticut New England Brewing Fuzzy Baby Ducks, 6.2% ABV This charmingly-named beer is single-hopped with 100% citra hops for a delicious citrus flavor, with hints of papaya and mango. Dry malts and juicy, resinous oranges round out this brew. A 16oz Draft of this IPA in the New England Brewing taproom will set you back $7. Fuzzy Baby Ducks boasts a world-class rating of 99 on BeerAdvocate, hence it is worth including in our list of Best Craft Beer Brands From Each State.  15. Colorado Bierstadt Slow Pour Pilsner, 4.7% ABV Colorado is likely one of the best states for craft beer, since craft beer has been a thing here for decades. The Slow Pour is an uber-classic German pilsner that is strikingly pale, softly malty, crisp and bitter.  14. Arkansas Ozark BDCS, 10.3% ABV A true gem of the Ozark mountains, this funky brewery boasts honest people and honest beer. The pride of their craft libations is the BDCS. This bourbon barrel-aged double cream stout is like a silky chocolate and vanilla ice cream float, with a shot of bourbon.  13. Arizona SunUp White Russian Imperial Coffee Stout, 9.2% ABV If you’re a fan of coffee and stouts, the White Russian Imperial is a craft beer for you. This coffee stout is a meal on its own with bold flavors of coffee and bittersweet chocolate, with notes of vanilla, sweet cream and plum.   12. Alaska Anchorage Bitter Monk, 9% ABV The largest state in the union doesn’t make most people think of great beer, but that’s beginning to change. Hop bitterness and tart sour flavors don’t usually go well together but Anchorage Brewing’s Bitter Monk has been a revelation. Aged in chardonnay oak barrels and fermented with Belgian yeast and then wild Brettanomyces, this IPA is formidably strong but smooth and complex.  11. Alabama Good People Snake Handler, 10% ABV The Snake Handler Double India pale ale from this Birmingham brewery is as hoppy and bitter as it gets. But this light IPA has aromas of pine, citrus, pineapple, flowers, spice and grassiness, with a biscuit and caramel backbone, to balance out its 100+ IBUs. However, as they say for craft beer enthusiasts that ‘Bitter is Better’, so the Snake Handler is a part of our Best Craft Beers From Each U.S. State list.  Click to continue reading and see the Best Craft Beer Brands in the 10 Biggest U.S. States. Suggested Articles: 22 Cheap Imported Beer Brands 20 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023 Top 15 Beer Drinking Countries in the World Disclaimer: None. Best Craft Beer Brands in Each U.S. State is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyJun 25th, 2023

20 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023

In this article, we are going to discuss the 20 best imported beers in USA in 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of the size of the U.S. import beer industry, the rise of Mexican beer brands and their dominance in the U.S. beer market and a comparison of sales volume data of some […] In this article, we are going to discuss the 20 best imported beers in USA in 2023. You can skip our detailed analysis of the size of the U.S. import beer industry, the rise of Mexican beer brands and their dominance in the U.S. beer market and a comparison of sales volume data of some industry giants and go directly to 5 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023. The United States of America is the largest importer of beer in the world. According to the Beer Institute, imported beers comprise nearly 18% of the overall beer market in the country. You can check out more on that in 22 Cheap Imported Beer Brands Targeting Budweiser’s Market. In 2021, the U.S. imported around $6.21 billion worth of beer, accounting for 2 out of every 5 cross-border beer dollars. Canada, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, were all big sources of these imports but the lion’s share of the overall U.S. beer imports came from one country, Mexico.  After the Great Recession, the Dutch had solid control on the global beer market, led by the industry giant, Heineken. But within a decade, the Netherlands, along with other European brewing powerhouses, were overtaken by Mexico. According to the Geneva-based statistics provider Trade Data Monitor, today, Mexico ships out more beer than any other country, accounting for around 30% of the global beer exports.  Some of the best and most popular imported beers in America come from Mexico and the country accounts for nearly 80% of the overall U.S. beer imports, up from a mere 17% in the 1990’s. In the recent months, nearly 97% of the total Mexican beer exports flowed to its northern next-door neighbor. According to data from the Beer Institute, the U.S. imported around 98.7 million gallons of beer from Mexico in just March 2023, a 12% increase from March 2022. The Netherlands was next on the list, with around 8.19 million gallons, a decrease of 19.7% from the same period the previous year.  This is also reflected in the overall sales volume data of the beer industry giants in the U.S. According to a report by the Brewers Association, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD), a juggernaut in the global beer industry and the owner of many popular beer domestic brands, including Budweiser, Busch, Michelob Ultra and even import beers, such as the Belgian Stella Artois, witnessed a steep decline in its sales volume in the U.S. The company reported an overall dip of 4.5% in its total shipments to wholesalers in 2022, compared to 2021.  Similarly, the Molson Coors Beverage Company (NYSE:TAP), which owns brands such as Carling, Miller Lite, Blue Moon etc, witnessed an even steeper decline of 5.1% in its shipments to U.S. wholesalers, including an unprecedented 11% drop in Q4, 2022.  On the other hand, the total sales volume of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), which owns some of the best selling imported beers in America, including Mexican beer brands like Modello, Corona and Pacifico etc., grew 9%, from 25.85 million barrels in 2021 to 28.2 million barrels in 2022. To put that into perspective, the next-largest volume gain from any beer supplier was 120,000 barrels, from Kirin-Lion (New Belgium and Bell’s). Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) is single-handedly fueling the growth in the import beer industry in the U.S., through its highly sought-after Mexican brews.  The operating income of Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ), up 6% to $2.86 billion in its fiscal year, has been second behind only Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) for several years now. Although a recent change in the company’s ownership structure sparked plenty of debate about its potential sale, Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) keeps turning up with the best results in beer all the same, coming off the company’s 13th consecutive year of beer volume growth.  With that said, here are the Best Imported Beers in America in 2023: Pixabay/Public Domain Methodology America’s imported beer category is as vast in brands as it is in geographic origins. To collect data for this article, we have searched through a multitude of sources such as BeerAdvocate, RateBeer, Drizly, and Zippia, among others, looking for indexes of the best and most popular imported beers available to Americans in 2023.   For our list, we have only selected beers that appeared at least twice in the above-mentioned indexes. We then gave them scores based on the number of times that they appeared in these lists and ranked them accordingly. The respective scores have been granted from a total score of 6.  Although the American import beer market is dominated by Mexican brands, we have tried to include the best beers from different corners of the world, to keep our list diversified.  Another thing that must be kept in mind is that imported beers don’t always require consumers to splurge huge amounts of cash. Sometimes, these foreign brands can be quite economical and even compete with domestic beers, such as Budweiser.  20. Carlsberg Insider Monkey Score: 2 Carlsberg is a trend-setting Danish beer that has been enjoyed for decades in bars, homes and restaurants around the world. The 5% ABV pale lager is made with a proprietary hop blend, known as Carlsberg Aroma Hope Extract, which grants the beer its hoppy and bready flavor. First brewed in Copenhagen in 1847, the iconic Danish lager is now available in over 140 countries worldwide. Carlsberg A/S had an annual revenue of $9.95 billion in 2022, a 6.15% decline from 2021.   19. Sapporo Premium Insider Monkey Score: 2 First introduced in the U.S. in 1964, this iconic Japanese beer has grown to become the #1 top-selling Asian beer brand in America. The 4.9% ABV lager has a crisp and perfectly blended taste, with a refreshing flavor and clean finish. Sapporo also plans on starting production in the U.S. in the fall of this year. Sapporo Holdings Ltd. announced a revenue of $3.44 billion in 2022, up 9.4% from the previous year.  18. Hoegaarden  Insider Monkey Score: 2 This 4.9% ABV Belgian beer dates back to the 15th century, when a group of monks decided to experiment with their brewing process by adding a dash of botanicals. The result was the Hoegaarden White Beer that we know today. Hoegaarden is owned by the industry giant Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD). The reported revenue of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) for 2022 was $57.8 billion.  17. Tecate  Insider Monkey Score: 2 Brewed in the town of Tecate in Baja California, this 4.5% ABV Mexican golden beer has been using the same recipe since 1944. It is a full-bodied lager with a malt and crisp flavor. Although the beer is brewed in Mexico, it is owned by Heineken N.V. Tecate is one of the top imported beers in the U.S. with total dollar sales of $125.3 million in 2022, according to IRI.  16. Skol  Insider Monkey Score: 2 This 5% ABV lager is brewed according to the lager bottom fermenting tradition, using the finest natural ingredients to produce the optimum lager with a light and crisp taste. The beer is recognized as a Brazilian brand, but it was, in fact, first produced in Scotland. Skol is owned by the Carlsberg group and is currently the 5th top-selling beer brand in the world. The brand value of Skol grew to approximately $3.83 billion in 2022.  15. Red Stripe Insider Monkey Score: 2 Brewed in Jamaica, Red Stripe has a tagline of ‘Jamaican Pride in a Bottle’. The 4.7% ABV amber lager is made with pilsen malt, cassava starch and hops. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) acquired Red Stripe in 1993 and then in 2015, Heineken N.V. bought the brand from Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO), reportedly for $421 million, and is now also brewing the iconic Jamaican beer in the Netherlands. Diageo plc (NYSE:DEO) owns a multitude of alcohol brands around the world and has a current market cap of $93.9 billion. 14. Unibroue La Fin Du Monde Insider Monkey Score: 2 Serving as the brewery’s flagship beer since 1994, this Belgian tripel from Quebec is a 9% ABV heavy-hitter that is particularly popular among craft beer lovers. Its alcohol content may sound high, but it’s well-hidden because of its fusion of coriander and banana flavors with warm spice and a hint of yeast. Unibroue is also owned by Sapporo Holdings.  13. Dieu du Ciel! Péché Mortel Insider Monkey Score: 2 French for ‘mortal sin’, this imperial coffee stout from a microbrewery in Quebec has a high ABV of 9.5%. It is an intensely black and dense beer with pronounced roasted flavors. Fair trade coffee is infused during the brewing process, intensifying the bitterness of the beer and giving it a powerful coffee taste.  12. Tsingtao  Insider Monkey Score: 2 Produced in Qingdao, Tsingtao can trace its origins back to the brief German occupation of the northern Chinese city. This 4% ABV beer has a high-malty and well–hopped character. Tsingtao is produced with spring water for Laoshan and the domestically grown hops are so good that they are even exported to European breweries. In 2022, the beer sales of Tsingtao Brewery amounted to around 8.07 million kilolitres, with a revenue of around $4.52 billion.  11. Pilsner Urquell Insider Monkey Score: 3 First brewed in 1842, this Czech beer is generally considered to be the main reason why most of the world’s best-selling beers are pilsner-style lagers to this day. This 4.4% beer, with its clean, refreshing and crisp taste, has been brewed with the same recipe since it was first produced. In 2016, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) agreed to sell Pilsner Urquell and four other Eastern European brands to Asahi for €7.3 billion, to help get clearance from competition regulators for its $100 billion takeover of SABMiller.  10. Dos Equis XX Insider Monkey Score: 3 Popular for its commercials featuring ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World’, Dos Equis is a 4.2% ABV, crisp, refreshing and light bodied amber lager, made from pure spring water. Dos Equis XX had total dollar sales of $430.68 million in the U.S. multi-outlets in 2022. This Mexican brand is also owned by Heineken N.V.  9. Leffe Blonde Insider Monkey Score: 3 Also owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD), this 6.6% ABV Belgian blonde is no longer brewed in Abbaye Notre-Dame de Leffe, but at the Stella Artois brewery, and the abbey earns royalties from its sales. However, it’s still crafted with an authentic Abbey ale recipe, serving up a flavor that blends sweetness with spice, plus a marked yeastiness.  8. Franziskaner Premium Weissbier  Insider Monkey Score: 3 Brewed following the tradition of the German purity law of 1516, this 5% ABV wheat beer dates back to the oldest privately-owned brewery in Munich in 1363. The Spaten-Löwenbräu-Gruppe, which owns the brand, was sold to Interbrew in 2003 for €530 million. Interbrew is a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD), based in the Netherlands. The beer with its natural cloudiness and its spicy and fruity flavor is among the best imported wheat beers in the U.S. in 2023.  7. Pacifico Clara Insider Monkey Score: 3 Brewed in the Pacific ocean port city of Mazatlán, this 4.5% ABV pilsner-style beer is hearty and crisp, with a touch of grass-citrus and ocean mist flavor. The Pacifico brand family is owned by Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) and had total dollar sales of $271.48 million in U.S. multi-outlets in 2022.  6. Modelo Especial Insider Monkey Score: 4 This 4.4% ABV light pilsner is the second most popular import beer in America, right after Corona Extra. However, the Modelo brand family had the highest dollar sales among imported beers in U.S. multi-outlets in 2022, with $3.97 billion. Modelo is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV (NYSE:BUD) everywhere, except in the U.S., where it is owned by Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ).  Click to continue and see the 5 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023. Suggested Articles: 20 Biggest Beer Brands in America 25 U.S. States with the Highest Beer Consumption per Capita Top 20 Beer Companies in the World Disclosure: None. 20 Best Imported Beers in USA in 2023 is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyJun 8th, 2023

The Oldest Bars in America

There’s nothing quite like stepping into an old bar. You can just feel the history around you – the walls may be browned from years of tobacco smoke, the initials of past patrons may be carved into the tables, ancient posters and advertisements may be affixed to the wall – and you might feel as […] There’s nothing quite like stepping into an old bar. You can just feel the history around you – the walls may be browned from years of tobacco smoke, the initials of past patrons may be carved into the tables, ancient posters and advertisements may be affixed to the wall – and you might feel as if you’ve stepped back in time.  Bars have been a part of American society since before it was a country. In colonial times, taverns served as meeting places, banquet halls, inns where weary travelers could have a warm meal and maybe spend the night, and simply places to simply stop in for a flagon of ale or a tot of rum. Amazingly, some of these colonial-era taverns are still around, and still serving the same purpose.   Swanky modern cocktail bars and Irish-accented pubs have their place, but old bars are something else. The idea of having a drink in the exact same spot – bellying up to the same old bar – as many thousands of others have, over many generations, connects us to the past in a way that few other experiences can.  To determine some of the oldest bars in America, 24/7 Tempo consulted lists of longstanding watering holes on websites including Insider, USA Today, Thrillist, Wine Enthusiast,, Beer Info, and The Coolist.  To be considered for inclusion here, a bar or tavern has to have been in the same location from the time it first served alcohol, although continuous operation is not required. Determining a founding date for these places is rarely easy and often depends on the claims of the establishments themselves. Whenever possible, in addition to the sources named above, we consulted state historical societies in attempting to verify those claims. In each bar’s description, the date listed is when we believe the establishment first served liquor on its premises. Click here to learn about the oldest bars in America For obvious reasons, America’s oldest bars are taverns constructed in the eastern reaches of the country, where tavern-loving colonists and other early settlers, often from England, first set up shop. For venerable drinking establishments in other parts of the country, see our listing of the oldest bar in every state. Sponsored: Tips for Investing A financial advisor can help you understand the advantages and disadvantages of investment properties. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now. Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit......»»

