Eco Terreno’s Urban Tasting Room and Lyon & Swan supper club open in

Next time you’re craving an upscale wine-tasting experience, there’s no need to trek to Napa or Sonoma. With the arrival of Eco Terreno’s new Urban Tasting Room in North Beach’s storied Jackson Square, you can sample delicious wines in a gorgeous setting here in town. And enjoy attentive service worthy of wine country’s finest establishments.

“Though Sonoma is close to San Francisco, a trip to wine country requires a generous amount of time,” says Mark Lyon, founder and owner of Eco Terreno Wines and Vineyards, a leader in biodynamic and organic farming. “It’s for this reason that we chose to bring the essence of our farm in Alexander Valley to the city. We also wanted to engage with a community where people could learn about and appreciate our strong environmentally conscious ethos.”

After searching for a place for several years, he and Rob Izzo, Eco Terreno’s CEO, found the historic building at 140 Columbus Avenue in 2018. The white lion’s head above the entry seemed a promising omen. But it was the building’s legacy of inclusivity, a value that’s always been part of the Eco Terreno culture, that won them over. (Lyon was one of the first prominent, openly-gay members of the California wine industry.) In 1918, it housed The Jupiter, a black and tan club owned by Jelly Roll Morton. (These clubs provided safe spaces for interracial folks to socialize during a time of segregation.) Later, Mona’s — the first lesbian bar on the West Coast — opened her doors here. And by 1952, the building was home to the Purple Onion, the famous Beat-era comedy and entertainment club that launched the careers of legendary performers like Lenny Bruce, Phyllis Diller, and The Smothers Brothers.

With large windows overlooking bustling Columbus Avenue, the tasting room exudes a relaxed yet elegant vibe. Decorative touches such as hand-painted murals of vineyards and a color palette infused with sage green and deep burgundy nod to the room’s ties to the land and wines of Alexander Valley.

“It’s just a beautiful space that is so warm and welcoming,” says Dawn Agnew, Eco Terreno’s hospitality director. “We are really excited to bring this kind of tasting room to the city.”

Eco Terreno wines. |  Photo credit: Frank Frances


Tastings showcase wines from Eco Terreno’s old vines and are paired with small plates designed by Executive Chef Joe Ball, formerly of La Folie. Food pairings change daily according to what’s in season at Eco Terreno’s produce farm and other local organic sources. Ball concocts his dishes around the profiles of the wines being served. Tastings begin at $50 per person for the Bee Classic, which features five wines. For $130 a head, the Lyon’s Pride includes a glass of Champagne followed by a five-course wine and food pairing.

“We knew we wanted to offer more than just a tasting room with wine and cheese pairings,” explains Agnew, who worked for Hamel Family Wines and Restaurant Gary Danko before joining Eco Terreno. “There’s a bit of a learning curve for some guests until they actually experience all that we offer. Then it’s like ‘Oh, I just left the French Laundry.’ We are 100 percent service-driven. It’s all about the guest and what they’re comfortable with.”

On the top floor of the tasting room, there’s an executive kitchen with exhibition and education space for private events and Eco Terreno wine club members. And a 250-gallon tank for making wine on-site.

The executive kitchen on the top floor of Eco Terreno’s Urban Tasting Room. | Photo credit: Frank Frances


Downstairs, you’ll find Lyon & Swan, an underground supper club featuring French-California cuisine and nightly live music. The room is small and intimate — it seats about 54 guests. But bold décor from design firm StudioHEIMAT makes a big statement. There’s lots of exposed concrete and eclectic artwork that honors the building’s diverse, hedonistic past. Streaked with chartreuse, brown, and gray ripples, the onyx bar is itself a work of art. So is the large modern light fixture that dangles in a web of glass strands above a quad of plush orange and tropical-patterned chairs. The lounge area faces a dramatic fireplace, a perfect spot to linger with a cocktail or glass of wine before dinner. Russet leather banquettes line the walls; mid-century-inspired tables and chairs are sprinkled around the stage so you can savor a bird’s eye view of the entertainment along with your meal.

“There’s no door charge or per-person minimum in the supper club,” Agnew tells Hoodline. “Dinner, live entertainment, cocktails—they all work together seamlessly and harmoniously. And Matteo Villano, our beverage director, has put together the coolest wine list I’ve seen in the city in a long time.”

Live entertainment and French California fare await in the Lyon & Swan supper club. |  Photo credit: Frank Frances

A supper club starter from Executive Chef Joe Ball. |  Photo credit: Frank Frances


Eco Terreno Urban Tasting Room, located at 140 Columbus Avenue, is open daily from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Lyon & Swan (124 Columbus Avenue) is open Wednesday through Monday, from 5 to 11:30 p.m. For more information or reservations, visit www.ecoterreno.com and www.lyonandswan.com




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Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFM) Shares Sold by B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG

B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG lowered its stake in shares of Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:SFMGet Rating) by 15.0% in the second quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 25,020 shares of the company’s stock after selling 4,430 shares during the quarter. B. Metzler seel. Sohn & Co. AG’s holdings in Sprouts Farmers Market were worth $634,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Other hedge funds have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board bought a new stake in Sprouts Farmers Market during the 1st quarter valued at $35,000. Ellevest Inc. raised its stake in Sprouts Farmers Market by 103.6% during the 2nd quarter. Ellevest Inc. now owns 1,234 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,000 after acquiring an additional 628 shares in the last quarter. Platinum Investment Management Ltd. raised its stake in Sprouts Farmers Market by 36.3% during the 2nd quarter. Platinum Investment Management Ltd. now owns 1,758 shares of the company’s stock valued at $45,000 after acquiring an additional 468 shares in the last quarter. CWM LLC raised its stake in Sprouts Farmers Market by 59.2% during the 2nd quarter. CWM LLC now owns 1,840 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,000 after acquiring an additional 684 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Quent Capital LLC raised its stake in Sprouts Farmers Market by 112.6% during the 1st quarter. Quent Capital LLC now owns 2,109 shares of the company’s stock valued at $67,000 after acquiring an additional 1,117 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 98.92% of the company’s stock.

