Posts tagged with "Family business"

‘Family Business’ on Netflix is a French-Jewish version of ‘Breaking Bad’

July 9, 2019

For those of us who have been mourning for Walter White—and the entire Breaking Bad ensemble—since the series went off the air in 2013 (has it been six years already?), Netflix is now filling the gaping void in our viewing schedules with an imported knockoff series.

Excited? You should be.

The French series, which debuted in late June, is called Family Business—and it’s about a down-on-his-luck Jewish entrepreneur , Joseph Hazan, and his family; who race to turn their kosher butcher shop into a marijuana café after they learn the drug is going to be legalized.

And while, Haaretz reports, it lacks the macabre violence of Breaking Bad, the two shows do share a reliance on witty dialogue and strong acting.

Boasting a solid 7.3 score on IMDB, the series has wide appeal likely in large part to how it mixes race and family relations with fart jokes and surrealist scenes. (One features the Hazans narrowly avoiding arrest by telling police that the weed-stuffed dead pig in their kosher meat truck has been genetically engineered to receive rabbinical approval.)

In one scene, in which the Hazans find themselves serving food to an entire police precinct inside their illegal growth lab, the family dishes out typically Eastern European foods alongside North African mloukhiya stew.

 In another, Joseph’s father, Gerard, asks his mother-in-law to cook kishke— or as he calls it “that awful stink of a dish —to camouflage the scent of budding marijuana plants from the cops working next door.

The family’s trademark product—the parallel of Walter White’s blue ice in AMC’s  Breaking Bad—is called “pastraweed,” a mashup of pastrami and weed.

Yiddish phrases like “bubbeleh” pepper the dialogue, along with North African Jewish slang like “ya rab” and “miskin.”

Between the lines, the show’s creator, Igor Gotesman, also used the family biography to build a sort of microcosm of French Jewry—from the liberal elements represented in Joseph’s lesbian sister, Aure, to the conservative ones, represented by Gerard.

For those who are looking for a kooky, summer crime caper, this could be for you. One drawback: If you don’t speak French, you’ll be reading lots of captions.

Research contact: @Haaretz

Amazon posts a $7,250 ‘tiny-home kit’ that can be assembled in just eight hours

May 17, 2019

Talk about downsizing! Today, tiny homes—small structures between 180 square feet and 500 square feet in size—have become a housing solution for people who cannot (or don’t want to) pay high rents or mortgage costs, would prefer not to spend their time cleaning large interiors, or would like to take their dwellings with them to their travel destinations. But they also are increasingly in demand by wealthy buyers who want to customize their properties with a yoga studio, a pool house, or a home office, according to a report by Business Insider

And that’s the industry niche being occupied by Allwood, a family company based in  Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. The company is marketing a variety of tiny house kits—from 73 square feet to 227 square feet, and in a price range from about $3,000 to $10,000.

They are sold as DIY kits that can be assembled in your backyard (or even on a rooftop). In fact, the site says, the Allwood Claudia—“a high-quality cottage-style wood cabin kit made of solid Nordic spruce”with windows on three walls and 209 square feet of inside floor space—takes just about eight hours to two adults to assemble. Do-it-yourself step-by-step instructions come with the kit. Only minimal tools are needed.

Capitalizing on the trend, Amazon is even selling a $7,250 kit for a tiny studio from the company called the Allwood Solvalla that has a total of 172 square feet of floor space (86 square  of it, covered) and that sells for $7,250 with free shipping. “Ideal home office or guest house,” the description says—but no working bathroom or kitchen is included. Allwood makes other models that include these amenities.

While tiny homes are often mobile, Allwood’s studio is meant to stay firmly rooted outdoors. It can also be taken apart and reassembled in new locations.

What’s more, Business Insider points out, “Those who want to transform it into a fully functioning home or guest house will need to install their own electricity and air conditioning, which could increase the cost by thousands of dollars. Buyers will also need to purchase shingles and a foundation, which cost an extra $320, according to the company.”

After launching the model in 2018, Allwood said its goal was to sell 250 kits by the end of the year. Thus far, the studio has only two customer reviews on Amazon — one praising the price point and another considering it a rip-off.

It all depends on your perspective. If you have the money, it could even be a children’s playhouse.

Research contact: @businessinsider

A small Texas town is home to one of the last baseball glove factories in America

March 22, 2019

At a factory located about 100 miles outside of Dallas, employees literally are working “hand in glove” to produce the high-quality leather accessories used on baseball and softball diamonds nationwide.

Since 1934, in the small town of Nocona, Texas (population: 3,000), premium ball gloves have been handcrafted by skilled American workers. Each of the gloves made at the Nokona American Ballgloves manufacturing site is individually cut, stamped, stitched, laced, and embroidered by the company’s 75 employees—giving the mitt its own unique identity and feel.

And the company, itself, is nearly one of a kind—representing one of the last baseball glove factories in the United States, according to a recent NPR report.

“We literally bring leather in through one door and magically, ball gloves come out the door at the very end,” Rob Storey, Nokona’s executive vice president, told the public radio station.

And Storey should know: He grew up in the business. To survive the Depression, his grandfather, Bob Storey, added baseball gloves to his line of leather goods in 1934. Since then, just about every U.S. competitor has moved production overseas.

[In] a lot of [the overseas] factories, people have never even seen a baseball game or know what it is. Sure, it would be easy to go over there and do something. But that’s not who we are.” he said in an interview.

Who they are is an all-American company dedicated to the nation’s favorite pastime—even if Nokona not a household name like Rawlings or Wilson.

And in the youth market, they are big. “I grew up using a Nokona glove,” recalls Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Robby Scott. “My first glove that I ever really remember was a first baseman’s mitt that was a Nokona.”

Indeed, he told NPR, “I will never wear a different glove.It’s a special bond I have with them. They could have 200 players wearing their gloves. But, to me, it seems special because they make it seem like I’m the only one.”

And, says Storey, Nokona is the only maker he knows of that will refurbish its old, tattered mitts. He says that doesn’t happen with gloves made overseas.

Research contact: @bzeeble