Category: blogSource: 247wallstJun 8th, 2023

"Yesterday"s Soccer Mom Is Today"s Domestic Extremist": A Guide To Surviving The Culture

"Yesterday's Soccer Mom Is Today's Domestic Extremist": A Guide To Surviving The Culture Author and conservative commentator Peachy Keenan is sick and tired of yesterday's soccer mom being treated as today's "domestic extremist" in public discourse by media gatekeepers and government officials alike—and all the while parents are sheepishly and too easily abdicating their natural role as captains and defenders of the household. "They like to make us, the normal people, the moms and dads of America into extremists. But if you look around it's pretty easy to see who the real extremists are," Keenan told Harris Faulkner on Fox prime time Tuesday night.  Getty Images She is calling for a back to the basics while writing from deep behind 'enemy lines': southern California. "Parenting is not a game. There is no do-over. You are all that stands between your small charges and the roiling storms ahead—and the band of purple-haired nonbinary pirates that’s about to storm the deck." Keenan has written a new handbook of sorts, or a practical guide to winning the culture war and protecting your family from the ravings of "Childless weirdos have taken over every institution we look to for guidance on how to raise good citizens..." Keenan holds nothing back in the following blistering commentary from her book [emphasis ZH]: It has become only too clear what this absence of parental authority has wrought. Truly insane people have taken over the American education system, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. They know the best way to reach the Final Solution of the American family is to focus on young, impressionable minds. We are enjoying the fruits of their labor now: an explosion of teen depression and suicide, an epidemic of children who are confused if they’re boys or girls, and an incredible 40 percent of Gen Z reporting that they are some letter in the ever-expanding alphabet soup known as LGBTQ+. Peachy Keenan (@KeenanPeachy) makes her debut in Primetime: "They like to make us, the normal people, the moms and dads of America into extremists. But if you look around it's pretty easy to see who the real extremists are." — Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) June 7, 2023 Who are the real extremists? The below is an excerpt from Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War, by Peachy Keenan, with permission of the author. The book is now available from Regnery. * * * You had a baby? Look at you—you’re the captain now! Or are you? The words on a poster taped to a teacher’s classroom door at a New Jersey public school expose the precarious corner American parents have been painted into. “If your parents aren’t accepting of your identity, I’m your mom now.” The poster featured a drawing of a mama bear tending to her bear cubs, who are each painted the color of a different LGBTQ flag. Parents, I have bad news. You’ve got competition. Someone posted a job listing looking for a new authority figure in your house, and they hired everyone who applied. Lots of other adults, most of them unpleasant strangers, would like to raise your children for you—or at least get your children to hate you. This may already be happening—and you’ll be the last to know! All your hard work to keep creeps, perverts, and kiddie-sniffers away from your kids may get reversed in an instant when you’re not looking. Some parents are okay with this. They can barely handle “adulting” themselves and are thrilled not to make any tough parental decisions. Abdicating their natural role as master and commander of the household is lazy, but it’s a defensive posture. They live in terror of accusations from other parents of “closed-mindedness,” or worse, being a prude. American parents have either forgotten their innate, God-given authority over their household or surrendered it in the face of relentless pressure over many years from the outside. Just as millennia of trickling snowmelt can hollow out mighty granite mountains and turn them into canyons, a half-century of unchecked influence by feminists and far-left progressives have chipped away at the role of parents in their children’s lives. What is left is a barren wasteland, a valley of shadows, where mothers and fathers have been reduced to nothing more than the oldest dependents in the house. Your job as a parent is not easy, but it’s simple: feed, nurture, love, and protect. In the face of life-and-death danger—say, an escaped tiger or an ax-wielding lunatic—probably 100 percent of parents would risk their lives for their children, even die, without hesitation. So why are so many reluctant to defend their children from less obvious, but equally dangerous, scenarios? You can tell when you’re about to be trampled by elephants. It’s trickier when the trampling is invisible and being committed by a young teacher with peace stickers on xe/xer’s car. I’ll grant that having pro- nouns in your bio is not quite the same red flag as cruising a playground in a car with no door handles on the inside, but it’s still a red flag parents need to fear. People who manage to produce offspring are too often seduced into voluntarily surrendering their authority over them. They allow various “experts” to hold sway over their kids. Exhausted and confused, they willingly hand their kids off to the local public school teachers’ unions, the DEI struggle-session facilitators, the storytelling drag queens, and the sex-education consultants who arrive at school with teaching props, including wholesome kid-friendly items like dildos and anal lube. Above: School hangs poster on the door that says, "I'm Your Mom Now" They all share a common goal: to dilute your authority and increase their own. They aim to groom America’s children from birth to become compliant consumers of all they wish to sell them: bespoke genders, any-term abortion, strictly enforced racial hierarchies, a lifetime of therapy, prescription drugs, and whatever political and social ideology they choose to upload into their brains. God forbid you are the only parent at your school who keeps your fifth grader home on Share Your Favorite Sex Toy Day. What will people say? Allow me to remind you gently: it’s your job to steer the ship, avoid icebergs, prevent scurvy, and stave off mutinies. Parenting is not a game. There is no do-over. You are all that stands between your small charges and the roiling storms ahead—and the band of purple-haired nonbinary pirates that’s about to storm the deck. Sexualized Early and Often Imagine being the only one at the PTA meeting who stands up and objects to your second grader studying detailed diagrams of adult genitalia, or your middle schoolers instructed on how to grant consent to anal sex. (These are real sex ed guidelines introduced in New Jersey public schools in 2020.) Your choices are stark: assert your authority over your children and get called a bigot or go along with the madness and let them take your child to places you don’t want them to go. How bad is it? Bad enough that Tiara Mack, a “reproductive justice advocate” and “child sex educator” running for state senator in Rhode Island tweeted this in 2021: “Really excited for the house sex ed bill hearing later today. Teaching comprehensive, queer inclusive, pleasure-based sex ed was a highlight of my time teaching.” This is who wants to talk to your six-year-old about how to “pleasure” themselves and their partner! The first step in any cult, or any abusive relationship, is to get the victim to sever ties to their outside friends and family. Maybe you’ve seen this happen to people you know. They suddenly change their phone number, delete their social media, and have a new friend now—one that has them spellbound. Once children come to believe their mom and dad are clueless bigots and racists who are holding them back from being who they are, the cult leaders own them. Government-run public schools have accomplished “regime change” in America and transformed us, slowly, from a society centered around the family, where the schools work for the parent, into a society centered around government employees, where families are required to supply the raw goods for the teachers’ unions to mold as they see fit. Year after year, their assembly lines have been left unsupervised to churn out freshly minted graduates. These graduates move on to college, where their high school indoctrination is hardened and polished by professors. The end product is a citizen who will go to his grave believing a set of Ministry of Truth–approved lies: “whiteness” is intrinsically evil, abortion is health care, there are dozens of genders, America was founded on racism and must be dismantled, marriage is oppressive and bad for women, children hold you back, and unchecked sexual “exploration” with a variety of partners of every gender is the surest path to emotional happiness. Sane people have a terrible choice to make: exercise parental authority over what their children are taught and risk financial ruin, social blackballing, and permanent cancellation—or allow their kids to be turned against them. When a teacher or government official replaces the parent as the ultimate authority in the child’s life, all bets are off. Educators know that any adult with the authority to influence a child has the power to expose said child to any radical or extreme ideas they want. To them, you are the extremist if you don’t think young children need to learn about sex and gender dysphoria yet. You are the extremist if you question a teacher or school administrator’s choice of books to read or lessons to teach. You are an extremely racist extremist if you’d rather not force a five-year-old to feel bad about the color of his skin and apologize for it. In California, students in middle school can ask their school to change their names and genders in the school computer system, and the school is not permitted to inform the parents. The school authorities and the teachers are legally allowed to conspire with eleven-year-olds in sixth grade to induct them into a cult and keep it secret. Literally “it’ll be our secret,” a classic groomer move. These government educational bureaucrats may not drive window-less vans and carry dirty magazines and candy bars to lure young boys (although let’s be honest, some do), but they are even more dangerous. Any parents who send a child into an environment like this, either knowingly or blindly, are forfeiting their authority over their kid. The Regime’s child-catchers are prowling the locker rooms and cafeterias looking for lost, confused pre-teens to cart off to Pleasure Island, where they can get transformed into donkeys without their parents’ consent. I wouldn’t be surprised if Disney is working on a new version of Pinocchio where he asks the Blue Fairy to turn him into a real girl. Parental Surrender Too many sentient adults seem to simply wait for a new update to the operating system to decide what to do with their kids. They unquestioningly accept the Current Parenting Thing, the rancid gruel served up as “education” at the local public school. They surrender their kids to the authorities, in all their forms: teachers, principals, pediatricians, drag queens reading stories, social media influencers, YouTubers, Disney, Netflix, TikTok, the Kardashians—anyone who is credentialed as a “kid expert” or “important” now holds more sway over American kids than their own mothers and fathers. “Who am I to tell my kids how to behave, or what to learn, or how to think about the world? I’m just a random person who had a baby. I made plenty of mistakes in my life. How can I possibly ask my children to obey me?” This is why we can’t have nice things. This is why healthy toddlers were kept in COVID masks for two years while they sat in sandboxes alone, outside, in rain or sleet. This is why you see massive brawls happening at middle schools, where kids punch their own teachers. This is why children are indoctrinated into the cult of trans, coached and groomed to say their pronouns, to switch genders, to explore various “sexualities” and “identities.” This is why mothers pimp out their own children as “drag kids” and put little boys in princess dresses and post the photos on Instagram while thousands of likes wash over them. This is what abdicating the parenting throne looks like. Childless weirdos have taken over every institution we look to for guidance on how to raise good citizens, and no, I’m not talking about Catholic priests. It has become only too clear what this absence of parental authority has wrought. Truly insane people have taken over the American education system, Big Pharma, and Big Tech. They know the best way to reach the Final Solution of the American family is to focus on young, impressionable minds. We are enjoying the fruits of their labor now: an explosion of teen depression and suicide, an epidemic of children who are confused if they’re boys or girls, and an incredible 40 percent of Gen Z reporting that they are some letter in the ever-expanding alphabet soup known as LGBTQ+. Everywhere, in every way, the fertile, fallow minds of children are being terraformed by people who identify as “fur baby” parents. I wouldn’t let fur baby parents walk my dog, let alone educate my eight-year-old. Authority Atrophied This is why you must exercise your parental authority early and often. You must speak up! “No, I don’t want you to ask my teenage son if he’s comfortable with his gender during his doctor visit.” “No, you can’t wear your sister’s Elsa dress to school today, because boys don’t wear dresses, now get in the car and never ask me that again.” “No, you can’t buy those shorts that display the entire lower half of your rear end.” “No, you can’t have a TikTok account, and if I find it on your phone, say goodbye to the phone.” Parental authority makes you the heavy in the house and the bouncer at the door. Pull on your big boy pants and lay down the law, or the law is going to lay down all over you. Peachy Keenan is author of Domestic Extremist: A Practical Guide to Winning the Culture War. Tyler Durden Wed, 06/07/2023 - 16:40.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytJun 7th, 2023

The Truth About Randi Weingarten And The School Closures

The Truth About Randi Weingarten And The School Closures Authored by Jennifer Sey via The Brownstone Institute, There are many reasons why so many US public schools remained persistently closed for well over a year, but at the top of the list is Randi Weingarten. She is the President of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) and served as the self-appointed and media-anointed spokesperson for teachers’ unions throughout the pandemic.  Weingarten appeared regularly across national media outlets for well over two years, relentlessly touting the dangers of public schools and the risk to teachers from in-person instruction. She also painted anyone who advocated for schools to open as heartless and cruel. Now that it’s become clear what a disaster closed schools were, Weingarten is attempting to rewrite history. She is pretending that she had nothing to do with the school closures at all, and she seems to expect us all to accept this blatant lie.  The catastrophic harms done are clear – two decades of educational progress erased, high rates of chronic absenteeism, violence in the schools, severe teen mental health impacts, and declining public school enrollment. So, now Weingarten wants to distance herself from having had any part of it. More egregiously, she is trying to position herself as the hero fighting for public school openings the entire time.  Weingarten has expressed no remorse. She has offered no apology, only more lies. And it’s a real slap in the face for those who did fight and put everything on the line to do so.  I know what really happened. Since March 2020, I have challenged school closures as harmful to a generation of children. Because I fought for schools to open, I lost my job as the Brand President at Levi’s in January 2022, after close to 23 years of service to the company.  In June 2021, more than a year into my advocacy, I was told I needed to do an “apology tour” at the company. Apologize for what, you might ask? Well, in a pre-meeting prep email, I was given a lengthy list and one of the things I was told that I needed to apologize for was being “anti-union.”  Because, if you dared to challenge prolonged school closures throughout covid, you were smeared as being both anti-union and anti-public education.  In fact, I’ve been a lifelong supporter of public schools. My two oldest children graduated from the San Francisco Unified School District, and my two younger children are currently enrolled in the Denver public school system. I appreciate and respect public school teachers. But the teachers’ unions have proven over the last few years that they will fight for their own interests at the expense of our children. And now, after the last three years, I am indeed officially anti-teachers’ union.  My executive peers at Levi’s who claimed to support the unions and public schools send their own kids to $60K a year private schools. These institutions opened for in-person instruction in the Fall of 2020. One of the reasons these schools were able to open was that they employ non-union educators and staff.  Despite the evident hypocrisy, my peers had no qualms about telling me I couldn’t advocate for public school openings. Weingarten had effectively painted people like me as villains, and the world piled on.  Not only was I called anti-union by employees at Levi’s, but I was also called “racist.” The company leadership has since claimed that my activism amounted to unacceptable criticism of public health guidelines and undermined the company’s health and safety policies.  I’m still unclear how low-income kids going to school would put the health and safety of employees working on Zoom at risk. But Weingarten instigated and fueled this false narrative. You can imagine my dismay to hear Weingarten’s Congressional testimony two weeks ago where she said that “spent every day from February on trying to get schools open. We knew that remote education was not a substitute for opening schools.” If she was for openings, why was I maligned as anti-union for wanting schools to open? If she was for it, weren’t we on the same side?  No, we weren’t on the same side. In fact, in June of 2020, Weingarten called plans to open schools “reckless, callous and cruel.”  In the summer of 2020, Weingarten constantly issued statements such as: “We are deeply concerned that rushing to reopen school buildings without proper safeguards in place will endanger students, educators and their families.”  In reality, Weingarten did everything in her power to keep schools shuttered; she just pretended that she wanted them open. She had a direct line to Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC, and interjected impossible-to-meet guidelines about what was necessary to re-open schools “safely.”  Emails obtained through the Freedom of Information Act in May 2021 revealed that the AFT lobbied the CDC and suggested language for the agency’s federal reopening guidance. Language “suggestions” put forward by the AFT were adopted in at least two instances.  In February 2021, the CDC was prepared to write in their guidance that schools could open for in-person instruction regardless of community spread of the virus. The AFT insisted that that was unacceptable and argued for guidelines based on levels of community transmission. The AFT’s suggested language appeared word-for-word in the final direction.  Furthermore, the AFT demanded remote work accommodations for teachers with high-risk conditions as well as staff with household members with similar conditions. This provision also made it into the final document.  Schools that adhered to this CDC guidance were not able to open. In fact, one year after schools closed in March 2020, approximately 50 percent of public schools were not yet fully opened in the United States. Nearly 25 million students experienced disrupted schooling for a full year and a half. Most of them lived in blue cities and states.  Upon release of the guidance, the AFT issued praise in a press release on February 12, 2021: “Today, the CDC met fear of the pandemic with facts and evidence.”  In fact, the CDC and the AFT did the exact opposite. They chose to further fear with lies about schools being dangerous disease accelerators, and about children being super-spreaders. Weingarten and the CDC ignored all actual evidence that open schools did not increase risk and spread in communities, regardless of community spread levels. Evidence in red states, in Sweden, in Denmark and all across Europe abounded, as early as spring and summer 2020. Often schools served as brakes on transmission, and were the safest places for teachers and kids to be.  Yet Weingarten persisted in vilifying children. So, while bars and strip clubs opened, schools remained closed. The fact is, no one fought harder to keep kids out of the classroom than teachers’ unions. Florida teachers’ unions sued Governor Ron DeSantis so they wouldn’t have to go back to work in fall 2020. They failed in their attempt and Florida schools re-opened.  The unions became so intransigent that even Democratic mayors went to war with them. San Francisco Mayor London Breed went so far as to sue the San Francisco school district to reopen schools. Breed was unsuccessful and San Francisco schools didn’t open until September 2021.  Recently, outgoing Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot criticized Weingarten for delaying school reopenings. On CNN This Morning, Lightfoot said: “Obviously, every union should advocate for its members, but it’s gotta be in the context of an organization . . .the union needed to work with us and they never did that.” Lightfoot went on to say: “Schools are about our children.”  But Weingarten didn’t care. She made it all about her. And she’s doing it again now in her attempt to rewrite history. She wants to be remembered as a hero in the open schools debate, not the villain responsible for generational harm.  But we remember the truth. We will not allow history to be rewritten.  Tyler Durden Sun, 05/21/2023 - 10:30.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytMay 21st, 2023