Insider Buying and Selling

In related news, VP Stacy W. Hilgendorf sold 9,440 shares of Sprouts Farmers Market stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $32.00, for a total value of $302,080.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 10,902 shares in the company, valued at approximately $348,864. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. In other news, insider Brandon F. Lombardi sold 12,612 shares of Sprouts Farmers Market stock in a transaction on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $33.66, for a total transaction of $424,519.92. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 33,150 shares in the company, valued at $1,115,829. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Stacy W. Hilgendorf sold 9,440 shares of Sprouts Farmers Market stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $32.00, for a total value of $302,080.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 10,902 shares in the company, valued at approximately $348,864. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 34,735 shares of company stock worth $1,146,671 in the last three months. 0.71% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Sprouts Farmers Market Stock Performance

Shares of NASDAQ SFM opened at $33.39 on Monday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.71, a current ratio of 1.28 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.25. The stock has a market capitalization of $3.53 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.58, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 0.42. The stock’s fifty day simple moving average is $29.25 and its 200 day simple moving average is $28.00. Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. has a 52-week low of $22.56 and a 52-week high of $35.34.

Wall Street Analysts Forecast Growth

A number of research firms have recently commented on SFM. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price objective on Sprouts Farmers Market from $27.00 to $30.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 10th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their price objective on Sprouts Farmers Market from $34.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Wednesday, November 9th. MKM Partners downgraded Sprouts Farmers Market from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $38.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Friday, November 11th. Northcoast Research downgraded Sprouts Farmers Market from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 17th. Finally, StockNews.com began coverage on Sprouts Farmers Market in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $30.43.

Sprouts Farmers Market Profile

(Get Rating)

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc offers fresh, natural, and organic food products in the United States. The company offers perishable product categories, including fresh produce, meat, seafood, deli, bakery, floral and dairy, and dairy alternatives; and non-perishable product categories, such as grocery, vitamins and supplements, bulk items, frozen foods, beer and wine, and natural health and body care.

Further Reading

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Sprouts Farmers Market (NASDAQ:SFM)

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Arla’s December milk price to remain unchanged

Dairy co-operative Arla has announced that its December milk price for conventional and organic milk will remain unchanged.

This means the UK manufacturing price for conventional and organic milk will remain at 52.24ppl and 57.02ppl respectively.

Arla Foods amba board director, Arthur Fearnall said that global milk supply levels continued to stabilise, with levels in Europe increasing.

“Global dairy commodity prices, including yellow cheese and butter have declined from the previous high levels in October,” he said.

“The outlook is negative, driven by the continued decline in commodity prices.”

Paul Savage, agriculture director for Arla UK, added that the last year had brought inflationary challenges for farmers.

“[We] have worked hard to deliver significant increases to both our conventional and organic farmgate milk price throughout the year.

“We are closely monitoring the decline in global commodity prices and as a cooperative business we remain committed to adding the most value for our farmer owners for the milk they work hard to produce.”

It comes after First Milk announced that its milk price will remain unchanged from 1 January 2023.

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Delight for winners at BGS Grassland Farmer of the Year competition in Welshpool

Tom Goatman, chief executive of the British Grassland Society
Tom Goatman, chief executive of the British Grassland Society

Representing Cardigan and District Grassland Society, they run a 300-cow organic dairy herd on 105 hectares that forms part of a larger 385-hectare organic farming system.

Head judge Hugh McClymont from SRUC said that Aled and Owain showed both enthusiasm and passion.

They had full sets of figures for all aspects of grass and milk production and the whole family, including Aled’s wife Hedydd and daughter Mared, were working together and were driven by results.

In what was a very close competition, the runners-up were Claire and John Beckett from Ulster Grassland Society, and Jeremy Way and Kate Lywood from West Sussex Grassland Society.

Claire Beckett, who also works part-time as a nutritionist for Trouw Nutrition, farms in partnership with her parents, John and Karen, at Donacloney near Craigavon, where they run a 150-cow herd of pedigree Holsteins.

Aled and Owain Rees

Hugh McClymont stated that the attention to detail on the farm ensured that the farm was working at the highest level with a clear direction of travel.

Jeremy Way and Kate Lywood run an organic dairy herd of 320 spring calving cows which are a mix of Friesian, Norwegian Red and Jersey genetics.

Kate is a third-generation tenant on Marshalls Farm, with the use of further rented land for replacement stock.

Hugh McClymont praised Jeremy and Kate for great teamwork and for making the best use of what was available to them.

In summarising, Hugh McClymont stated that it was good for the future of the dairy industry to see young farmers involved in decision making and future planning on all three farms.

The competition and the Awards Evening are kindly sponsored by Germinal, Nufarm and Yara.

l Tom Goatman is chief executive of the British Grassland Society

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Jennifer Lopez, Lizzo Take The Hollywood Reporter Entrepreneurs Survey – The Hollywood Reporter

In putting together its second annual list of the top Celebrity Entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry, The Hollywood Reporter surveyed some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, including Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Ellen DeGeneres, about why they decided to branch out from acting and singing to also launch brands.

Everyone from Dwayne Johnson, Drew Barrymore and Selena Gomez to power couples Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively and Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade shared their insights and thoughts with THR on a range of questions. We asked these celebs not only about who they call for business advice and which social posts have have garnered the most engagement for their companies (see: Aaron Paul being pushed on a luggage cart by Bryan Cranston), but also about a different side of themselves they get to explore as a brand builder.

Seth Rogen, Kate Hudson, Scarlett Johansson and Kristen Bell shared which products (not their own) they wish they had dreamt up (guess who picked the Ember mug?). And — as the number of celebrity-led brands continues to grow across such categories as spirits, apparel, food and beauty — we asked stars including Lizzo, Shay Mitchell, Jennifer Garner, Eva Longoria and Michael Strahan to tell us how they see consumer patterns shifting this year.

