What you will find in this edition
The Business of Valentine”s Day
- Business Psychology:
Breaking the Comfort Zone!
- Business Funding:
From 10 K to 3 Million!
- Executive Fitness:
- International Spirits & Cuisine:
How Chocolate Became Tied to Valentine’s Day
- Living & Traveling Offshore:
Tour Europe on a Motorcycle!
- Corb7 International Services:
The Business of Valentine’s Day!
A Survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF) projects U.S. consumers will spend a total of$18.2 billion on their valentines this year. Over $4 billion of that will be spent on jewelry alone, with another $2 billion on flowers. That’s an average of $136.57 per person.
Sweethearts who want to keep their relationships running strong know that Valentine’s Day is celebrated each year on February 14. But even the most ardent Valentine’s Day enthusiast might not know just why this day designed for lovers to express their affections for one another is celebrated in mid-February. According to the Library of Congress, it’s hard to pinpoint exactly why Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14, though the date might have ties to the ancient Roman celebration of Lupercalia. Lupercalia was a spring festival celebrated each year on February 15. The holiday was moved to February 14 after the spread of Christianity. The Christian faith had several early martyrs named Valentine, and each of them were celebrated with a saint day on February 14. But the unique history of Valentine’s Day and its association with February 14 as well as its romantic sentiments does not end there. The Library of Congress also notes that, in the Middle Ages, people believed birds selected their mates on February 14. As a result, it was not uncommon for lovers to recite prose to one another on this date.
Breaking the Comfort Zone!
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International Spirits & Cuisine
How Chocolate Became Tied to Valentine”s Day
Heart-shaped boxes filled with decadent treats are coveted gifts on Valentine’s Day. Chocolate lovers typically have a favorite type of chocolate, whether it’s creamy filled truffles or chocolate pieces with fruit or nut fillings.
The tradition of gifting chocolate is anything but new. Chocolate and other sweet treats have been offered for centuries as prized gifts. Even ancient Aztecs and Mayans celebrated chocolate and saw it as a hot commodity. Drinks made of cacao beans would be given as presents to people of high status. Chocolate also would be offered to the gods as a token of appreciation. Cacao beans were even used as a form of currency at one point.
During the 17th century, chocolate consumption grew considerably across Europe. Chocolate houses cropped up in London, and the French elite often indulged in chocolate. Chocolate’s popularity continued to grow, but the dessert was not linked to Valentine’s Day until nearly 200 years later. In the mid-1800s, an enterprising individual named Richard Cadbury was looking for a way to make chocolate even more popular than it already was. He sought out a method to make drinking chocolate more palatable and created “eating chocolates.” These chocolates were packaged in decorative boxes. Eventually, Cadbury saw the benefit of putting images of cupids and roses on the boxes. Cadbury even designed chocolate boxes in the shape of hearts that could be saved as mementos. These chocolates soon became intertwined with Valentine’s Day celebrations.
On the other side of the Atlantic, Milton Hershey dabbled in commercializing chocolate as well. Hershey began as a caramel maker, but experimented with covering the caramels in chocolate in 1894. Hershey would go on to develop one of the most successful brands of chocolate in the United States, which included the famous Hershey bar. In 1907, Hershey launched production of tear-drop shaped “kisses.” (The chocolates were given their unusual name because of the “smooching” noise made by the chocolate when being manufactured.) The kisses became wildly popular and made for affordable chocolate gifts on Valentine’s Day.
Many other chocolate manufacturers soon began packaging their chocolates in special boxes for Valentine’s Day. Russell Stover and Whitmans are two such manufacturers who have long specialized in heart-shaped boxes or other decorative Valentine’s gifts.
Traditionally, men have gifted women with boxes of chocolate for Valentine’s Day. However, that role is reversed in other areas of the world. For example, in Japan, women give gifts – namely chocolates – to the men in their lives to express love, courtesy or social obligation. This tradition first began in 1936 when confectioner Morozoff Ltd. ran the first ever Valentine’s Day ad in Japan through a local English newspaper. By the 1950s, other Japanese confectioners were following suit.
Chocolate has long been tied to Valentine’s Day gifting. Whether one believes that chocolate symbolizes heightened status, acts as an aphrodisiac or is just a special treat, chocolates will likely always be associated with the day of love.
Living & Traveling Offshore
Motorcycle Tour this Summer?
Motorcycles are a great way to travel. Motorcycles provide a multi sensory experience that many riders feel cannot be rivaled.
Motorcycles have a come a long way in comfort and features since creators Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach debuted the first motorcycle in Germany in 1885.
The popularity of motorcycles has fluctuated over the years, and the people who ride them have changed as well. In 2014, for example, women represented 14 percent of all motorcycle owners, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Generally speaking, motorcycle ownership has become a pursuit of the financially solvent, married and well educated. According to the finance and investment resource The Motley Fool, most new motorcycles sold in the United States are on-highway bikes, rather than off-roading styles. These bikes are ideal for motorcycle tours.
Speaking of motorcycle tours, they can be an ideal way to see the country or the world. Motorcycle tour companies are popping up on just about every continent and can help make for extraordinary road trips. Pairing a motorcycle ride with a touch of history can treat riders to hidden details of the places they visit and offer an up close and personal look at many sights and attractions.
With motorcycle tours, there’s often something for everyone. Riders can take in sumptuous landscapes, zigzag on mountain roads, ride along coastal vistas, and even explore areas featuring medieval architecture or other historical locales. Motorcycle tourists can ride as a group or strike out on their own.
Many tours put together an impressive package that includes elegant accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, support vehicles to carry luggage and other necessities, custom maps and route sheets as well as admission to special attractions at stops along the tours. Certain tours also may be personally guided.
Motorcycle tours can be well worth the effort of research and booking for those who prefer to travel around North America, Europe or Asia on two wheels. A quick search online will yield motorcycle tours close to home or at many popular destinations.
CORB 7 INTERNATIONAL
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