20 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach

In this article, we will take a look at the 20 cheapest places to live in the US near the beach. If you want to see more places in this selection, go to the 5 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach. The trend of people relocating is closely linked to the general […] In this article, we will take a look at the 20 cheapest places to live in the US near the beach. If you want to see more places in this selection, go to the 5 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach. The trend of people relocating is closely linked to the general economic conditions in a country. Various economic indicators, such as gross domestic product, inflation, interest rates, employment rates, and consumer confidence, can have a significant impact on moving statistics. Data from the 2021 Census Bureau revealed a decline in the moving rate among Americans, with just 8.4% of the population moving in the year. This is a reduction from the 11% moving rate recorded in 2017, and the downward trend is expected to persist for the time being. Over the last five years, the number of residents moving has been steadily declining, dropping from approximately 34.9 million to slightly over 27 million in 2021, indicating a decrease of about 1.6 million individuals moving annually. However, there has been significant media coverage of the flow of residents from northern states to southern regions. The data on moving patterns in the US reveals that Florida and Texas were the two states with the highest influx of people in 2021. Florida saw approximately 221,000 individuals move in, while Texas followed closely behind with 170,000 new residents. Additionally, a combined total of approximately 246,000 individuals moved to Arizona, North Carolina, and South Carolina in the same year. Following the increase in remote working practices, most people have found the idea of relocating more feasible. Living close to the beach while maintaining financial stability is often seen as the ideal situation by many individuals. Life in a beach town can be idyllic and unique, with a laid-back and relaxed lifestyle that is often associated with coastal living. Beach towns offer stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding landscape, with natural beauty that is hard to match. Living near the beach provides opportunities for swimming, surfing, paddle boarding, kayaking, fishing, beach volleyball, and other outdoor activities. Many beach towns have a slower pace of life, which can be a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of big cities. Depending on the town, tourism can also be a significant part of the local economy. Many popular companies such as Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:WH) have a strong presence in beach towns. These companies operate hotels and resorts in coastal areas and offer a variety of positions, including management, hospitality, and customer service roles. Photo by Liana Mikah on Unsplash Our Methodology We used a consensus opinion-based approach to shortlist the 20 cheapest places to live in the US near the beach. We researched leading publications like MarketWatch, USA Today, Thrillist and and analyzed several key metrics such as the cost of living, healthcare, transportation, climate, safety, the proximity of each location to the beach, and other recreational activities to gauge affordability and the quality of life at these places. Our methodology was designed to provide an objective assessment of the affordability of these locations while also considering important factors that impact the quality of life. Following the initial screening, we ranked these places in descending order of their cost-of-living index as calculated by BestPlaces. A cost-of-living index measures how much it costs to maintain a certain living standard in a particular place. The scores are presented in relation to the national average of 100. If a place has a cost-of-living index below 100, it is relatively cheaper to reside there compared to the national average. 20 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach 20. Essex Cost of Living Index: 99.1 Essex is a small, suburban town located in Baltimore County, Maryland, near the Chesapeake Bay. Essex is a relatively affordable place to live in compared to nearby cities like Baltimore. Despite its suburban feel, Essex is located only a short distance from Baltimore, offering various cultural and entertainment options. Essex has a small historic district with several buildings and homes dating back to the early 1900s. Overall, Essex is a peaceful suburban town with a range of outdoor activities and easy access to nearby cultural attractions. 19. Deerfield Beach Cost of Living Index: 98.4 Deerfield Beach is a coastal city located in Broward County, Florida. Deerfield Beach is home to a beautiful and expansive beach, which attracts both locals and tourists. Deerfield Beach is known for its fishing opportunities, with several piers and charter boats in the area. The town also hosts an annual fishing tournament in June. In addition to beach activities, Deerfield Beach has several parks and nature reserves, including Quiet Waters Park and Deerfield Island Park. These parks offer opportunities for hiking, biking, and camping. 18. Vero Beach Cost of Living Index: 95.2 Vero Beach is a charming beach town located on the east coast of Florida. Vero Beach is known for its beautiful beaches, which are clean and uncrowded, and offer a range of activities like swimming, sunbathing, and fishing. In addition to the beaches, Vero Beach has several parks and nature reserves that offer hiking, birdwatching, and kayaking opportunities. The town also has several golf courses and a popular fitness trail along the beach. Vero Beach is popular among retirees, thanks to its warm weather, relaxed pace of life, and range of amenities like golf courses and senior centres. Housing costs in Vero Beach are 14% less than the average nationwide, while transportation expenses, such as gas prices and bus fares, are 3% below the national average. 17. Jacksonville Cost of Living Index: 94.2 Jacksonville is a large coastal city located in Duval County, Florida. It has several beautiful beaches, including Jacksonville Beach, Atlantic Beach, and Neptune Beach. The beaches offer opportunities for swimming, surfing, fishing, and other water activities. Jacksonville is situated on the St. Johns River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Jacksonville has a range of parks and outdoor recreation areas, including the Jacksonville Arboretum & Gardens, the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve, and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens. 16. New London Cost of Living Index: 92.1 New London is a small coastal city located in New London County, Connecticut. It is situated on the Thames River, which flows into Long Island Sound. New London is home to several higher education institutions, including Connecticut College and the United States Coast Guard Academy. The town has a significant military presence, with the Coast Guard Academy, the Naval Submarine Base New London, and the US Navy’s Underwater Construction Team Two located in the area. 15. Ocean Springs Cost of Living Index: 88.1 Ocean Springs is a city located in Jackson County, Mississippi, on the Gulf of Mexico, and has several beaches, including Front Beach and East Beach, which offer opportunities for swimming, fishing, and other water activities. Ocean Springs has a diverse culinary scene, with several restaurants and eateries offering a range of cuisine, including Gulf Coast seafood, international cuisine, and farm-to-table fare. Mississippi is generally known for having a lower cost of living compared to other areas of the country. 14. Coos Bay Cost of Living Index: 87.3 Coos Bay is a small coastal city located in Coos County, Oregon. Coos Bay is located on the Oregon coast and offers opportunities for fishing, crabbing, clamming, kayaking, and other water activities. Coos Bay has a rich history and culture, with several museums and historical landmarks in the area, including the Coos Art Museum, the Coos County Historical Society Museum, and the Egyptian Theatre. Coos Bay is a relatively small town with a population of around 16,000. Compared to larger beach cities, the cost of living in Coos Bay is lower due to the limited demand for housing and services. 13. Pensacola Cost of Living Index: 87.2 Pensacola is located in the Florida Panhandle on the Gulf of Mexico. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, including Pensacola Beach and Perdido Key Beach, which offer opportunities for swimming, sunbathing, and other beach activities. The city is home to the Pensacola Naval Air Station, the National Naval Aviation Museum, and the Pensacola Museum of Art. The median house price in Pensacola stands at $247,364, which is 26% lower than the median household price in the US. 12. Myrtle Beach Cost of Living Index: 87.2 Myrtle Beach is a popular coastal city located in South Carolina, known for its beautiful beaches, golf courses, and family-friendly attractions. The city is known for its 60 miles of sandy beaches. Myrtle Beach is often referred to as the “Golf Capital of the World” because of its numerous golf courses, which attract golf enthusiasts from around the world. The state of South Carolina has the ninth lowest state and local tax burden amongst all the states of the US as of 2022, according to the Tax Foundation. 11. Daytona Beach Cost of Living Index: 86.7 Daytona Beach is a popular coastal city located in Florida, known for its beautiful beaches, motorsports events, and vibrant nightlife. Daytona Beach is famous for its wide, sandy beaches and is also home to several parks, including the Tomoka State Park and the Halifax River Trail. Daytona Beach hosts several major motorsports events, including the Daytona 500 NASCAR race, the Daytona Bike Week, and the Daytona Beach Half Marathon. Furthermore, the city is also home to the Daytona International Speedway, which hosts several racing events throughout the year. 10. Freeport Cost of Living Index: 83.8 Freeport is a city located in Brazoria County, Texas, on the Gulf Coast. It is home to one of the largest deep-water ports on the Gulf Coast, which is a major economic driver for the city and the region. Freeport is situated on the coast of Texas and has several beaches, including Quintana Beach County Park and Surfside Beach. The city is also home to the Brazosport Nature Trail, which provides hiking and birdwatching opportunities. 9. Corpus Christi Cost of Living Index: 83.7 Corpus Christi is a city situated in Texas, nestled in a bay on the Gulf of Mexico. The city is also home to the Padre Island National Seashore, which serves as a sanctuary for migratory birds. The cost of housing in Corpus Christi is 18% lower than the national average. Additionally, residents of Corpus Christi can enjoy savings on basic necessities like food and clothing, with grocery prices and clothing both costing around 9% lower than the national average. 8. Atlantic City Cost of Living Index: 83.6 Atlantic City is located in Atlantic County, New Jersey. It is known for its many casinos, which offer a range of gambling and entertainment options. The city also has a lively nightlife, with several bars, nightclubs, and music venues. Atlantic City’s boardwalk is a famous landmark that stretches for miles along the beach. The boardwalk features several shops, restaurants, and amusement parks, including Steel Pier and the Atlantic City Aquarium. 7. Mobile Cost of Living Index: 82.9 Mobile, a city with a population of 190,000, is renowned for its thriving cultural scene, particularly on the Gulf Coast. The city features a vast array of historic architecture and is home to one of the oldest Mardi Gras festivals in the United States. Compared to the state and national averages, the cost of living in Mobile is lower by 4% and 16%, respectively. The city offers affordable housing options, with costs that are 40% cheaper than the national average, while utility expenses are only slightly lower at about 1%. Residents can also enjoy savings on basic items like food and clothing. 6. Biloxi Cost of Living Index: 82.2 Biloxi is a city located in Harrison County, Mississippi, on the Gulf of Mexico. Biloxi has several historical landmarks, including Beauvoir, the home of Jefferson Davis, which has been turned into a museum. Furthermore, the city has several museums, including the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art and the Maritime and Seafood Industry Museum. According to Zillow, the median house price in Biloxi stands at $213,329, which is 36.1% lower than the median house price of $334,269 in the US. Many popular companies such as Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAR), Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc. (NYSE:HLT), and Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE:WH) have a strong presence in beach towns.   Click to continue reading and see 5 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach.   Suggested articles: 10 Best Emerging Tech Stocks to Buy Now 15 Best Home Printers in 2023 Top 20 Companies in Japan by Market Cap Disclosure: None. 20 Cheapest Places to Live in the US Near the Beach is originally published on Insider Monkey......»»