Read on for more answers from Jessica Biel, Vanessa Hudgens, Katy Perry, Jesse Bongiovi, Ian Somerhalder, Paul Wesley, Sofia Vergara, and Ciara and Russell Wilson as they take the 2022 Entrepreneurs Survey.

My business motto is …

RYAN REYNOLDS (AVIATION GIN, MAXIMUM EFFORT MARKETING, MINT MOBILE, WREXHAM AFC) “Necessity is the mother of invention. When given less, you’re forced to replace spectacle with character. Character is always more memorable.”

SETH ROGEN (HOUSEPLANT) “Shit, am I supposed to have one of those? What’s Ryan Reynolds’? I’ll take his.”

SNOOP DOGG (SNAZZLE O’S, BROADUS FOODS, INDOGGO, 19 CRIMES) “To be open to new ideas, keep learning from others and at the end of the day, do things that are authentic to me, my vision … and bring love and joy while I’m doing it.”

RUSSELL WILSON (GOOD MAN BRAND, HOUSE OF LR&C, HUMAN NATION) “Only do things that are meaningful and authentic to you.”

CIARA (LITA BY CIARA, OAM, TEN TO ONE) “When you get a chance to introduce your brand for the first time, swing big!”

ISSA RAE (HILLTOP COFFEE, SIENNA NATURALS) “How can I make this better?”


MICHELLE PFEIFFER (HENRY ROSE) “Never compromise on your vision.”  

JENNIFER LOPEZ (JLO BEAUTY, JLO JENNIFER LOPEZ FOR DSW) “You are only limited by what you believe about yourself.”

MACHINE GUN KELLY (UN/DR LAQR) “If ‘money is the motive,’ you won’t make any.”

SHAY MITCHELL (BÉIS, ONDA) “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I remind myself of this when I see other companies taking inspiration from the innovative styles and features that we’ve become known for.”

KATY PERRY (DE SOI, KATY PERRY COLLECTIONS) “Stay true to yourself. If you can’t talk about it authentically, the consumer always knows.”

EVA LONGORIA (CASA DEL SOL, RISA) “Because of the industry I’m in, my motto is, ‘Produce with purpose.’ With whatever I’m doing, I’m producing with purpose because then I know I’m never wasting my time on it.”

DWAYNE JOHNSON (TEREMANA, ZOA, XFL) “Always take care of the audience, the consumer, the people. Always take care of them and always send them home happy. That’s the motto I live by in all my businesses.”

LIZZO (YITTY) “Know who you’re working with and share the same values as the people you’re working with.”

BLAKE LIVELY (BETTY BUZZ) “Be kind. You can be exacting, you can be demanding, you can be boundaried, but without kindness and respect, you lose people. I’ve been on the other side of that far too often. It’s the people ultimately that make or break your business, no matter the product, so take care of them. That means your team, your consumers, your partners, everyone.”

JESSICA BIEL (KINDERFARMS) “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

KRISTEN BELL (HELLO BELLO) “People over process.”

ELLEN DEGENERES (ED ELLEN DEGENERES, KIND SCIENCE) “Invest in things you love and believe in.”

GAL GADOT (GOODLES) “Surround yourself with extremely talented people who put the work in like you do. Our team at Goodles is incredible, each and every one of them. Jennifer Zeszut, our CEO, managed to curate such a fantastic group of people. It’s all about the people you work with. It matters. A LOT!”

SELENA GOMEZ (RARE BEAUTY, SERENDIPITY, WONDERMIND) “Only do things that are authentic to who you are.”

JENNIFER ANISTON (LOLAVIE) “It’s OK to be tough — but also kind and fair. So many people only focus on being cutthroat and I think that doesn’t always serve you in the end.”

DREW BARRYMORE (BEAUTIFUL, FLOWER BEAUTY, FLOWER HOME) “Find what’s not out there and do that.”

JESSE BONGIOVI (HAMPTON WATER) “Win or lose, we still booze.”

BRYAN CRANSTON (DOS HOMBRES) “Being successful in business, and being good stewards of the earth, are not mutually exclusive.”

AARON PAUL (DOS HOMBRES) “The harder you work, the luckier you become.”

KATE HUDSON (FABLETICS, KING ST. VODKA, INBLOOM) “I guess it’s ‘what’s your why.’ What’s your purpose and what drives you to build a business or whatever you may be doing, whether it be movies, or products or fashion, tech — what drives you and what is it about the business that moves you to want be a part of it and connected to it and how does it give back. That, to me, is always my motto — move with purpose.”

VANESSA HUDGENS (CALIWATER, THOMAS ASHBOURNE) “Authenticity is everything. Consumers can tell when something feels forced. Your business has to feel like an extension of you.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON (THE OUTSET, SNOW DAYS) “With every gain, there’s a loss and with every loss, there’s a gain.”

PAUL WESLEY (BROTHER’S BOND) “People always joke that I am glass half empty and [business partner] Ian [Somerhalder] is glass half full. I tend to focus on consistently improving rather than celebrating any success. I am grateful I have people on my team who balance me out so that I can take a step back and enjoy the wins.”

IAN SOMERHALDER (BROTHER’S BOND) “Honestly I have two: Building on truly purpose-driven foundational pillars of story, quality and authenticity, you can do well and do good at the same time.”

GABRIELLE UNION (BITSY’S, FITON, FLAWLESS BY GABRIELLE UNION, PROUDLY) “There are a million ways to solves problems — there is always an answer, just maybe not the one your ego and pride suggest first.”

The biggest lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is …

ELLEN DEGENERES “How to spell entrepreneur.”

MICHELLE PFEIFFER “Instead of giving up or compromising my vision, I used every ‘no’ I was met with for over a decade to fuel my motivation. I’m incredibly proud of the new precedent Henry Rose has set for safety, transparency and quality in fragrance.” 

