Weekly Thoughts

VIEW ALL POSTS

Nanaimo Bars

Here is something that caught our eye this week:

Why Ratios Matter

Every Christmas, certain Canadian Chenmark members break from their typically low sugar diets to treat themselves to Nanaimo bars, a holiday goodie that is simply too delicious to pass up.  Some background on the Nanaimo bar from The Canadian Encyclopedia:

“The Nanaimo bar is a no-bake dessert bar that traditionally consists of three layers: a graham wafer crumb and shredded coconut base, custard-flavoured butter icing in the middle, and a chocolate ganache on top.  It is named after Nanaimo, British Columbia, where it was popularized in the years following the Second World War.  It subsequently rose to wider prominence after Expo 86. In 2006, the Nanaimo bar was declared Canada’s favourite confection by a reader’s poll in the National Post.”

The tasty treat was recently highlighted by the New York Times Cooking section, with a post on Instagram captioned “Canadians, this one’s for you.”  Unfortunately, US-Canada relations have since hit a new low, as the post raised patriotic uproar from Canadians for having incorrect proportions (not enough custard). From the CBC:

“Commentators decried the imposter bar as having not enough custard, with one saying, ‘You left out the Nanaimo in your bar.’ Steve Walker-Duncan, chair of the culinary arts program at Camosun College in Victoria, has to agree. ‘The ratio is kind of all wrong,’ said Walker-Duncan. ‘The bottom base layer, the coconut chocolate, and the custard layer, should, in my mind, be more equal and the chocolate layer on the top should be very thin and delicate.’ And it’s not just an esthetic issue — it’s a physics issue. ‘The thickness of the chocolate will impact the way it eats,’ Walker-Duncan said. ‘If it’s too thick, it breaks and pushes the custard out and you end up with this mess. It’s kind of like having a hamburger with a bun that’s too small. You take one bite and everything falls out the back end.’”

Walker-Duncan went on to say “it’s one of the great Canadian inventions and many people are appreciative and protective of the original.”  It just goes to show, don’t mess with Canadians in hockey OR dessert bars!

While this all may seem trivial, these types of things can actually matter in a business setting.  At Chenmark, we seek to acquire businesses across the US and Canada, and a large part of that is developing rapport with small business owners who are often quite proud of their heritage.  Accordingly, we are keenly aware that to an outsider, slight regional differences may seem meaningless, but be highly significant to an insider.  For instance, in Canada, it’s called a toque, not a winter hat.  Speaking of hats, don’t wear a Patriots hat to a meeting in New York.  Speaking of New York, don’t wear a suit to a meeting with a manufacturing company in Maine.  And if you’re in Maine and somebody asks for directions “upta camp”, just say, “you can’t get there from here”.  And, if you’re the New York Times, for the love of God, don’t mess up the ratios of a national favorite dessert!

Have a great week,

Your Chenmark Team

Subscribe to Weekly Thoughts

Previous Post Next Post

Recent Posts

Missionaries vs. Mercenaries v2

This past week, one of our companies had a key operational person quit with little notice in the heat of the busy season. In small business, these types of things happen and can have a tangible impact on the company and cause a management fire drill.

Read More

Fight Like Flike

We recently joked that some members of our team only read books with titles like “How To Win and Lead People…from a Military Perspective…but for Business”.  Kidding aside, to follow up on last week’s military focus, we recently listened to a TB12 Keep Going podcast with former Special Forces Green Beret Kevin Flike.  For those unfamiliar, his story of overcoming challenge is inspiring and worth digging into. 

Read More

Sugar Cookies

We recently took some time to re-read Admiral William McRaven’s 2017 Best-Seller, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change your Life… And Maybe the World. An easy read, the book goes into more detail on the themes outlined in McRaven’s iconic 2014 University of Texas at Austin Commencement Address.

Read More