Category: topSource: insidermonkeyApr 25th, 2023

Retail Traders Go Bust As Speculation Inevitably Goes Wrong

Retail Traders Go Bust As Speculation Inevitably Goes Wrong Authored by Lance Roberts via, A recent Wall Street Journal articlediscussed how retail traders that made millions during the pandemic trading the market are now mostly wiped out. “Amateur trader Omar Ghias says he amassed roughly $1.5 million as stocks surged during the early part of the pandemic, gripped by a speculative fervor that cascaded across all markets. As his gains swelled, so did his spending on everything from sports betting and bars to luxury cars. He says he also borrowed heavily to amplify his positions. When the party ended, his fortune evaporated thanks to some wrong-way bets and his excessive spending. To support himself, he says he now works at a deli in Las Vegas that pays him roughly $14 an hour plus tips and sells area timeshares. He says he no longer has any money invested in the market. ‘I’m starting from zero,’ said Mr. Ghias, who is 25.” His story is not a one-off event. During the pandemic lockdowns in 2020 and 2021, scores of Americans turned to stock market gambling to replace sports betting as the economy was shuttered. Between “stimulus checks,” swelling bank accounts, no job to go to, and a free stock trading app on every phone, retail traders poured into the market chasing everything from cryptocurrencies to bankrupt companies. If all this sounds familiar, it should. In June 2020, I wrote an article about the speculative behaviors of retail traders resembling what we saw in 1999 and 2007. To wit: “Is it 1999 or 2007? Retail investors flood the market as speculation grows rampant with a palpable exuberance and belief of no downside risk. What could go wrong? Do you remember this commercial?” “The Etrade commercial aired during Super Bowl XLI in 2007. The following year, the financial crisis set in, markets plunged, and investors lost 50%, or more, of their wealth. However, this wasn’t the first time it happened. The same thing happened in late 1999. This commercial was aired 2-months shy of the beginning of the “” bust as investors once again believed “investing was as easy as 1-2-3.” Of course, at the time, retail traders were consumed by greed and the “fear of missing out.” However, as we concluded at the time: “I get it. If you are one of our younger readers, who have never been through an actual “bear market,” I wouldn’t believe what I am telling you either. However, after living through the Crash of ’87, managing money through 2000 and 2008, and navigating the “Great Crash of 2020,” I can tell you the signs are all there.“ A Change Of Psychology We warned several times in different articles that the actions of retail traders would lead to very poor outcomes. One such note was that Gen Z’ers were taking on debt to invest. “Young investors are taking on personal debt to invest in stocks. I have not personally witnessed such a thing since late 1999. At that time, ‘day traders’ tapped credit cards and home equity loans to leverage their investment portfolios. For anyone who has lived through two ‘real’ bear markets, the imagery of people trying to  ‘daytrade’ their way to riches is familiar. The recent surge in ‘Meme’ stocks like AMC and Gamestop as the ‘retail trader sticks it to Wall Street’ is not new.“ But again, retail traders felt indestructible at the time as the market advanced almost daily, and the more risk you took, the more success you had. However, as is always the case, “risk” and “reward” are not mutually exclusive, and taking on leverage to invest ultimately leads to poor outcomes. As I concluded in August of 2021: “Investing is a game of ‘risk.’ It is often stated that the more ‘risk’ you take, the more money you can make. However, the actual definition of risk is ‘how much you will lose when something goes wrong.’  Following the ‘ crash,’ many individuals learned the perils of ‘risk’ and ‘leverage.'” As the WSJ noted, Mr. Ghias borrowed heavily to amplify his positions. The result was not unexpected. However, importantly, Mr. Ghias is not alone, and the downturn in the market last year has many retail traders changing their psychology. To wit: “Now some of these so-called retail investors are backing away from the markets after the worst year for stocks since 2008. Others are paring their positions or shifting their money to more conservative holdings, such as bonds or cash.” Given the impact of retail traders on the markets in 2020 and 2021, their retreat from the market may also pose an additional headwind. However, most importantly, most of the money used by retail traders to boost the markets came from the pandemic-related stimulus. As another WSJ article notes, that is now mostly gone. Of course, that lack of capital is now also catching up with the ability to pay off the increased credit card debt taken on by the younger generation to fund their lifestyle. As Jeff Sparshott of WSJ notes: “In 2020 and into 2021, a combination of government pandemic stimulus and reduced spending, for example on restaurants and travel, fattened Americans’ wallets. This cash helped Americans make it through a period of high inflation last year, but the forces that had acted to boost savings reversed direction as pandemic relief unwound and prices soared. Today, some people are having to cut back on their spending or add to their credit-card balances. Many have had to tap their savings to stay afloat, say economists.” Of course, all of this is a function of the incredibly bad advice dished out on social media that retail traders consumed without question. Don’t Be Bearish In May 2022, I wrote an article for the Epoch Times titled “The Inevitable End Of Bad Advice.” which discussed a WSJ articleon the rise of a “new generation of financial media stars.” “As the U.S. retreated amid the pandemic to its couches, millions of would-be stock pickers—some flush with stimulus cash—fired up social media and messaging apps and dove headlong into the world of retail investing. Many of these influencers have no formal training as financial advisers and no background in professional investing, leading them to pick stocks based on the whims of popular opinion or to dispense money-losing advice.” According to the article, you needed to be relatable, sell the dream, and not be bearish. Kind of like this couple: A sneak peek of one of our top secret trading strategies. h/t @ryanfeller_ — TTI (@TikTokInvestors) January 17, 2021 The problem with the “don’t be bearish” bias should be evident. Only listening to one-half of the story makes investors “blindsided” by the other half. “We know that day trading does not produce long-term wealth for the vast majority of people who do it, but these influencers are preying on that part of the human brain that has fewer inhibitions, that thinks: ‘I will be the exception.’ That leads to speculation and other kinds of very high-risk behavior.” – Ted Klontz, Professor Of Behavioral Finance, Creighton University. The demand by Gen Z’ers for “don’t be bearish” commentary is why they ignored the same signs that negatively impacted both Millennials and Boomers previously. While social media stars “got rich” for their free “don’t be bearish” investing advice, it is worth noting their “riches” didn’t come from their investing skill. Instead, it came from their skill in producing products and ads. Such is not much different than how Wall Street makes its money. Experience tends to be a brutal teacher, but it is only through experience that we learn how to build wealth successfully over the long term. As Ray Dalio once quipped: “The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist. They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment. Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer, not better, investment.” Such is why every great investor in history, in different forms, has one basic investing rule in common: “Don’t lose money.”  The reason is simple: you are out of the game if you lose capital. Many young investors have gained much experience by giving most of their money to those with experience. It is one of the oldest stories on Wall Street. So, while Millennials were quick to dismiss the “Boomers” in the financial markets for “not getting it.”  There was a more simple truth. We did “get it.” We have been around long enough to know how these things eventually end. If only someone could have warned them. Tyler Durden Fri, 02/24/2023 - 09:47.....»»

Category: blogSource: zerohedgeFeb 24th, 2023

How M&Ms went from a wartime treat to playing a starring role in the culture wars

From Mars selling the candies to the US Army to right-wing hysteria over a shoe change, here is the history of M&Ms. M&Ms have been popular among consumers since World War II. Now, the brand is making Maya Rudolph its new spokesperson.Spencer Platt/Getty Images M&Ms is making Maya Rudolph its spokesperson, sidelining its talking candy mascots. The "spokescandies" have been the face of the candy brand for almost three decades. Here's a history of M&Ms, from the candy's origins in a European war. A big change came to M&Ms on Monday: Actress and former SNL cast member Maya Rudolph is replacing the brand's crew of animated chocolate candies, which it calls "spokescandies," as its face. Rudolph will be "chief of fun" at M&Ms, the brand tweeted on Monday. In a separate tweet earlier in the day, the brand said she would become its spokesperson, with the spokescandies going on "an indefinite pause." Right-wing commentators had previously criticized a change in shoe style that M&Ms made to one of the anthropomorphic candies last year. M&Ms is among the oldest candy brands in the US, and its talking candies are relatively recent additions. Here's a brief history of the round, colorful candies.Forrest Mars got the idea for M&Ms during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.Vincent Kessler/ReutersForrest Mars Sr., who managed the Mars candy company with his brother, got the idea for M&Ms while working in Europe in the 1930s. At the time, he was overseeing production of Mars candy bars as part of army rations, according to the History Channel.Mars noticed soldiers fighting in the Spanish Civil War liked to eat chocolate pieces coated in a hard sugar shell because they didn't melt easily at high temperatures. When he returned to the US, he replicated the idea, obtaining patents for a production process.Mars also sourced chocolate for his product with the help of Bruce Murrie, who was the son of William Murrie, a Hershey executive. The candy took its name from both men — "M&M" stands for "Mars and Murrie."M&Ms became famous after Mars sold the candies to the US military during World War II.General Dwight D. Eisenhower speaks to troops in 1944.APInitially, Mars sold M&Ms only to the Army. As the US entered World War II, it needed a convenient, heat-resistant candy that would travel well, and M&Ms fit the bill. Mars' exclusive deal with the US Army had another benefit. After the war ended and soldiers returned home, they were well acquainted with the candy and helped make it a popular snack in the postwar years.Mars started stamping its candies with the letter M to distinguish them from imitators.Charlie Riedel/APThe late 1940s marked a boom time for lots of packaged foods. Other companies even copied the sugar coating and colors that M&Ms had popularized, according to Mars.In 1950, Mars started stamping the letter M on its candies, the company says on a website tracing the history of M&Ms. A marketing campaign at the time told consumers to "look for the M on every piece" and avoid copycat products without it.M&Ms were the first candy in space in 1981, and became staples among NASA's astronauts as well as on the International Space Station.Astronaut Loren Shriver eats M&Ms on the space shuttle Atlantis in 1992.HUM Images/Universal Images Group via Getty ImagesM&Ms first went to space aboard the space shuttle Columbia in 1981, according to Mars. They have since been a common option for astronauts in orbit due to their heat-resistant shell. NASA's space shuttle program ended in 2011, but M&Ms are still popular among astronauts and others at the International Space Station. In orbit, they're known simply as "candy coated chocolates" since NASA doesn't use branded products, according to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.M&Ms said no to being featured in the hit 1982 movie "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," giving rival Reese's Pieces a sweet opportunity."E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial."UniversalThe writers behind E.T.'s script originally wanted Elliot, the movie's main human character, to attract E.T. to his house using a trail of M&Ms, according to Culinary Lore. But Mars declined, leading the movie to instead use rival Reese's Pieces, manufactured by Hershey. The product placement led to a 65% sales increase in sales of Reese's Pieces, Entertainment Tonight reported in June. Sales slowed in the 90s, but M&Ms got a lift thanks to its crew of walking, talking mascots.There are now six M&Ms characters with the addition of Purple.Mars WrigleyBy the mid-1990s, M&Ms were ubiquitous, but they didn't stand out from other sweets. "They'd become just candy," Susan Credle, then creative director at BBDO, an advertising agency, told Insider in 2016. The colorful chocolate pieces were "an aisle store candy brand versus an icon brand."Credle and others at BBDO came up with a marketing strategy that changed that. They created four anthropomorphic M&Ms, each with different personalities, to represent the brand.The initial crew included Red, Yellow, Blue, and Green. M&Ms later added Brown, Orange, and Purple candies to the mix.M&Ms unwittingly entered the culture wars in 2022 with a simple change in footwear.Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, left, and Basketball star Randy Foye, right, celebrate Halloween with M&M's, Thursday, October 27, 2016, in Newark, N.J.Stuart Ramson/Invision for M&M'S/AP ImagesM&Ms changed the footwear that its two female spokescandies wore in early 2022. The green M&M, for instance, started sporting sneakers instead of the high-heeled go-go boots she had worn since the spokescandies debuted in the 1990s. The brown M&M, meanwhile, switched to heels lower than her previous pair.The changes were meant to reflect changing expectations in society, Anton Vincent, president of Mars Wrigley North America, told CNN at the time. The female M&Ms became more "representative of the consumer," he said.But conservative pundits such as Tucker Carlson criticized M&Ms' decision to switch the shoes that both female M&Ms wore. Carlson said that the talking chocolate candies were "less sexy" after the change.Now, M&Ms is turning to Maya Rudolph as its new spokesperson, moving away from its spokescandies.Monica Schipper/Getty Images for Saks Fifth AvenueM&Ms announced on Monday that Maya Rudolph would replace the spokescandies as the face of the brand.M&Ms acknowledged conservative outrage over last year's shoe change as the reason for hitting pause on the spokescandies in a tweet. "In the last year, we've made some changes to our beloved spokescandies," the statement said. "We weren't sure if anyone would even notice. And we definitely didn't think it would break the internet.""But now we get it — even a candy's shoes can be polarizing," it continued.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderJan 24th, 2023

She gave birth, twice, in prison. We were there to witness the reunion with her kids.

Raquel Esquivel's two sons, born while she was in prison, were taken from her soon after they were born. We documented her homecoming. Rick, Kelly, and baby Silas at the San Antonio airport on Jan. 20, 2022, the day of Kelly's release.Alan Chin for InsiderDespite a wave of reforms, babies born in prison can still be taken from their mothers. The negative impacts can be dramatic and long-lasting.Silas was taken from his mother's arms soon after he was born, in October 2021. The same was true for his older brother Kaleb, who came into the world in 2009, just after their mother was imprisoned for a nonviolent drug offense.This is a story about lost time. It's also a story about a fresh start.On January 20, 2022, three-month-old Silas, 13-year-old Kaleb, and their two older siblings reunited with their mom, Raquel Esquivel. That day, Raquel (her family calls her Kelly) walked out of prison and boarded a flight to San Antonio, where she'd get to embrace her fiancé, Rick Gonzalez, and hold baby Silas for only the second time. After Insider profiled her last year, Kelly allowed us to chronicle her journey home. As she left prison, still wearing her prison-issue sweatsuit, the photographer Alan Chin raced to catch the reunion at the San Antonio airport. He found Rick scanning the crowd from his Buick, just in time to see Kelly rushing toward them."My heart was beating fast," Kelly said of the reunion. Pulling off her mask, she hugged and kissed Rick and then found Silas bundled up in back, in the car seat."Seeing him for the first time, man, it was..." She paused. "I just saw his face. His eyes, of course, you get lost in that intense gaze. You get caught in that moment, and you don't want to look anywhere else."Rick and Kelly after spotting each other in the airport pickup spot in San Antonio.Alan Chin for InsiderWhat made this reunion even more poignant was that Kelly had been let out once before. In May 2020, she was part of a COVID-era experiment of 4,500 incarcerated people who were transferred to home confinement to thin overcrowding in federal prisons. With ankle monitors and multiple mandatory check-ins daily, they were given the chance to rebuild their lives and reconnect with loved ones.And Kelly both rebuilt and reconnected. She lived with her kids and managed to find a job she loved. Things felt so settled that she allowed herself the space to date Rick and fall in love. Soon, they were engaged and expecting a baby. Sure, starting a new family would take time away from her three kids, but she felt OK about it because she had time. Kelly, and everyone around her, believed that her home confinement would turn into a permanent homecoming. She was nearing the end of her sentence, and things were going well.She thought she had nothing but time.But then, in May 2021 — a year after her release — Kelly was ordered back to prison. The Bureau of Prisons had audited her ankle monitor and determined she'd traveled outside her approved radius and missed a check-in. (Kelly and her then-employer dispute this.) She was several months pregnant. On her first day in prison, Kelly applied to be part of MINT, or Mothers and Infants Nurturing Together, a program that allows some people who are serving time to give birth and raise their babies in a halfway house for up to a year. She was rejected with a fuzzy explanation: the prison had agreed, but the BOP (which declined to answer Insider's questions about the matter) denied the request.A calendar in the family apartment in Del Rio, Texas, checks the days until Kelly's release.Alan Chin for InsiderKelly had ended up in a prison where COVID-19 was still rampant, and where a pregnant woman had died of the coronavirus just a few months earlier. Kelly feared for her baby's health, and worried about how he'd cope without his mother.She was also haunted by the feeling that her relationship with Rick had taken her away from her older kids, Dain, Jordan, and Kaleb. "I got out, got in a relationship, got pregnant. I didn't even give them time," she said. "It's something that consumed my mind. Some nights I wouldn't be able to sleep, 'cause I was like: 'I'm so wrong. Am I ever going to learn? Am I ever going to make the right decision?'"Silas James was born October 18, 2021, in a hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. After a brief stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, Rick was called to the hospital and took him home. Kelly went back to prison.Three months later, Kelly learned her release date was imminent.At an Applebee's, Kelly tends to Silas, with Rick by her side.Alan Chin for InsiderRick, Kelly, and Silas at Applebee's.Alan Chin for InsiderThere is no reliable count of the number of babies born behind bars each year. One study, from 2016-17, found that at least 4% of incarcerated women were pregnant at the time of their sentencing. Babies can suffer dramatic and traumatic repercussions when they're separated from their mothers and are at heightened risk of cognitive delays, depression, and anxiety.At the airport, when Kelly finally got to cradle her son, Silas was no longer the wrinkly, sleepy newborn she'd given birth to. "He looked directly in my eyes like he knew exactly who I was," Kelly said. "He knows his mom for sure, and I was kind of nervous about that!"A short while later, the three of them were all tucked into a booth at an Applebee's. They cut an unremarkable sight — an adoring couple, giddy with their three-month-old. And yet, this was Kelly's first meal as a truly free woman.Rick posted a few of Alan's pictures on social media, and supportive likes and comments flowed in.Next stop: Kelly's 16-year-old daughter, Jordan, who lives with her father in San Antonio.Rick waits in the car as Jordan and Kelly hug.Alan Chin for InsiderBack in 2009, when Kelly was first locked up, Jordan was in preschool. Kelly had been working as a Border Patrol agent and was caught helping a smuggler move cannabis across the border from Mexico. Court documents say that she "provided him with information on highways and roads to use or avoid, locations of sensors, and areas and times patrols and local authorities would be working" and that he'd passed the information up the chain.During her long incarceration, Kelly struggled to stay connected to her children. For one thing, FCI Waseca, the prison where she spent several years, was in Minnesota, nearly 1,300 miles from her kids."So many times I'm like: 'Man I'm just going to let them live their life, you know, and they can just forget about me. I'm just going to stop calling.' So many times, I thought that, but I never did," she said.Some of the women Kelly met in prison advised her it was foolish to try to exist in two places at once: "They would tell me: 'You can't do your time that way.' But I was like: 'I don't know no other way — my kids are out there. That's my life.'"Kelly and Silas take a break from the drive to Del Rio, Texas.Alan Chin for InsiderBack on the road, Silas had gotten fussy, and Kelly reached to make a bottle. She'd only ever breastfed, so she asked Rick for the ratio. "One scoop for every 2 ounces," he replied. Kelly mixed while Rick drove."Oh my goodness, there you go," she told Silas, feeding him for the first time. The car grew quiet.From there, it was straight west to Del Rio, the Texas border town where Kelly grew up and would now live again.Rick and Kelly.Alan Chin for InsiderWhen Kelly returned to prison after her year out, Rick tried to stay in close touch. But Kelly, feeling angry and isolated, didn't want visitors. Both acknowledged their phone calls were often strained. As Kelly put it, she felt cold in prison and couldn't be "all lovey-dovey."From the outside, Rick was the one to coordinate with criminal-justice-reform advocates helping Kelly with her case. Now, with Silas behind her in the car, Kelly was talking to some of those people for the first time, thanking them, as they called to celebrate her release."How is baby Silas?" said Amy Povah, of Can-Do, an organization that seeks clemency for nonviolent drug offenders."I mean, we're getting acquainted," Kelly said."Oh, Raquel, you know what? Enjoy every single minute of it," Povah said, calling the system that had separated them "a monster."It's mind-blowing to see how much time was lost.As they approached Del Rio, Kelly got a call from her oldest son Dain, who's now 18. He wanted to know whether his girlfriend could be with them at the apartment when Kelly walked in. Introducing your girlfriend to your mother can be a delicate task for any teenager, and there was a slight tremor in Dain's voice. It was another moment that was both normal and extraordinary, as Kelly prepared to reenter her eldest child's life once again.Sure, Kelly said. Kelly and Dain had maintained a close bond over the years, and living together again during her home confinement, they'd found a happy rhythm. Her sudden reimprisonment left him utterly dazed. "I was like, 'Now what do I do?'" he said. He took his sadness to Kelly but found it to be "a lot harder having to talk to her through the phone about everything," he said.Now, they'd have another shot. A week earlier, Dain had moved into the apartment with Rick and Silas, as they all awaited Kelly's return. What Dain craved, he said, was "just a good talk with my mom." Face to face, he clarified."I haven't had that in a while."A "Welcome Home" message on the wall of Kelly's new home.Alan Chin for InsiderFinally, they reached Del Rio, and Kelly got a first look at her new home.Back in May 2021, Rick and Kelly were five days from moving into their first apartment together when Kelly was re-imprisoned. Rick moved in alone, and this was where he'd brought Silas. Until now, they'd never woken up together, or shared a home. Now, as Rick toured Kelly through each room, Kelly made a beeline for the closets. Rick and Kelly in their apartment.Alan Chin for InsiderRick shows Kelly some of the baby's things.Alan Chin for InsiderAfter being locked up for more than a decade, Kelly takes stock of one of her closets.Alan Chin for InsiderShe teased Rick and Dain for not cleaning the bathrooms to her standard. But, overall, she seemed pleased."They say you don't know somebody until you've lived with them," Kelly said. "So, a lot of prayers!" She laughed and then added: "I really do believe that Rick is the one for me. I believe that with my heart, I do."The sun had set. The next stop was the home of Kelly's parents, Veronica and Rosendo, where Kaleb has lived all his life.  Kaleb was just getting home from gymnastics practice and welcomed his mother with a backflip.Kelly's son Kaleb does a backflip as he's reunited with his mom.Alan Chin for InsiderKelly delivered Kaleb while handcuffed to a hospital bed, and he was taken from her the day he was born. (The practice of shackling federal prisoners during labor was banned, with some exceptions, in 2018. It's still allowed in about a dozen states.)"I could not even hold him once I gave birth," Kelly said, "I saw him for a couple of minutes and then they took him away."He went home with Veronica, who's played the role of his mother.Kelly's parents, Veronica and Rosendo, pictured with Kelly in their home, helped raise her children when she was locked up.Alan Chin for InsiderKelly embraces Kaleb, as Dain looks on.Alan Chin for InsiderWhile thankful that all her children were loved, safe, and provided for when she was in prison, Kelly was aware she was rejoining a program already in progress. With Kaleb, especially, she said, "I don't know how our relationship will turn out.""He definitely knows me as mom, but how can I explain it?" she said later. "He never comes to me for permission for anything, because he doesn't live with me."At her parent's home, Kelly goes through her mail, as Dain and Dain's girlfriend stand beside her.Alan Chin for Insider.Kaleb holding Silas in front of Kelly and Veronica.Alan Chin for InsiderRick helping Kelly with Silas' carrier.Alan Chin for InsiderThat night, back at the apartment, Kelly lay down in her own bed, tucked between Silas and Rick."I couldn't sleep," she said. "It was so surreal. Having Rick on one side and Silas on the other, taking up all the space! And Dain down the hall. You know, it was just … oh, man, I couldn't have asked for a better homecoming. It was amazing."Nearly a year later, Kelly is working as a shipping clerk for Toter, a company that makes trash cans. She started as a temp and has converted to full time. "401(k), the works," she says.Dain graduated from high school and recently got a job at Toter, too, working alongside his mom. Jordan visits from San Antonio every two weeks, and she'll spend her Christmas vacation with Kelly and her brothers. Silas is walking and bats his eyelashes ("making ojitos," Kelly laughs) at all the big kids and adults who surround him."I'm at a good place in my life, and my kids are at a good place," she says. "We're making memories."On July 15, 2022, Kelly and Rick married at the Del Rio courthouse. It was Rick's birthday.The road to Del Rio.Alan Chin for Insider"It was just us: me and my kids, and him. It was awesome, just perfect," Kelly says. "After everything we've been through, we did it."But even when things are great, and family life flows naturally, one of the older kids will recall something that happened when they were 8 or 9. "I'm like, 'Wow, I missed so much,'" Kelly says. "It's mind-blowing to see how much time was lost."If there's a lesson here, she thinks it's that society needs to see what separating incarcerated moms from their babies and little kids does to families, and to find a better way."It takes an army to make a change. People get complacent, and they accept what is, and you stop fighting," Kelly says. "But people need to keep fighting."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: worldSource: nytDec 24th, 2022