GABRIELLE UNION “Be prepared for success. We didn’t anticipate the demand and it actually set us back. Being out of stock sounds like high-class problems but is terrible for a new business.”

SOFIA VERGARA (FOSTER GRANT, ROOMS TO GO, WALMART PARTNERSHIP) “My customers are intelligent and know what they want. They appreciate good quality and good value, so it is important to listen to them and only provide them with things I believe in and would use myself.”

RUSSELL WILSON “Never give up. To do anything great, there will be highs and lows and peaks and valleys. Just keep climbing.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN “Never stop believing in yourself. I live by my dad’s motto, ‘Not if, but when’ it will happen. Having that mindset in every entrepreneurial decision is crucial. ‘Failures’ or ‘nos’ are just redirections to something bigger and better. I accept failure as part of the journey and figure out another way to make it happen.”

SETH ROGEN “There is a direct correlation between scale and quality. At Houseplant, quality is our main focus, both with weed and our home goods. And learning how to maintain the level of quality that is imperative to us while still growing our company has been wildly beneficial.”

SNOOP DOGG “Acknowledge my mistakes, study why it happened and then learn from there on how to be greater.”

LIZZO “The biggest lesson I’ve learned as an entrepreneur is to provide a service you actually care about. Don’t say yes to an enterprising idea only because it will bring you a profit. If you don’t actually care about the product, consumers can tell nowadays … especially because of social media.”

KATY PERRY “Creating a business plan and having a board creates a roadmap to success.”

RYAN REYNOLDS (AVIATION GIN, MAXIMUM EFFORT MARKETING, MINT MOBILE, WREXHAM AFC) “Resist the urge to win in favor of learning. Seeking to learn from someone you disagree with is often more valuable than ‘winning.’”

BLAKE LIVELY “Follow your convictions.”

EVA LONGORIA “There are no such things as mistakes, only new ways on how not to do it.”

MACHINE GUN KELLY “Big risk, big reward.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON “The importance of being flexible.”

JENNIFER GARNER (ONCE UPON A FARM) “All I do is learn lessons. I am the student here surrounded by experts. Learning every single thing from scratch is the gift in itself.”

SELENA GOMEZ “I am the first one to say I do not have all of the answers and am a strong believer in collaboration. When I founded Rare Beauty, I had never started a company from the ground up and was aware I had to surround myself with people that had more experience than me. I needed true partners who could help execute my vision.“

ELTON JOHN (ELTON JOHN EYEWEAR) “Be bold. Take risks. Be prepared to fail. Success is never straightforward trajectory. You’re going to make mistakes. Learn from them and adjust your course accordingly.”

KATE HUDSON “That’s a difficult question because there are so many things happening so frequently that you’re constantly learning. I guess that’s the answer. You never stop learning and growing and understanding the business landscape, because the landscape is always changing.”

GAL GADOT “It takes time. You need to be patient, keep pushing forward, not lose your passion and never stop believing in it.”

JENNIFER ANISTON “To always trust your gut. When something doesn’t feel right, there’s probably a good reason.”

JESSICA BIEL “That there will be failures. So, keep expectations leveled and be able to accept that not all endeavors will be successful, but the profound amount of learning and personal growth within the failure is worth the entire experience.”

KRISTEN BELL “Run your idea by someone who will challenge you or give you an opposing view. For me, this is my husband. And every time I run things by him, I’m able to see my blind spots, and the idea becomes better because of it.”

DREW BARRYMORE “Fight for your gut instincts. There’s a reason you’re there and not someone else. That said, be a good collaborator.”

BRYAN CRANSTON “It’s OK not to know something. But it’s not OK to remain ignorant. Learn your business.”

AARON PAUL “Trust your gut and run with it. Remember, falling down is all part of the process. You must fall down so you can grow. It’s important to fall down. Dust yourself off and keep going. If you don’t, then someone else will.”

I wish I had dreamt up …

JESSE BONGIOVI  “The Snuggie. My whole family had their own growing up. It’s just a robe on backwards that was also highly flammable but, wow, was that genius.”

BLAKE LIVELY “Dr. Barbara Sturm Anti-Pollution Drops. I had no idea what that meant. But I tried them when I spent three days at Disneyland in 100-degree temperatures, wearing full surfers zinc sunscreen and a mask and hat. My face should’ve looked like a pubescent boy after all that. Not a single breakout. I’m convinced it’s witchcraft.” 

KATE HUDSON “There are so many! But I wish that I had dreamt up the Oura Ring.”

DWYANE WADE (JEETER, PROUDLY, WADE CELLARS, WAY OF WADE) “I can’t believing I’m saying this but … AirPods. I was resisting the AirPod wave for a while, but now I always have mine with me.”

SHAY MITCHELL “The entire Frida company.”

ISSA RAE “Salt Spray’s Whipped Body Butter Sunrise Mimosa smells amazing and makes my skin feel moisturized and glowy. I got [it] as a gift in Bermuda and had to re-up. Now I want to try their other flavors.”


KRISTEN BELL “The Ember mug. It’s genius.”

PAUL WESLEY “Apple AirTags! Lost my luggage a few times this year and was able to locate it immediately. Getting it back is another story, though.”

JENNIFER ANISTON “Oh, I don’t know … maybe the iPhone.”

DREW BARRYMORE “I’m going to be in love with whomever reinvents how we get rid of plastics in takeout food.”

SETH ROGEN “You seen these fucking iPhones??”

A fellow celebrity entrepreneur who inspires me is …

ELTON JOHN “Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. What their family created with Newman’s Own foods was truly groundbreaking and changed the lives of so many.”

DWYANE WADE “I have always been inspired by Magic Johnson and the work that he has done both in business and the community. As an athlete, he has dispelled any limit to our success and set the bar high for my generation and those to come.”