The 36 iconic female athletes who have changed the world of women"s sports for the better

From Billie Jean King and Mary Lou Retton to Megan Rapinoe and the Williams sisters, here are 36 iconic athletes who've elevated women's sports. From left to right: Mary Lou Retton, Megan Rapinoe, and Serena Williams.AP Photo/Suzanne Vlamis / AP Photo/David Vincent / AP Photo/Tim Ireland Interest and investment in women's sports have been on the rise in recent years. Countless female athletes have helped usher women's sports into the mainstream. From Babe Didrikson Zaharias to the Williams sisters, here are 36 iconic athletes who've put women's sports in the spotlight. Women's sports are on the rise.Recent breakthroughs have helped usher female athletes and their organizations closer to the mainstream than they've ever been. According to a 2018 Nielsen report on the rise of women's sports, 84% of general sports fans now have an interest in women's sports.But for decades, pioneering women in sports have worked to foster progress and inspire others hoping to accomplish history-defining athletic feats of their own.Billie Jean King.AP Photo/John MinchilloThe push to bring women's sports to the masses started with names like Wilma Rudolph and Billie Jean King but has grown to include women like Serena and Venus Williams, Megan Rapinoe, and Katie Ledecky. Below, we take you through the 36 most iconic female athletes that have helped put women's sports in the spotlight.Alexandra Licata contributed to an earlier version of this story.Wilma RudolphAPSprinter Wilma Rudolph was the first American woman to win three gold medals at a single Olympics. She overcame the loss of strength in her left leg and foot, caused by polio at five years old, to become the fastest woman in the world at the 1960 Olympics. She held the records for the 100 meters at 11.2 seconds and 200 meters at 22.9 seconds.Because of worldwide television coverage throughout the 1960 Olympics, Rudolph gained international recognition and became an iconic figure for black and female athletes.During the peak of the civil rights movement, Rudolph was a trailblazer for the rights of Black women. She broke the gender barrier of all-male events in track and field, and her legacy lives on today. Billie Jean KingAPFormer World No. 1 professional tennis player Billie Jean King is regarded as one of the greatest women's tennis players of all time. She won 39 Grand Slam titles: 12 in singles, 16 in women's doubles, and 11 in mixed doubles. King is an advocate for gender equality and social justice. She campaigned for equal pay when the Open Era began in 1968 and became the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000 in prize money in 1971. Two years later, she beat tennis superstar Bobby Riggs in "The Battle of the Sexes" and helped found the Women's Tennis Association, both of which contributed to her legacy of making tennis among the most equitable professional sports on the planet.Her fight for gender equity in sports has continued ever since. Today, King remains a primary advocate for women as the founder of the Women's Sports Foundation.She's also a firm proponent of LGBTQ+ equality. In 1981, she was outed as having been in a long-term relationship with a woman. King and Ilana Kloss, her partner of 40-plus years, got married in 2018.Lindsey VonnHans Bezard/Agence Zoom/Getty ImagesLindsey Vonn is one of only two female skiers to win four World Cup overall championships. She won three consecutive titles from 2008-10 and another in 2012. She was also the first American woman to win a gold medal in the downhill, which she did at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Vonn won her 20th World Cup crystal globe title in 2016 to surpass Ingemar Stenmark for the overall record for men or women. She is also one of six women to win a World Cup race in all five disciplines of alpine skiing.With three Olympic medals, four World Cup titles, 82 World Cup victories, and two World Championship gold medals to her name, Vonn is widely considered one of the greatest skiers of all time.After missing parts of several seasons as a result of injuries, Vonn ultimately retired from the sport in 2019.Aly RaismanAlex Livesey/Getty ImagesAly Raisman is a two-time Olympic gymnast. In 2012, she won the team gold medal, floor gold medal, and bronze medal on balance beam with Team USA. She took home the individual all-around silver medal and floor silver medal in 2016, as well as another team gold medal. As accomplished as she is in the gym, Raisman may be even better known for her work in the fight to end sexual abuse. She was among hundreds of gymnasts who came forward to speak out against former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar.Since Nassar's trial, during which she delivered a blistering speech, she has used her platform to focus on fixing USA Gymnastics and fighting for justice for all victims of sexual abuse.Alex MorganIra L. Black - Corbis / Getty ImagesAlex Morgan is a United States Women's Soccer Team legend who won her second consecutive FIFA World Cup championship in 2019. She debuted in the World Cup in 2011, where the team won silver. In 2012, Morgan recorded 28 goals and 21 assists to become the second American woman to score 20 goals and 20 assists in the same calendar year, alongside Mia Hamm. She was also the sixth and youngest US player to score 20 goals in a single year.Morgan has accumulated more than 200 caps and 119 goals. She was also one of the first women's soccer players to appear on the cover of a FIFA video game.Off the field, Morgan was crucial to the US women's national team's successful fight for equal pay, which involved a contentious lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation. She was instrumental in the National Women's Soccer League's reckoning over pervasive emotional, mental, and sexual abuse.Nastia LiukinAl Powers/Invision for the Television Academy/AP ImagesNastia Liukin was a pivotal member of the US gymnastics team during three World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. She won the 2008 Olympic all-around, as well as five Olympic medals, which tied the record for most medals won by an American gymnast in a single non-boycotted Olympic Games. Simone Biles later also tied the record. A four-time all-around US national champion, Liukin's strongest events were the uneven bars and balance beam. She attempted a comeback in 2011 with hopes of making the 2012 Olympic team, but fell several times during the Olympic Trials and retired in 2012. She is now a gymnastics analyst for NBC Sports and hosts an annual Nastia Liukin Cup to support the growth of gymnastics.Serena WilliamsGetty ImagesSerena Williams is widely regarded as the best female tennis player of the Open Era. Her victories have shaped her into an inspirational figure in the sport.She holds the Open Era record of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, which sits just one shy of Margaret Court's all-time record. She and her sister, fellow tennis legend Venus Williams, are considered pioneers of a new era in women's tennis that focuses on power. And throughout her career, Serena was often among the only women on the list of the world's highest-paid athletes, according to Forbes.She announced her decision to pivot away from tennis in 2022, and her improbable run through the US Open later that year was widely believed to be her final professional competition. Danica PatrickChuck Burton/APDanica Patrick is the most successful woman in the history of American open-wheel racing. She accomplished multiple firsts for women in the sport, including being the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race at the 2008 Indy Japan 300. Patrick also had the highest finish by a woman in the Indianapolis 500 (third) and Daytona 500 (eighth). She did not endure as much success as many expected, but she had an undeniable impact on the sport.In a predominately male industry, Patrick is often credited for inspiring more women to take part in auto racing and motorsports. Ronda RouseyMatthew Stockman / Getty ImagesRonda Rousey is a professional wrestler and former mixed martial artist. She is considered to be one of the greatest female athletes ever as the only woman to win both a UFC and WWE championship. She is also one of the only women to headline a pay-per-view event.At the 2008 Olympics, Rousey won a bronze medal in judo, becoming the first American woman ever to do so. She took part in the first UFC women's fight, successfully defending her title against Liza Carmouche.Rousey was the first female fighter to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2018. That same year, she signed a contract with WWE and began professional wrestling. Outside the ring, Rousey has written an autobiography and starred in several films, including "Furious 7" and "Mile 22."Maria SharapovaZak Kaczmarek/GettyMaria Sharapova is a professional tennis player and the only Russian to have a career Grand Slam. When she was 18 years old, Sharapova became the first Russian woman to reach No. 1 in the world rankings. Sharapova accumulated 36 singles titles, including five Grand Slams. She is considered one of the best tennis players to play the game. She has also been involved in various humanitarian endeavors, including being a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador focused on the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. She also launched a program in 2018 to mentor women entrepreneurs. Katie LedeckyClive Rose/Getty ImagesAmerican swimmer Katie Ledecky has won seven Olympic gold medals and 19 world championship gold medals, both of which are records among female swimmers. She currently holds the world record in women's 800-meter and 1,500-meter freestyle, short- and long-course races. Ledecky made her international debut at the 2012 London Olympics at 15 years old and surprised everyone when she won the gold medal in women's 800-meter freestyle, becoming the youngest ever to win.Four years later, she became the most decorated female athlete of the 2016 Olympics with four gold medals, one silver medal, and two world records. In 2020, she added two more golds and two silvers at the Tokyo Olympics.She has broken more than a dozen world records throughout her career and is widely considered one of the most dominant swimmers alive.  Simone BilesGold medalist Simone Biles of the United States poses for photographs after the medal ceremony for the Women's Individual All Around on Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics at Rio Olympic Arena on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.Alex Livesey/Getty ImagesAmerican gymnast Simone Biles won the individual all-around, vault, and floor gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She is a five-time all-around world champion, with three consecutive victories from 2013-15 and two more in 2018 and 2019.Biles is the most decorated American gymnast with seven Olympic and 25 World Championship medals. She set the US record for most gold medals in women's gymnastics at a single Olympics with four.Dominant on nearly every event, Biles is considered one of the greatest gymnasts of all-time. She famously struggled with "the twisties" — a phenomenon that throws off a gymnast's balance — during the Tokyo Olympics and catalyzed a larger conversation around self-advocacy and mental health in athletics.Missy FranklinGetty Images/Al BelloAt just 17 years old, Missy Franklin became the first American woman to win four gold medals in a single Olympics in any sport during the 2012 London Olympics. She quickly captivated America's attention and went on to win six gold medals at the 2013 World Aquatics Championship.Franklin had previously held the record at the World Aquatics Championships with 11 gold medals, but Katie Ledecky broke it in 2017 with 14. If not for chronic pain cutting Franklin's career short, many believed she would go on to dominate women's swimming the way Michael Phelps dominated men's. In December 2018, Franklin announced her retirement due to shoulder issues, but she will always be remembered as one of the greats in women's swimming. Megan RapinoeAlessandra Tarantino/APMegan Rapinoe has been one of the most recognizable faces on the US Women's National Soccer Team for more than a decade.She put on a dominant performance to lead the Stars and Stripes to a second consecutive FIFA Women's World Cup championship in 2019, scoring six goals to earn the Golden Boot and Golden Ball Awards. All the while, she was publicly feuding with then-US President Donald Trump.Rapinoe was also on the 2015 team that won the Cup, as well as the 2012 Olympic team, which took home gold.Rapinoe has made noise both on and off the field. She is an advocate for numerous LGBTQ organizations and often uses her platform to speak out against social injustice. She is also an advocate for women in sports and equality.Steffi GrafPaul Gilham/Getty ImagesFormer German tennis player Steffi Graf is the only tennis player to win each Grand Slam tournament at least four times and achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year. She won 22 Grand Slam singles titles overall.She was ranked world No. 1 for 377 weeks by the Women's Tennis Association, which is the longest for any player, male or female, since rankings began being issued. Graf and Margaret Court are the only players to win three Grand Slam tournaments in a calendar year five times, among male and female players. Her aggressive game has been noted as the starting point for today's modern style of play. She is regarded as the greatest female tennis player of all time by many, including the court icon Billie Jean King. Graf is credited with helping to increase the sport's popularity in Germany, where it has remained popular since. Graf retired in 1999 and was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004. Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh JenningsCameron Spencer/Getty ImagesMisty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings are considered the greatest beach volleyball team of all-time. They won three consecutive Olympic gold medals from 2004-12. They also won 21 consecutive Olympic matches and only lost one set during their 11-year run. May-Treanor announced her retirement following the 2012 London Olympics, where she and Walsh Jennings captured their third gold medal. May-Treanor was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame in 2016. Walsh Jennings began playing with former teammate April Ross in 2013 after May-Treanor's retirement. The two won the bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, making her the most decorated beach volleyball player, male or female, in history.Diana TaurasiDiana Taurasi.AP Photo/Rick ScuteriDiana Taurasi is the all-time leading scorer in the WNBA. Since being drafted No. 1 overall by the Phoenix Mercury, she has won the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award, three WNBA championships, and five Olympic gold medals from 2004-20. She also won the WNBA MVP Award in 2009 and two WNBA Finals MVP Awards in 2009 and 2014. Over her illustrious career, Taurasi has been selected to 10 WNBA All-Star teams. She is one of just a handful of women who have won an Olympic gold medal, an NCAA championship, and a WNBA championship.She is considered one of the greatest women to play basketball, with late legend Kobe Bryant dubbing her the "White Mamba."Larisa LatyninaAP PhotoLarisa Latynina holds the record for most Olympic gold medals by any gymnast, male or female, with nine. Her 18 medals for the Soviet Union was a record for 48 years. Latynina retired in 1966 but went on to coach the Soviet's women's gymnastics team during the 1966-76 Olympics. She is often regarded as establishing the Soviet Union's dominance in gymnastics. Jackie Joyner-KerseeAP PhotoOne of the greatest American track and field athletes of all time, Jackie Joyner-Kersee was known for the heptathlon (where athletes compete in seven different track and field events in two days) and long jump. Over four Olympic Games, she took home three gold, one silver, and two bronze medals in the two events.Joyner-Kersee established the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Foundation in 1988, which is dedicated to providing youth, adults, and families with athletic lessons and resources to improve their quality of life. She also is one of 11 athletes who founded Athletes for Hope, which helps professional athletes take part in charity events and volunteering.She is also an activist for children's education, racial equality, and women's rights.Candace ParkerCandace Parker.AP Photo/Kamil KrzaczynskiCandace Parker was the first woman to dunk in an NCAA tournament game. Drafted by the Los Angeles Sparks No. 1 overall in 2008, she became the second player to dunk in a WNBA game in June 2008 and went on to become the league's only player to earn Rookie of the Year and WNBA MVP honors in the same season.Parker was named WNBA Finals MVP after leading the Sparks to the 2016 WNBA championship alongside Alana Beard and Nneka Ogwumike. She was named league MVP again in 2013 and Defensive Player of the Year in 2020. But after more than a decade in Los Angeles, Parker made a blockbuster free agency move to join her hometown Chicago Sky in 2021. She led the franchise to its first-ever WNBA title that very same year.Off the court, Parker is an analyst for CBS Sports' NCAA tournament coverage and "NBA on TNT."Nadia ComaneciNadia Comaeci, 14-year-old Romanian gymnast, flies out of the uneven bars to score a perfect 10, during the women's team competition in the Olympic Games, in Montreal, Canada, July 18, 1976. It was the first 10 in Olympic history.AP Photo/PoolNadia Comaneci competed during the 1976 and 1980 Summer Olympics in gymnastics and is credited with bringing attention to the sport worldwide. Hailing from Romania, she won five gold medals in individual events and was the first to be awarded a perfect 10 score. In two Olympics, Comaneci had nine perfect 10s. She won nine Olympic medals and four World Artistic Gymnastics Championship medals. Now retired, Comaneci has remained a prominent figure in gymnastics. She also is involved in fundraising for various charities. Martina NavratilovaDean Treml/Getty ImagesMartina Navratilova is considered to be one of the best female tennis players in history. She is the only player to be ranked No. 1 in singles (332 weeks) and doubles (237 weeks) for more than 200 weeks. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, a record 31 major women's doubles titles, and 10 major mixed doubles titles.She won the Wimbledon women's singles title a record nine times, including six consecutive titles, which is regarded as the best performance by a player at a major event.Navratilova is one of only three women to achieve a career Grand Slam in women's singles and doubles, and mixed doubles, which consists of every senior Grand Slam title. Over five seasons, from 1982-86, she won 428 out of 442 singles matches. She owns the best single-season win-loss record in the Open Era, going 86-1 in 1983, as well as the longest winning streak with 74 consecutive wins.Navratilova came out as bisexual in 1981 and has been an activist for gay rights, along with animal rights, and underprivileged children. However, she has also been criticized for making "transphobic" comments. Marta Vieira da SilvaBuda Mendes/Getty ImagesMarta Vieira da Silva, more commonly known as Marta, was the first soccer player, male or female, to score at five FIFA World Cups. Her 17 total goals set the all-time record for most scored at the tournament by any player — man or woman.Marta has been named FIFA World Player of the Year six times, including five consecutive years from 2006-10, and is regarded as one of the best female players of all-time. She won a silver medal at the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, as well as the Golden Ball and Golden Boot at the 2007 Women's World Cup. Se-ri PakREUTERS/Todd KorolSouth Korean World Golf Hall of Famer Se-ri Pak is unequivocally one of the greatest players in the history of women's golf. In her 20 years as a professional golfer, Pak won 39 total events across the LPGA of Korea Tour and the LPGA Tour in America.She earned four major championship titles in a five-year span, including two Women's PGA Championships, one US Women's Open, and one Women's British Open. Then, upon winning a third Women's PGA Championship in 2006, she became one of just 16 women in the sport's history to win five or more major championships.But perhaps more impactful than Pak's dominance alone has been her enduring legacy on women's golf. As one of the first players of Asian descent to break through on the American tour in a massive way, Pak changed the face of the sport and inspired a new generation of athletes to take up — and ultimately dominate — women's golf.Nancy LiebermanAP Photo/Eric DrotterRegarded as one of the greatest figures in American women's basketball, Nancy Lieberman played for several different teams and leagues before being drafted No. 1 overall by the Dallas Diamonds. She was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1996 and the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 1999. Lieberman played for the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA's inaugural year in 1997, when she was the oldest player at 39.In 1998, Lieberman became the general manager and head coach of the WNBA's Detroit Shock, where she coached for three seasons. She broke her own record as the oldest player in WNBA history when she signed a seven-day contract in 2008 at 50 years old with the Shock, playing in one game.She has moved on to become a broadcaster for the New Orleans Pelicans and head coach of the Power in the BIG3.Mia HammAP Photo/Dusan VranicSoccer icon Mia Hamm was a member of the USWNT from 1987-2004, which won two Olympic gold medals and two FIFA Women's World Cups in that span. During her college years, she led the University of North Carolina Tar Heels to four consecutive NCAA Division I Women's Soccer Championships. Hamm was a member of the USWNT during the 1991 inaugural Women's World Cup in China and remained on the team for the three tournaments that followed. She was also a member of the US team during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, which was the first Games that held women's soccer as an event. Hamm ranks third in USWNT history with 276 international caps and first in career assists with 144. She was the first woman inducted into the World Football Hall of Fame. She retired in 2004 but has inspired many in the sport, including 2019 World Cup Champion Rose Lavelle.  Abby WambachGetty ImagesTwo-time Olympic gold medalist Abby Wambach is the most prolific goal scorer of all time for the US women's national soccer team. Upon retiring, she held the record for most international goals among male and female players with 184.Wambach was a member of USWNT from 2001 to 2015, winning the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup title. She is known for her skillful play and diving headers to score goals.Her equalizing header against Brazil in 2011 in the 122nd minute off a cross from Megan Rapinoe is often called one of the greatest goals in the history of the women's World Cup. It also set a record for the latest goal ever scored.She was awarded the Bronze Boot and Silver Ball after the tournament. That same year, she also became the first soccer player — male or female — to be named Athlete of the Year by the Associated Press. Wambach retired in 2015 and is regarded as one of the best to play US soccer. She's now a partial owner of the National Women's Soccer League club Angel City FC.Mary Lou RettonAssociated PressAt the boycotted 1984 Summer Olympics, Mary Lou Retton became the first-ever American woman to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics. She won by .05 points, beating Romania's Ecaterina Szabo. It marked the first time a female gymnast outside of Eastern Europe won the individual all-around gold. She also took home two silver medals and two bronze medals, helping her rise to popularity in the United States.Retton coined her move on the uneven bars "The Retton Flip," consisting of a transition from low-bar to high-bar that ends with the gymnast sitting on top of the high bar. It was removed from the Code of Points because it was a "belly beat" move, which is when the gymnast hits their hips into the low bar to gain momentum.Michelle KwanClive Brunskill/Getty ImagesRetired American figure skater Michelle Kwan is a five-time World Champion and nine-time US champion, which ties her for the all-time National Championship record. She is a two-time Olympic medalist, winning a silver in 1998 and bronze in 2002.She is the most decorated figure skater in US history and is considered one of the greatest figure skaters of all time. Kwan stole the hearts of the American people to become one of the country's most popular female athletes. Venus WilliamsMatthew Stockman/GettyAlong with her sister Serena, Venus Williams is widely regarded as one of tennis' all-time greats. She was the first African American woman to be ranked No. 1 by the Women's Tennis Association in the Open Era, and second all-time. She has seven Grand Slam singles titles, which is tied for eighth in the Open Era and 12th on the all-time list. She also has 14 Grand Slam Women's doubles titles, with Serena.Venus has four Olympic gold medals, one in singles and three in women's doubles. She also has a silver medal in mixed doubles, which ties her with Kathleen McKane Godfree for the most Olympic medals won by a male or female tennis player. She is the only tennis player to win a medal at four Olympic Games.Following in the footsteps of Billie Jean King, Williams fought for equal prize money at Wimbledon, gaining the backing of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and winning the fight.  Maya MooreJessica Hill/APWNBA star Maya Moore was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 WNBA Draft by the Minnesota Lynx after leading the University of Connecticut women's basketball team to back-to-back national championships. Her standout career with the Huskies included an unbeaten streak of 90 games, which is an NCAA record among men's and women's teams.Moore won four WNBA titles with the Minnesota Lynx, as well as the WNBA Rookie of the Year Award. She also won MVP in 2014. She won titles in the Spanish league, EuroLeague, and Chinese League.In February 2019, Moore penned an article on The Player's Tribune saying that she would take a sabbatical for the 2019 season to focus on family and ministry dreams. She has since fought for social justice reform, specifically in the realm of wrongful convictions. Moore helped free her now-husband, Jonathan Irons, after 23 years of wrongful imprisonment.Babe Didrikson ZahariasAP PhotoMulti-sport American athlete Babe Didrikson Zaharias won two gold medals in track and field at the 1932 Olympics and won 10 LGPA major championships, among her total of 82 golf tournament victories. Zaharias also participated in basketball, baseball, softball, diving, roller-skating, and bowling.Zaharias was known for breaking the boundaries of what it meant to be female in her time. She was physically strong and criticized for it. She was inducted into the LGPA Hall of Fame in 1951 and the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1976. Zaharias was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1953. In her later years, she also became known as an advocate for cancer awareness, using her popularity to raise money for her cancer fund. At the time, many Americans refused to seek treatment for cancer. She died three years later in 1956 at age 45. Sheryl SwoopesAP Photo/Jessica KourkounisSheryl Swoopes was the first player to sign a WNBA contract, and for good reason; she was a generational talent who went on to win three WNBA MVP awards. She won three Olympic gold medals with Team USA and was inducted into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2017. Swoopes was the first WNBA player to have a triple-double in the regular season and playoffs. She was the first women's basketball player to have a Nike shoe named after her, called the Air Swoopes.She became one of the highest-profile athletes to publicly announce she is gay in 2005. Since retiring from the sport, Swoopes has coached at various women's basketball programs.Cheryl MillerAP Photo/Reed SaxonGold medalist and University of Southern California women's basketball star Cheryl Miller is one of the most well-known collegiate players to ever play the game. Miller never played in the WNBA but led the US basketball team to a gold medal during the 1984 Olympics.Her jersey was the first retired number at USC from either basketball team. She scored 3,018 career points and had 1,534 career rebounds, which is third all-time in NCAA history. She helped the Trojans to two NCAA titles, winning NCAA Tournament MVP both seasons.Miller still holds multiple records at USC, including points, rebounds, games played, steals, field goals, and free throws. She has been a coach and sportscaster in her years after playing.Nancy LopezAP Photo/Nati HarnikGolf great Nancy Lopez left college during her sophomore year to turn professional in 1977. She won nine tournaments during her first full season on the LGPA Tour in 1978.She was named LPGA Rookie of the Year and LPGA Player of the Year, and won the Vare trophy, which is given to the player with the lowest-scoring average for the season. She was the only woman to achieve all three in the same season.From the late 1970s to late 1980s, Lopez was the game's best player, winning three majors, all at the LGPA Championship. She never won the US Women's Open, but finished second four times.In 1997, Lopez became the first woman to score under 70 for all four rounds but finished second to Alison Nicholas. She was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987. Lisa LeslieAP Photo/Lucy NicholsonLisa Leslie is a three-time WNBA MVP and a four-time Olympic gold medalist. She was drafted No. 7 overall in the 1997 inaugural WNBA draft and went on to win two WNBA championships with the Los Angeles Sparks. She was also selected as a WNBA All-Star eight times. Leslie was the first player to dunk in a WNBA game and is widely considered one of the greatest in the league's history. Since her retirement in 2009, she has served as a sports commentator in several sports networks and in 2018 joined Fox Sports Florida as a studio analyst on Orlando Magic broadcasts. Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 23rd, 2022