RUSSELL WILSON “Ciara, my wife. Watching her run our fashion house, the House of LR&C and create businesses like OAM skincare and invest in up-and-coming brands like Ten to One Rum has been super inspiring, not to mention her being a world-class entertainer, amazing mother, wife and best friend. Baby girl can do it all!”

SOFIA VERGARA “There are so many, but I’ve always been inspired by Oprah, Martha Stewart and Jennifer Lopez. They do so many different things and are constantly evolving their businesses. I admire them a lot.”

SNOOP DOGG “Master P, he’s set a blueprint for us on ownership and partnership, while continuing to innovate on new levels.”

RYAN REYNOLDS “Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. Their brand was an authentic extension and expression of who they were as people.” 

ISSA RAE “Diddy aka ‘Love’ has been influential since I was in middle school, does everything I want to do, owns most of what he does and seems to have the best time doing it.”

SHAY MITCHELL “I think you have to give credit where it is due, and Jessica Simpson was really the first celebrity brand that became a cultural sensation.”

BLAKE LIVELY “Rihanna. You don’t have enough room on the page to fit all the reasons why I think she’s one of the most impactful and inspiring artists, business leaders and generational icons we’ll ever witness. She’s paved the way for entrepreneurs across a multitude of categories and experience.”

JESSE BONGIOVI “I’d say Ryan Reynolds because it’s not fair to be so successful, talented and handsome.”

PAUL WESLEY “My friends Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul have done a tremendous job with their mezcal, and it’s been great to see two really good people succeed as well as they have. They love their product as much as we love our product, and that enthusiasm is inspiring to see.”

BRYAN CRANSTON “The ones who do it right and put in the work: Ryan’s gin, Dwayne’s tequila, Ian and Paul’s bourbon, and others.”

AARON PAUL “Dwayne Johnson and Ryan Reynolds are blinding examples of how a business can and should be run. They run their enterprises with true grit and incredible humor. They both are salt of the earth men that I really look up to, and it’s impossible not to root for them.”

GAL GADOT “Ryan Reynolds. He shared his experience with me and what it takes to bring a brand to life. I love the way he communicates his brand to the world as they are always fun, original and very Ryan. You gotta make sure the brand is in your voice with your spirit.”

JENNIFER GARNER “John Foraker may not be a celebrity to The Hollywood Reporter, but he is in the world of CPG CEOs. He is endlessly patient, thoughtful and honest — I think it is fair of me to speak for everyone at OFARM [Once Upon a Farm] — we feel so lucky to be led by John.”

KATE HUDSON “I can’t ever really answer this question without talking about Gwyneth Paltrow. Gwyneth and I have known one another for a very long time, and I remember when she started Goop. I remember when she was even just thinking about starting Goop. I remember having a conversation with her which must have been in 2009 or 2010 — and she was talking about how she wanted to be trusted with the things that she really loves. And what she was talking about at that time, among other things, was her cooking. She has always been one of the better chefs that I’ve ever experienced. I was just so lucky to have a friend who could cook for me like that. But it was really important to her that she did the work and immersed herself, because she wanted to share it with people and she wanted to do it right. I watched her really involve herself in so many different things, including the landscape of understanding business, how to grow a business and what inevitably ended up becoming Goop. So, I would say that Gwyneth’s follow-through and her dedication from the whispers of wanting to start Goop to where it is today was incredibly motivating to me because she walks that walk. She’s immersed in her business every day of her life. I find that kind of follow-through really inspiring.”

MACHINE GUN KELLY “Robert De Niro, because he got in business with Chef Nobu and made one of the most amazing upper-echelon sushi restaurants, which expanded to becoming its own hotel [brand].”

KATY PERRY “Kim Kardashian. You can see her dedication and passion. She’s a day-in, day-out person with her businesses, and she has a great support system.”

My most-engaged social post was …

ISSA RAE “A video of me and our founder, Hannah Diop, sipping and answering hair and lifestyle preference questions.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN “A then and now photo with a suit from the past and a current suit from my line.”

CIARA “Announcing The House of LR&C. We had over 500 million impressions the first day.”

MICHELLE PFEIFFER “Reels! Everyone seems to love when I share what scents I’m currently layering.”

JESSE BONGIOVI “We have had a handful of pretty successful TikToks over the last few years but my favorite was the Thanksgiving one.”

LIZZO “Not sure on most engaged, but my favorite post from this past year was when I was announced that I was doing shapewear with the Yitty ass tattoo. People were really excited about it.”

KATY PERRY “Me in my hamburger costume from the Met 2019 alongside a special blinged-out version of the hamburger shoes we made for Katy Perry Collections.”


GAL GADOT “One of the first ones when I announced Goodles.”

PAUL WESLEY “Any time I post a photo with Ian, it’s a smash hit. Must be those baby blue eyes.”

BRYAN CRANSTON “Our recent Halloween video was a lot of fun and garnered a massive number of views.”

AARON PAUL “Bryan Cranston pushing me on a luggage cart full of Dos Hombres through a hotel hallway. It was something we already were doing and I said, ‘We should maybe film this.’”

JENNIFER ANISTON “The LolaVie 2 Step in my bathroom where I am applying my LolaVie Glossing Detangler and then my Perfecting Leave-In.”

VANESSA HUDGENS “The posts about my brands that have been the most successful are organic placements. Living life to the fullest and having my product in hand. I authentically use my products so it’s never a forced thing.”

ELTON JOHN “A post on National HIV Testing Day about Elton John Eyewear and EJAF’s partnership with Walmart in June focused on breaking down barriers to HIV awareness and care in the United States.”

A different side of myself that I’m able to explore as an entrepreneur is …

SETH ROGEN “The side that loves design. Houseplant allows me to really focus on things like graphic design, interior design, product design. It’s incredibly gratifying to work not only on the aesthetics and function of the product, but to also be in control of exactly how the product is presented to the world. Maybe that’s something I feel I’m missing from my other job …”

DWYANE WADE “I get the opportunity to stay curious as I enter new industries as an entrepreneur. I was intimidated by the wine industry at first and was not educated on the culture and community of wine. Over the years, my curiosity is what motivated me to educate myself about everything in the industry from technical wine production to higher education access for minority students passionate about winemaking.”

JENNIFER LOPEZ “Creating more seats at the tables of opportunity in a different sector than entertainment.”

ELLEN DEGENERES “I get to express my creative passions in a way that is different from being an entertainer.”

KATY PERRY “Honestly, I think I live a lot of my life with an entrepreneur mindset — what’s the risk vs. the reward, what’s the balance between unfiltered creativity and consumer-friendly. … I love learning the nuts and bolts of how to run a CPG business.”

MICHELLE PFEIFFER “As an actor, I’ve had agents, lawyers, managers, etc., to have all of the difficult conversations for me. Now, as a leader, I have had to learn to have those conversations. Your baggage and hang-ups that mess you up in life will also bleed into your leadership. So, it’s been a deeper dive into myself.”

BLAKE LIVELY “Product development. It taps into my inner childhood dreams of being an inventor. Maybe I just watched Flubber too many times.” 

MICHAEL STRAHAN “My creative side. For instance, I have always loved fashion and have been able to lean into my creativity and curiosity to learn the business and produce items that not only make me feel good and confident, but the consumer feels their best too. The entrepreneur in me was able to make a business out of that passion.”

LIZZO “I love the back end and creation process. I love talking about fabrics and design. It’s really exciting. Being able to give people something more than music has been really fulfilling.”

AARON PAUL “Many people see me as Pinkman and that couldn’t be further from the truth. I love that I get to use my mind, my heart and my passion for design in everything that I decide to create.”

DREW BARRYMORE “My love of homemaking. My obsession with spaces. My passion for design.”

SELENA GOMEZ “What I love about acting, singing/songwriting and producing is exploring my creative side. When it comes to my business interests, there is still an element of creativity, but what I truly love is the strategy behind the decisions we are making.”

KATE HUDSON “That I’m quite linear! And that I get to use the other side of my brain. I’m very right-brain oriented, but I also have this administrative brain that I actually like to work. … For someone like me who gets bored very easily, it keeps me sharp and keeps me on my toes. I also like understanding our economic landscape, which is an interest I really didn’t have before I started working in business. You really see economics from a very different point of view when you’re working in consumer goods and you see how many people are affected by what you do. You really do feel a part of the pulse of life and how important it is keep people working and keep our economy thriving. Being an entertainer can make you feel as if you’re in a little creative bubble that can shut that part of life out sometimes. But when you’re working in business and you have to face certain economic hard truths, you feel very much a part of wanting to figure out how to create growth for everyone.”

VANESSA HUDGENS “Being a businesswoman in general. I didn’t go to school for business, so I’ve really had to ask a lot of questions along the way. From how to build relationships with buyers to business lingo. I’m constantly interrupting our quarterlies, but it’s a whole new world, and I want to be as informed as possible.”

EVA LONGORIA “My business acumen. I use different tools in my brain when I’m in entrepreneurial businesswoman mode, as opposed to actor-director mode, which is more creative. It’s the practical, logical, reasoning side of my brain, more than the creative side.”

Consumer patterns are changing in this way right now …

SHAY MITCHELL “During COVID, we saw a consumer migration towards our bags intended for more day-to-day use, or quick jaunts. Now that the world is opening back up, we see our roller inventory flying out the doors (in addition to the day-to-day bags). I think part of this is our high customer return rate … once you see how great our bags are, it’s hard to stop.”

JENNIFER GARNER “There has been a huge shift from the straight to DTC model — it’s omni-channel or bust.”

DWYANE WADE “A good product is not enough. Consumers continue to have an increased value in brand purpose and how a brand values today’s progressive society. Consumer want to be in businesses with brands that center their voices and values.”

VANESSA HUDGENS “Consumers more than ever want transparency. To easily know exactly what is it that they are buying. Having all the information allows a deeper connection between consumer and product.”

LIZZO “The idea of influence is changing and who we are getting that influence from is changing. Everything has been so overly branded and marketed, and now organic marketing and genuine word of mouth is what’s moving consumers, and that comes from a good product. You can’t fake that.”

EVA LONGORIA “I think people are very aware of where their products come from and who makes them. Who makes your clothing, who picks your food, are there fair labor standards behind it, is it environmentally and ecologically made? I think that’s what’s changing now. Nobody wants fast fashion. Everyone wants organic avocados.”

RUSSELL WILSON “1) If you don’t have a direct path to the consumer, aka DTC, you’re losing. 2) People want to wear, breathe and root for brands that have purpose.”

The best business advice I’ve gotten is …

IAN SOMERHALDER “I was involved in a very humbling and tough business deal that my wife actually helped me navigate using her amazing business prowess. She called in a mentor and dear friend of ours, a well-known investor named Lyndon Lea, to bestow some important business advice. He said, ‘Ian, business is not about WHAT you see. It’s about what you DON’T see…’ I’ve never looked at a situation or a deal the same again.”

SETH ROGEN “Be focused.”

RUSSELL WILSON “Dream big! When people tell you no, all that means is just keep going.”

DWYANE WADE “You have to believe in the people more than you believe in the business. Whether it’s building your team or entering a new business partnership, it’s important to work with individuals who align with your mission and values.”

RYAN REYNOLDS “Lose the layers. Do things yourself. Be on calls. Meet in person. Everything changes for the better when face-to-face.” 

KATY PERRY “No risk, no reward. And always get a comparable.”

JENNIFER LOPEZ “Warren Buffet said ‘A brand is a promise’ and ‘Do what you love with people you love.’”

MICHAEL STRAHAN “Always treat people with respect regardless of position and never burning bridges.”

MACHINE GUN KELLY “Don’t fuck this up.”