These are 42 foods that Costco employees and members love the most

Costco's food court and private label Kirkland Signature brand boast a huge variety of offerings for members. Consider these 50 beloved foods on your next Costco run.Rick Bowmer/AP Photos Costco's food court sells a number of cheap and tasty menu options that members and food critics love. Costco employees themselves have some favorites, too. Insider reached out to 49 Costco workers and scoured the web to figure out what meals and Kirkland Signature brand items in the store are considered standout hits. Costco is known for its in-store food courts and cult favorite Kirkland Signature brand.Shoshy Ciment/Business InsiderInsider spoke to 49 current and former Costco employees about their favorite foods sold by the chain.Tim Boyle / Getty ImagesMembers love the croissants and recommend one hack to make them even better.Costco's croissants.Robert P./YelpLooking for a warm treat in the morning? Costco members have recommended one hack that'll take one of the company's baked items to the next level.Two Costco members discussed Costco's croissants in a 2017 Reddit thread.One member said that the French pastries were "good" compared to most croissants sold in grocery stores, and said, "Where they really shine is freezing and then popping into the toaster oven."Another member added that, "Crisping up the croissants in the oven is really great stuff."Costco's giant muffins are also a good pick.A Costco bakery.Michael Stuparyk/Toronto Star via Getty ImagesSome Costco members enjoy starting — or finishing — the day with one of Costco's colossal baked offerings.Quora user Sue Lassman recommended the warehouse chain's "huge and insanely good" muffins, despite their caloric heft.The company's maple syrup is a "steal."Kirkland Signature maple syrup.Antho L./YelpLooking to sweeten up your pancakes without feeling sour about your spending?One food blogger recommended springing for the Kirkland Signature maple syrup."I've paid $11 to $14 for small bottles from Walmart and King Soopers," Hassle Free Savings blogger Kendal Perez told Go Banking Rates. "Yet, Costco sells a 33.8-ounce jug of Kirkland organic real maple syrup for less than that. It's a steal. Period."Kirkland coffee can be quite a pick-me-up for some.Justin Sullivan/Getty ImagesCostco is the place to grab everything you need for that cup of morning joe, according to some members.Quora user Soo Oh wrote that the chain's "coffee prices" was the best thing about Costco.Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNew, told Go Banking Rates that Costco coffee was a "great buy" for daily coffee drinkers. The massive quantities of blueberries are perfect for some members.Blueberries.Roberty F. Bukaty/AP ImagesA group of Costco employees previously told Business Insider they tend to skip buying produce at the warehouse. The reason? Many of them said they couldn't finish the bulk-sized orders fast enough, leading to food waste.But some members find the large quantity of fruits and vegetables just right.In a Quora thread about the most healthy and convenient options at the retail chain, Costco member Scott Sanders wrote that, when it comes to produce, "sometimes the quantities are just right for what I want.""Blueberries, for example, come in large containers at amazing prices year-round, and my wife and I can usually finish a container long before it goes bad," he wrote.One member praised the chain's almond milk.Lex A./YelpIn a recent 2018 Reddit thread about the best Kirkland products out there, one Costco member praised the chain's almond milk — or "organic unsweetened almond non-dairy beverage," as it's labeled.The user said the drink was "just as good as Blue Diamond" and praised its "convenient" containers.The chicken bake is a well-liked guilty pleasure even after a $1 price increase.Hollis Johnson"My favorite food court item is the chicken bake with a cup of Caesar dressing," a Costco employee from Washington told Insider. "Most of the time, if you ask for a cup of the dressing, they won't give it to you, but as an employee I tend to be able to get one. It makes it ten times better."Costco raised the price by $1 to $3.99 in July.The cheese pizza at Costco's food court is a popular pick among employees ...Costco cheese pizza.Hollis JohnsonThere's a reason Costco is technically one of the largest pizza chains in the US."Costco's pizzas are pretty incredible considering the price," Costco worker Stefan Winter wrote on Quora. "Crust is yummy, toppings are good quality, what's not to love?"Costco's food courts in the US typically offer up two options for pizza-lovers: cheese and pepperoni.  ... while others opted for the pepperoni slices.Costco pepperoni pizza.Kimberly J./YelpStill other Costco employees — three, to be exact — said they enjoyed the pepperoni pizza at Costco's food court."I love the pepperoni pizza," one employee told Insider. "It's very cheesy with nice and juicy crispy pepperonis."According to a 2011 edition of the Costco Connection, each pepperoni pizza pie is "adorned" with exactly 60 pepperoni slices.If you don't have time for the food court, there's always Kirkland's frozen pizza.The freezer aisle of a Costco.Shay B./YelpKirkland launched its frozen cheese pizza in 2010. Since then, it's attracted fans alongside its food court counterparts."We love the frozen pizzas," one Costco member and Reddit poster wrote. "They are the best on the market."The poster added that their household always has "some in the freezer, in case we ever need to throw one in the oven."The classic hot dog-and-soda combo has been a hit for decades.A Costco hot dog.Hollis Johnson"The hot dog soda combo for $1.50 is a classic," one San Diego-based Costco employee told Insider.Two other Costco employees concurred that the hot dog was their favorite food court item. An Oregon-based employee added that it was the best deal in the whole store.The food court staple has remained just $1.50 since 1985.Costco's poutine options are a big draw for Canadian members ...Costco's poutine.Pat K./YelpPoutine-smothered fries are a staple at Canadian Costcos."And it's pretty much the best poutine ever," one Costco member wrote on Reddit.Another Reddit added in response, "It's an incredible value... It costs around $5, but the value is over $10." They added that, while the gravy is thick and the fries are too crispy for their taste, they were blown away by the sheer quantity of cheese curds loaded into the dish.... and the chain's french fries are also an international hit ...Costco's French fries.John C./YelpFrench fries are native to Canadian Costcos, but the crispy dish also makes an appearance on the menus of food courts in France and the East Coast of the US."Best quantity and quality for normal fast food fries, in my opinion," one Costco member wrote on Reddit. "So disappointing that a lot of food courts don't have it."... as are the bulgogi bakes.Kate Taylor/Business InsiderA number of Costcos in Taiwan and Japan skip the chicken bakes, and instead showcase Korean barbecue known as bulgogi. "The bulgogi sandwiches in Costcos in Taiwan are awesome," a Costco member wrote on Reddit.Kirkland's olive oil is a boon to many members.Kirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil.Zelong L./YelpKirkland Signature Pure Olive Oil is a major buy for a number of members, who favor the item's size and price.One Reddit user wrote in 2018 that the chain's olive oil is "considerably cheaper" than its competitors' offerings.In another recent Reddit thread, one Costco member wrote that the olive oil was their favorite Kirkland product."It tastes good, at any rate," wrote another Reddit poster in 2017.And Costco's quinoa options allow shoppers to make healthier choices.A quinoa salad from Costco.Murissa M./Yelp"A Costco membership is definitely worth it for items like quinoa," one Reddit poster wrote.Another poster wrote that Costco's quinoa sells for "probably the best price you'll find anywhere."One more Costco member wrote on Reddit that, when it comes to quinoa, they "seriously couldn't justify the cost anywhere else."A number of members rely on the company's chicken stock ...FREDERIC J. BROWN/Getty ImagesOne Reddit user posted that their favorite Costco product is the brand's chicken stock.Another member replied that, "My wife uses the chicken stock like crazy. Always tastes great."... while the warehouse's chicken noodle soup is also a favorite ...Chicken noodle soup from Costco.Veronica C./YelpFor one Reddit poster and Costco member, the chicken noodle soup from the warehouse's deli was the all-time best Costco product.... and, of course, the chain's famous rotisserie chickens are a classic meal.Costco's rotisserie chickens.Paul Sakuma/AP ImagesThe rotisserie chickens at Costco are pretty iconic.According to The Kitchn: "Not only are they some of the cheapest rotisserie chickens on the market, but they're also among the tastiest. Rumor has it, the birds are actually loss leaders for the store, which means they don't make any money on them, but they use them to get shoppers in the door and hopefully buy something else while they're there."Costco opened a $450 million chicken processing plant in Nebraska to have more control over the supply chain that maintains the staple rotisserie chickens.One shopper praised the "gigantic pork loins" ...Pork loins from Costco.Mark H./YelpCostco has the "biggest deal on meat anywhere," according to one poster in a 2018 post on the best food deals at the chain. "The pork loin is a steal," they added.... while others swear by Costco when it comes to bringing home the bacon.Costco exterior.ShutterstockCraving some bacon? Well, according to one expert, it's one of the best things you can buy at Costco." It's often much cheaper than a regular grocery store," Sakraida told Go Banking Rates. Some members always make sure to pick up some pulled pork.Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork.Stuart L./YelpOne Reddit poster lauded the Kirkland Signature Smoked Pulled Pork, which they said, "has a very mild flavor, which allows you to 'spice it up' as you so desire, whether for BBQ sandwiches, Mexican dishes (carnitas), or anything else that might call for shredded, pulled, or chopped pork.""For those who love BBQ, it's a lot cheaper than getting two pounds from most local BBQ restaurants," the poster wrote.Some members like to live on the briny side and spring for Costco's seafood ...Seafood at Costco.Jen J./YelpOn Quora, Moe Rubenzahl praised Costco's seafood as being "very fresh."Oh also took to Quora to highlight the company's "wonderful seafood offerings," writing, "The cod and haddock are both excellent. I also love the mussels and clams."... specifically the salmon.A salmon milano dish prepared with basil pesto from Costco.Kristin A./YelpRubenzahl wrote on Quora that Costco's "salmon is especially good.""The individually-frozen salmon fillets are a convenient way to get more fish in your diet," Quora user Rafael Garcia wrote on the same thread. "I just transfer one from the freezer to the fridge the night before. To cook it, I just add salt and pepper and throw it in the toaster oven."And others said that the basil pesto makes everything better.Basil pesto at Costco.Mystery M./YelpTwo Costco members took to Reddit in 2018 to proclaim that they "absolutely" loved the Kirkland Signature Pesto.Kirkland's dried blueberries are a healthy snack beloved by at least one member.Kirkland-branded dried blueberries.Kay X./YelpOne Reddit poster wrote that Costco has "got dried blueberries that are really good. The organic are super-pricey, but the non-organic are somewhat reasonable."The beef jerky has been described as both "worthwhile" and "tender."Beef jerky from Costco.David O./Yelp"I am a big jerky fan and my girlfriend recently brought home some Kirkland brand jerky," one Reddit poster wrote in a post.The poster added that the jerky put a number of other competitors "to absolute shame, as it is thick cut and extremely tender and delicious.""I can't recall finding a product so worthwhile in quite a long while," the poster wrote.Kirkland granola bars are worth biting into.ROBYN BECK/Contributor/Getty ImagesCostco's bulk-sized packs of Kirkland Signature oft and Chewy Granola Bars "are great — so much better than the Quaker stuff," according to one Reddit poster.Another Costco member replied, "I just discovered the granola bars last week. Love them!"According to some members, Costco makes a mean Irish cream ...Adam Davy/PA Images via Getty ImagesOne Reddit poster and Costco member wrote that the Kirkland Irish Cream Liqueur is a good deal."It's a giant bottle, about double the size of a large bottle of Bailey's, but half the price," the poster wrote. "I bought a bottle for a friend who used to carefully ration her Bailey's consumption, and she really liked it too. It's a little different, but not any less good."... a party-worthy margarita mix ...Kirkland Signature Margarita Mix.Hanie B./YelpA number of Costco members gathered on Reddit to praise Costco's Kirkland Signature Margarita Mix. "It's seriously so good," one poster wrote.... standout vodka ...Kirkland Signature Vodka.Lynne H./YelpKirkland Signature Vodka earned a mention in a recent Reddit thread in which posters suggested the best Kirkland products.Vice reported that the chain's vodka is made from the same water source as Grey Goose.... "shockingly good" Scotch ...Richard Clement/Reuters"The Kirkland-branded liquors are shockingly good for their price point, across the board," Costco member and Quora user Ian Osmond wrote.He added that he regularly opted for Kirkland Signature Blended Scotch Whisky. ... and their gin is "good stuff," too.David P./Yelp"I'm a huge fan of the Kirkland gin," one poster wrote in a thread discussing the best Kirkland products. "It's good stuff."Kirkland Signature Gin is also a good option for mixed drinks, according to one member."I usually have several gins around, depending on my mood at the moment, but the Kirkland is one I often use for gin and tonics, gimlets, and other drinks that have strong enough flavors that they drown out the subtleties," Osmond wrote on Quora.According to one critic, Costco's wines are also worth a toast ...Wines at Costco.Sean R./YelpCostco reportedly provides a good deal for wine-lovers looking to save."On average, you can save $5 to $12 per bottle, depending on the original price of the wine," Kyle James, founder of deal discovery site Rather-By-Shopping, told Go Banking Rates.James added that the Costco Wine Blog is a great resource, too.... as is their prosecco.Kirkland Signature Prosecco.Joy X./YelpIn a 2018 thread about the best Kirkland products, one poster gave Kirkland's prosecco a shout-out.The chain's sheet cakes are a big deal for some members.A cake from Costco.Steven S./Yelp"Costco sheet cake is my life," a Reddit poster wrote in 2018. "I buy one for every birthday and cut it into pieces to freeze."Costco's pumpkin pies are more than just a holiday go-to for some families.Costco pumpkin pie.Crystal Cox/Business InsiderPie fans, listen up.One Reddit poster noted that Costco's "pumpkin pie is really good."Another Costco member responded that the warehouse chain's version of the pie was the only one that their children would eat."I once got a name brand and tried to pass it off as Kirkland, and my oldest took one bite, scowled, and pushed her plate back, then looked up at me and said, 'You tried to trick me! This isn't Kirkland!'" the poster wrote. "She is four."The chocolate chunk cookie is a mouthwatering treat for some members.One of Costco's cookie offerings.Rick L./YelpKirkland has plenty of options for members with a sweet tooth. A Costco member took to Reddit in 2018 to say that their "personal favorite" product from Kirkland was "the chocolate chunk cookie."Three employees find the mocha freeze yummy.A mocha freeze from Costco.Jon L./YelpThree Costco employees noted they went for this new addition to the food court menu."The new cold brew mocha freeze — yum," said one Costco employee from California.Gelato is a refreshingly icy treat for many food court denizens ...Gelato from Costco.Anna W./Yelp"Regardless of what you eat as the 'main course', the pistachio gelato — or any gelato — is to die for," former Costco employee Robert Lu wrote on Quora.A Washington-based Costco employee who spoke with Business Insider agreed.... and others go for berry smoothies instead.A berry smoothie from Costco.Hoki T./YelpOut of all of the frozen treats at Costco's food court, the berry smoothies were the most popular among the employees Insider spoke to.Seven Costco employees told Insider that they favored the food court's berry smoothies.One Arizona-based employee said they used to eat at the food court when they were younger and it was "much harder to gain weight." Nowadays, they added that they still "drink the smoothies."When it comes to dessert, churros are always a fan favorite.A churro from Costco's food court.Hollis JohnsonThree Costco employees who have worked for the warehouse chain for seven and half, eight, and ten years, respectively, told Insider that their go-to food court orders typically included a churro."Lunchtime is always a safe bet for fresh food," a seven-year Costco employee wrote in a Reddit AMA. "When the lines are long, the churros are good."One longtime Costco member even shared a churro-related tip with Insider: "One thing that is really tasty is getting the churro with an ice cream. Then scoop the ice cream up with the churro instead of a spoon. It's not too outrageous, but it's good."Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: smallbizSource: nytNov 21st, 2022

Responding to yet another Trump lawsuit, New York AG Letitia James says he"s still committing fraud