MICHELLE PFEIFFER “Never get too comfortable or start to believe you know everything. Trust in your strengths and more importantly know your weaknesses and surround yourself with people smarter than you.”

SELENA GOMEZ “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Sometimes we are scared to admit we don’t know something, and I always want to learn more.”

KATE HUDSON “Know when to pivot. I actually read that in an article where someone else was being interviewed about their own business. She said there was a moment when she had to pivot and if she hadn’t made that decision, she wouldn’t have succeeded. And that pivot was a real factor in the company’s growth and success. I think that’s a really important thing to remember. Sometimes people can be stubborn about thinking and insisting that something has to go one way, which is exactly what can prevent anything from growing.”

KRISTEN BELL “Surround yourself with people smarter than you at all times.”

JESSICA BIEL “Bank on authenticity and transparency. If you love your products, believe in them and trust your company and partners implicitly, then so will your consumers.”

ELLEN DEGENERES “Buy high and sell higher.”

The first person I call for business advice is …

JESSE BONGIOVI “Our No. 1 employee, my dad!”

LIZZO “My manager, Kevin Beisler.”

RYAN REYNOLDS “George Dewey and James Toney III. Thankfully they’re my partners.” 

GABRIELLE UNION “First person I call for business advise is Deirdre Maloney. She’s an amazing businesswoman and entrepreneur and co-founder of Afternoon Light.”

EVA LONGORIA “[Makeup artist and entrepreneur] Huda Kattan. She is such an amazing businesswoman and a great friend, so she gives balanced advice.”

CIARA “A team of advisory board members that we have built over the years with a diverse group of trusted advisors from various fields of business such as Christine Day, David Adelman, Greg Williams and Mark Rodgers.”

IAN SOMERHALDER “Adam Lilling at Plus Capital. He and his team are my powerhouse of information at lightning speed and efficiency.”

KATY PERRY “My manager, Steve Jensen, and one of my best friends, Michael Kives.”

BLAKE LIVELY “My husband.”

ELTON JOHN “My most trusted confidante is my husband, David Furnish. He is the CEO of Rocket Entertainment and the chairman of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.”

JESSICA BIEL “My husband.”

GAL GADOT “Jaron, my husband — he’s brilliant and has the ability to both focus and analyze the small details but also see everything from a bird’s eye view. He has creative ideas and is fun to work with as he always dreams big!”

JENNIFER LOPEZ “My husband.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON “My husband and also my business manager, Harley Neuman and my attorney, Kevin Yorn.”

JENNIFER GARNER  “[My manager] Nicole King, but then she’s my first call for everything.”

I wouldn’t have launched a business if it weren’t for …

ELLEN DEGENERES “So many people telling me to launch a business.”

JESSE BONGIOVI “Always running out of rosé.”

CIARA “The belief in what we’ve created and the confidence we have in our team.”

SOFIA VERGARA “My family and my fans.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN “My business partner and longtime friend, Constance Schwartz-Morini, and my team at SMAC Entertainment, who have turned my lifestyle brand into something I’ve never imagined. Teamwork really does make the dream work.”

RYAN REYNOLDS “I needed to market [Aviation Gin] more thoughtfully. So I started Maximum Effort Marketing.” 

MICHELLE PFEIFFER “Becoming a mom and paying closer attention to how harmful the ingredients of products we are exposed to every day can be.”

SHAY MITCHELL “The gaping white space and the incessant itch that told me I could do it better.”

KATY PERRY “The team I have around me, who help support with all the balls I get to juggle.”

JENNIFER LOPEZ “My fans. This is an amazing community that has followed me through all kinds of adventures.”

BLAKE LIVELY “My detailed and sometimes critical nature, which I’ve spent most of my life trying to suppress, until I surrounded myself with people who saw value in my push for quality instead of shaming me into staying in my lane.”

SCARLETT JOHANSSON “My passion for skin care and my desire to control my own narrative.”

KATE HUDSON “Probably my parents, who had a very different way of looking at being in business. My Pa [Kurt Russell] once said something to me when I was younger that I always remembered — ‘If I have to take a chance betting on someone else or betting on myself, I’ll bet on myself.’ And what he meant by that is he knew that when it came down to it, what he could build or what he could grow or put forward, would be something he could trust … I think that’s probably where my business mindset came from — my Dad’s philosophy.”

JENNIFER GARNER “Mark Shriver [of Save the Children] and me noticing and obsessing over the shift in philanthropy from foundations to corporations — business is leading social change? Count me in.”

KRISTEN BELL “The confidence that I can make for profit businesses for good.”

JESSICA BIEL “A personal need I had as a mom for alternative options in the health care space for kids and an obvious need in the marketplace.”

DREW BARRYMORE “Having kids. It made me want to find other avenues of work so that I could be home with them.”

AARON PAUL “The struggles I have had in my life. I needed the lows to push myself for the highs. I had a taste of success early on in my career and then things slowed down for a minute. Made me truly understand what I wanted out of this short life we all are blessed with.”

Where I see my business in 10 years …

JENNIFER LOPEZ “I’ll see it in the next generation of entrepreneurs that we inspire and help open doors for.”

MACHINE GUN KELLY “Part of the culture’s subconscious of what you associate with beauty upkeep.”

JENNIFER ANISTON “My hope is that I get to explore many other business categories beyond beauty. I would love to be exploring more in the pet and tech spaces.”

GABRIELLE UNION “I see my businesses expanding, leading in development of new products, technology and delivery methods.”

MICHAEL STRAHAN “Ever since I retired from the NFL, my life has been a series of improbable decisions and not being afraid to try new things. So, with my clothing and skin lines, I see us expanding into more categories that may be a bit unexpected, but still organic to my lifestyle.”

RUSSELL WILSON “Good Man Brand, my clothing brand, being one of the largest, most well-respected and well-known brands in the men’s lifestyle space. In addition to that, West2East Empire becoming one of the most impactful brand management and production companies in entertainment. I would also love to own an NFL team in 15 years.”