Donald Trump filed a fresh lawsuit against New York's attorney genera, Letitia James, alleging she was abusing her power by investigating him. Donald Trump / Letitia JamesGetty Images New York Attorney General Letitia James responded to Donald Trump's new lawsuit filed against her.  She alleges Trump is still committing fraud and is "seeking to put assets beyond this Court's reach."  Trump accused the attorney general of abusing her power by investigating him and his family.  Hours after former President Donald Trump announced he is suing New York Attorney General Letitia James again, the AG hit back in a legal filing alleging Trump is still committing fraud. James filed a letter to the court just before a hearing in her $250 million civil lawsuit seeking to permanently ban Trump and his three oldest children from conducting business in New York, which was filed on September 21.Trump filed suit against James in Florida on Wednesday night, alleging that she is abusing her power by investigating him and his family.James said in the letter to the court released Thursday morning that Trump is "attempting to shield the key documents governing the structure of his business" with the newest lawsuit, and added Trump "admits he is seeking to put assets beyond this Court's reach."The letter also pushed back against Trump's allegations that she hadn't "properly served" those involved in the case. The dispute spilled into a spirited public hearing in a Manhattan courtroom on Thursday.Kevin Wallace, a lead prosecutor in the James lawsuit against Trump, told a judge that the AG is still "seeking an injunction against ongoing fraudulent activities by the Trump Organization." Trump is still not complying with the court's subpoena demands for documents, specifically related to his revocable trust, which is "now a Florida grantor trust," as the attorney general's office complained in court documents last week. Trump's lawsuit is the latest legal action he's taken against James, who he has frequently railed against and accused of being corrupt without providing evidence to support the claim.In court Thursday, Trump's lawyer, Christopher Kise, told Court Justice Arthur Engoron of the Attorney General's office that they see the initial suit filed by James as "a manufactured bill of grievances." He also argued against the AG's demand for an independent monitor to oversee Trump's real estate and golf resort empire. Kise said installing a monitor would be "an extraordinary intrusion to the level of nationalizing a private enterprise."In addition to asking for an independent court-appointed monitor to be installed, James is also asking the judge to order Trump not to sell or transfer interests in any of his assets in New York state without putting the AG on notice first.James's request is based on her belief that Trump may try to move assets to new entities.Kise, in response, claimed that it is a "drastic remedy," adding that "we're not moving assets and we're prepared to stipulate that. Nothing can happen suddenly when you're dealing with properties like 40 Wall Street and Trump Tower in Manhattan, he said, adding that these buildings "aren't going anywhere." It's not like it's "gold bars or Krugerrands — they're not going to be moved overnight out of New York," he said. Kise continued to argue the no victim, no harm, no foul defense, alleging that Trump paid back all of the banks James is defending in her suit.He told the judge that it is James' duty to protect the public, but that nowhere in her lawsuit does it show that there's been any defrauding of the public. The "alleged victims" are major lenders, Deutsche Bank in particular, he said. It is not James' job, Kise argued Thursday, "to represent corporate titans in private transactions." "There's zero public interest here respectfully … These corporate entities have unlimited resources ... They've never complained to the attorney general," Kise said. He continued, adding it's actually dangerous for the attorney general to be "reaching into these private real estate transactions."He said that Trump Org will be raising the jurisdictional issue later in the company's defense but that for now it demonstrates a weakness in the case and that discrepancies in valuations are common."I would be alarmed if I were in the real estate industry right now, he said, adding real estate transactions regularly involve "these kinds of disputes."This story is developing. Please check back for updates.Read the original article on Business Insider.....»»

Category: topSource: businessinsiderNov 3rd, 2022

How One Small Business Found Sweet Success During the Pandemic

"The story of small business has always been one of survival," writes Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Rilvin. The three brothers gathered in their Bronx living room to talk through their options. It was approaching midnight at the end of another long day. They had devoted all of themselves to Sol Cacao, the chocolate bar business they had founded five years earlier. Now, on a May night in 2020, two months into the pandemic, they were at a loss. They went around the room, and none of them had anything positive to report. “No one is reordering,” said Dominic Maloney. The oldest of the three brothers, he has a round face, a shaved head, and the most growly New York City accent of the three. He was 30 at the time of COVID. [time-brightcove not-tgx=”true”] “No one is paying any invoices,” said Daniel Maloney. The businesses that were selling their bars—specialty stores, mainly, cheese shops and gift stores and other small retailers—were themselves in dire straits and holding on to what little money they might have. Daniel, the youngest, was twenty-seven and wore his hair in twists. The most talkative of the three, he served as the company’s de facto company spokesperson. Sol Cacao had bills of their own that needed paying, including the rent. “The landlord gave us no relief,” said Nicholas Maloney, the middle brother. Like both his older and younger brother, he has an open, friendly face and a quick smile. He sometimes leaned back and closed his eyes when talking, or held his hands together as if in prayer to say thank you. “He’s the spiritual one,” his brothers said teasingly. The three brothers talked about giving up. They shared an apartment in a part of New York City that had been hard-hit by COVID-19. The wail of ambulances in the background was a constant. Their cash reserves were gone, and their store of beans—the cacao beans they needed to make their chocolate bars—had been depleted. And even if the next day they received a shipment that was already several weeks overdue, they had almost no orders to refill. June’s rent was due in a few weeks. They were three young Black men raised by immigrant parents. They didn’t have much in the way of resources to fall back on, and sympathy in the U.S. wasn’t exactly high for three men of color who had been born somewhere else. The high-quality chocolate market was expanding, much like coffee and wine before it, and since 2015, the Maloneys had been fighting for their share. Yet, now, it was not a global giant like a Nestlé or Hershey that was doing them in, or one of the white-owned chocolate bar companies that seemed to have the connections and access to resources that they did not. Instead, it was a microscopic virus. *** The story of small business has always been one of survival. Technology evolves, tastes change, markets shift, new competitors emerge. Technology rendered blacksmiths and buggy makers obsolete, and later video rental stores and 24-hour photo shops. Neighborhoods morph, causing closures. Recessions wipe out businesses that had been limping through good times. Survival has gotten only harder in recent decades. Walmart and other big-box stores popped up on the edge of Main Streets around the country. Chains continue to chew up entire sectors of the economy. Private equity firms and other deep-pocketed investors with national or global ambitions hired teams of MBAs to implement just-in-time inventory management systems and other efficiencies at their restaurants, retail outlets, or manufacturing plants, driving down prices. The internet created opportunities for entrepreneurs but also represented a whole new category of threat. Read more: Tech Stocks Are Falling. That’s A Bad Sign For The Economy Meanwhile, the rent a small business paid soared along with insurance premiums and the price of practically everything, including the price of the cacao beans the Maloney brothers buy on the global market. Add globalization to the list of challenges confronting small business owners. Giant chocolate makers rely on what in the in the trade is called “bulk” cacao beans: cheaper, lower-quality beans from various farms typically grown on industrial farms in West Africa. Sol Cacao specializes in “origin” bars, made using beans from a single locale. Just like wine producers, the Maloneys speak of terroir, and regional distinctions for their bars from Madagascar, Ecuador, and Peru. They were part of the broader farm-to-table movement, where traceability and a respect for those growing the food, is central. They followed fair-trade practices. But that also helped to explain how Big Chocolate could sell its bars at around half the price as theirs. COVID added new stresses unique to each business. A great strength of Vilma’s Beauty Salon in the small city of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was that it had always been a communal and intimate space. But in the pandemic, that became the biggest liability shop owner Vilma Hernandez. Her employees hovered over customers at the shampoo bowl. She and the other stylists leaned into faces while cutting and styling their hair. Hernandez had eight people working for her in March of 2020 but her once-crowded shop left them with little to do. The governor’s shutdown order, when it came, was largely superfluous. “People were scared,” she said. “I was scared.” The central threat to Sol Cacao’s business was the severe limits on in-person encounters “Traditionally, most of our money came from demos and in-store efforts,” Dominic said. “Any place we got to tell our story in person.” They manned tables at festivals and farmers’ markets and other large public events and did in-store tastings. “That’s how we got reorders,” Daniel said. There was never any question Sol Cacao could continue operations through Covid. As food producers, they were deemed essential. But demos and in-person events would be discontinued indefinitely. The Maloneys liked to say chocolate ran through their blood. Their great grandparents grew cacao beans in Trinidad and Tobago, where the three were born, as did their grandparents. Chocolate began as way for them to connect with their heritage but, steeped in the craft, they became evangelists for the curative properties of high-quality dark chocolates. For them, making and selling their bars became a calling. Chocolate as an everyday ritual was a healthy pleasure, they argued, if not a way of being. They also saw themselves as building Sol Cacao not just for themselves but for their adopted borough, if not black entrepreneurship itself. “We didn’t want to be a statistic, another black-owned business that closed down,” Daniel said. Yet that May, late at night in the apartment the three shared, their prospects felt dire. One in three small businesses in the U.S. shutters its doors before celebrating a second anniversary. Half close within five years of opening. Seventy percent are dead within a decade. The three bothers couldn’t even count on help from PPP, the program the government established to help small businesses survive the pandemic. It was the Paycheck Protection Program – but Sol Cacao had no payroll. “We had to face reality,” Daniel said. “And the realities of what the numbers were telling us was not good.” * * * It’s never a good time for a pandemic. But from the perspective of a modest-sized chocolate maker, this one could hardly have come at a worse time. The lockdown killed their Easter and Mother’s Day, which are two prime holidays in the industry. “Once you’re past Mother’s Day, the bikini effect takes over,” Daniel explained. “May comes and everyone’s like, ‘Oh, chocolate’s bad, it’s gonna make me gain weight.’” There was also the more practical issue that bars melt in the heat and can make a mess. Summers had always been about keeping the business alive until September. With no opportunity to offer in-store samples, 2020 seemed destined to go down as their toughest, if not their last. “I’m posting on social media more than I’ve ever posted,” Daniel said. “I’m reaching out to people, calling people, doing everything I can.” He set a target of at least $100 in sales a day, yet there were many days they did not come close to meeting even this modest goal. “I’m working harder than ever to get the word out,” Daniel said, “and that would translate into three bars sold that day.” They temporarily lowered the price of a bar to $5.99, figuring people were strapped for cash, but that just meant earning less on the few orders that came in. Then, on May 25, George Floyd was arrested in Minneapolis on suspicion of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. Two members of the Minneapolis police force pinned down the forty-six-year-old Floyd’s back and legs, while a third officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeled on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes and forty-six seconds. Floyd repeated, “I can’t breathe,” at least sixteen times before he lost consciousness and died. The horrific video of George Floyd’s murder sparked protests around the country, along with a racial reckoning and a push for racial justice that would help a small black-owned chocolate maker struggling to make it in an industry dominated by whites. The “George Floyd effect,” as Daniel called it, saved Sol Cacao. “After George Floyd, there was this move to support local black businesses,” he said. “For the first time, we got visibility and had people—I mean, people we would never even imagine—reaching out to us and supporting us.” Bloggers and others who wrote about chocolate were among those contacting the Maloneys. People of color generally were the workers who planted and harvested the planet’s cacao beans, which grow in tropical climates. But the owners were overwhelmingly white. The Maloneys were featured in an article in Eater ran about “chocolate makers decolonizing the industry.” New York Makers, an online magazine, spotlighted their bespoke approach to producing chocolate. A local news site profiled the bean-to-bar makers behind the Bronx’s first chocolate factory. “We had been telling our story for five years,” Dominic said. “And finally people were listening,” Nicholas said, finishing his brother’s thought. The surprise for the Maloneys was that the horror of Floyd’s death was so deeply shared (a poll in June 2020 showed that 71 percent of white Americans agreed that racial discrimination was a “big problem”). The resulting racial reckoning meant the country, or at least many (Trump spent much of the summer decrying the “mobs” that had taken over the country’s biggest cities), were looking more deeply at institutional racism and the wide range of privileges whites blindly enjoyed at the expense of people of color. Many tried to do their small part by buying the Maloneys’ chocolate bars. Stores the Maloneys had contacted in the past got in touch with them. Others cold-called Sol Cacao—something that had never happened in its first half-dozen years. Normally, discussions with a store stretched on for months, but a couple put in an order shortly after first contact. The nimble entrepreneur through COVID increased his or her chances of survival. Cusumano’s is an upscale Italian restaurant just outside of Scranton that was able to stay in business because of the creativity of chef-owner TJ Cusumano. A state-ordered shutdown in March of 2020 meant his dining room remained closed for nearly three months. He could do take out, but his food was meant to be eaten hot on a plate, not soggy in a bag. Cusumano implemented Taco Tuesdays, and watched YouTube instructional videos to learn the finer points of barbecue. “The idea was good old Southern barbecue here in northern Pennsylvania,” TJ said. Both helped the restaurant cover its monthly bills. Sol Cacao stayed alive by pivoting to online sales. Individuals had always had the option of buying directly through the Sol Cacao website, but online purchases had never amounted to more than 10 percent of their sales. Almost all of their revenue came from sales to stores. That summer, though, online orders equaled half their revenues. Much of the rest were the corporate sales the Maloneys ramped up to cater to businesses interested in buying their bars for their customers or employees. The globe was suffering, and chocolate seemed a way for people to show they cared. One large corporation hired the brothers to do a virtual tasting for its sustainability department, which led to more jobs like it. “People were looking to get outside their confined space and find different things for team-building,” Daniel said. “You could definitely see the human spirit play out in terms of gifting,” Daniel said. “We’re getting a lot of notes saying, ‘Hey, I want to send bars to my colleagues who have been there for me,’ ‘I want to send these to someone to say thank you for support through hard times.’” The Maloneys braced for an end to the special attention accorded many black businesses in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder. The attention and heightened sense of justice was decades overdue, but they also recognized that there might be a kind of half-life to people’s attention span. For the moment, though, the three brothers were pleased. Their sales between May and September of 2020 were three times what they had been one year earlier. “The summer saved the company,” Daniel said. Added Dominic, “That gave us hope that we could get back on track in the fall.” * * * That December proved the best in the company’s history. They were along by Martha Stewart Living magazine, which had included Sol Cacao in a feature about “20 Chocolate Bars Perfect for Gifting.” Their repeat orders in the early months of 2021 were especially gratifying. “We always knew that we were making some of the best chocolate,” Dominic Maloney said. “But now it was recognition from a much larger audience.” More good things happened for the Maloneys in 2021.They received $10,000 from BeyGood, a small business Small Business Impact Fund created by the NAACP and the singer Beyoncé, to help black- owned businesses in five cities, including New York. A short time later, Amazon gave the company a $10,000 small business grant. For a moment, the brothers played their small part in Amazon’s well-funded efforts to cast itself as a friend of small business. They used the two grants to increase manufacturing capacity. Nearly three years into the pandemic, the Maloneys continue to thrive. Individual and corporate sales remain strong, and retail had picked up again as an outlet for its bars. Sol Cacao had even started selling in select Target stores. Mainly the three brothers felt fortunate that they still had a company to run. That’s a mantra voiced by a lot of small business owners who in the spring of 2020 were frightened that the pandemic would mean the end of their dream: They had survived. “We’re here and we’re still selling and still growing the business,” said Daniel Maloney. “And I consider that a big victory.” Adapted from SAVING MAIN STREET by Gary Rivlin, published by Harper Business, a division of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright © 2022 by Gary Rivlin......»»

Category: topSource: timeNov 2nd, 2022