DREW BARRYMORE “I don’t. I have no board vision. I do what I’m really passionate about at that time.”

IAN SOMERHALDER “I see our business being one of the most inspiring, purpose-driven, sought-after and successful brands in any product category globally by bringing people together and inspiring bonding. Building a 50-generation legacy brand setting in motion enormous biosequestration of carbon dioxide by using regenerative farming practices ultimately changing the way grains are grown at scale in the spirits category in the United States. I believe with steadfast conviction this will happen.”

KATE HUDSON “I probably just see more businesses in my future! I never really fancied myself being a CEO or a singular in anything. I’m constantly wanting to do different things, and so where I see my business in 10 years is, I think, bigger than maybe one business. But as a whole, I hope to see that what I do continues to inspire people. My purpose personally is to hopefully help motivate people to live healthier lives that makes them feel good inside of themselves and maybe find joy. That’s the part that I hope continues to grow, inspire and motivate.”

EVA LONGORIA “I see my business contributing to the rainbow of diversity that our world is and contributing to the landscape of what TV and film should look like. I see my business in 10 years making a huge difference in supplying a diverse pipeline of talent to an industry that currently needs it.”

A version of this story first appeared in the Nov. 21 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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Men should ejaculate 21 times a month to protect against prostate cancer, study suggests

OK chaps, let’s talk about prostate health.

It’s a sensitive but important issue for men around the world. The gland which produces semen is obviously very important but disorders in the area are increasingly common amongst men over 50. An enlarged prostate can cause urination to be frequent and painful and in addition, prostate cancer is now the third most common cancer in American males.

So, how can this be fixed?

Well, sensible things like diet, exercise and regular checkups are the most effective way to keep your prostate healthy. However, a new, much more enjoyable method has been discovered by researchers at Harvard University.

In a published journal named European Urology, it is indicated that high levels of sexual activity can reduce the risk of contracting prostate cancer.

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The study observed the sexual habits of 32,000 men and in conclusion, determined that those with a higher rate of ejaculation were less likely to have prostate tumours.

The author of the study states: “We found that men reporting higher compared to lower ejaculatory frequency in adulthood were less likely to be subsequently diagnosed with prostate cancer. This large prospective study provides the strongest evidence to date of a beneficial role of ejaculation in the prevention of prostate cancer.”

So, how many times should you be ejaculating a month? The panel of researchers belive that 21 will protect you from prostate cancer. During a discussion with Ultimate Health, the experts said: “Twenty-one ejaculations or more per month can protect you (males) from prostate cancer.”

The study found that men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month had a 33% lower risk of prostate cancer than those that didn’t

Quite why this helps the prostate hasn’t quite been determined yet but scientists have speculated that it may flush toxins out of the system.

Of course, ejaculation alone isn’t going to entirely save your prostate. Experts says that obesity, tobacco, high-fat processed food and heredity are also factors that will lead to prostate cancer so cut those out for your own sake.

Dr. James Balch believes that a good diet is a positive thing to aspire towards when protecting one’s prostate.

“If a man wants to stay out of the operating room and avoid cancer of the prostate, he needs to go full blast to avoid the high-fat junk foods and environmental toxins that contribute to prostate problems and to start a wise nutritional program that includes the basic supplements that affect the prostate.”

If sex and a healthy diet weren’t enough tomatoes, organic coffee, plant-based fats, exercise and no smoking will also help prevent prostate cancer.

Gents, now you know what you have to do.

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UMaine Extension accepting applications for market garden training

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a comprehensive nine-month hybrid (online and in-person) training program for all beginning farmers. Participants will acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully grow produce for small-scale private or commercial fruit and vegetable operations.

University of Maine Cooperative Extension is offering a comprehensive nine-month hybrid (online and in-person) training program for all beginning farmers. Participants will acquire the knowledge, skills and abilities required to successfully grow produce for small-scale private or commercial fruit and vegetable operations. Online training begins Jan. 17, 2023. The program continues twice-monthly through the end of September and includes farm field days throughout the growing season.

Boots-2-Bushels: Boot Camp for Market Gardeners will cover topics that include soil health and crop planning; no-till production; vegetable and fruit production; food safety; integrated pest management; tools and equipment; marketing and farm economics; and more. Subject matter experts from UMaine Extension, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and local farms will serve as instructors. Participants will earn a certificate of completion.

Registration is open to all beginning farmers; priority will be given to veterans, their family members and farmers with a disability. The $150 fee includes course materials and in-person farm visits. For out-of-state veterans who cannot attend the farm visits, the registration fee is reduced. For more information and registration instructions see the program webpage at https://extension.umaine.edu/agrability/solutions-and-resources/boots-2-bushels/. Space is limited and registration closes on Dec. 14. To request a reasonable accommodation, contact Anne Martin at 207-944-1533 or anne.martin1@maine.edu. 

Boots-2-Bushels is a project of Maine AgrAbility, a federally funded program that addresses health, safety and injury prevention on the farm, on the water and in the forest.

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Business News | Advent of Corporate Culture into Indian Film Industry Had Both Its Pros and Cons: Anees Bazmee

Panaji (Goa) [India], November 27 (ANI): Ideally ‘Creativity’ and ‘Business’ should co-exist and maintain a judicious balance to achieve cinematic excellence, renowned film-maker Anees Bazmee said on Saturday evening.

During a session — Corporate Culture in Film industry — at the 53rd International Film Festival of India in Goa, Director and Producer Anees Bazmee said every coin has two sides. He said the advent of corporate culture into Indian film industry had both its pros and cons.

Also Read | Delhi Shocker: Juvenile Creates Fake IDs of Two Girls on Facebook, Instagram To Take Revenge for Insulting Mother; Arrested.

“At one hand, it has sorted out the financial crisis that the industry was earlier facing, ensured the agreed payments to the cast and crew whatever the business outcome may be and decreased dependency on individual producers,” he said, adding, “On the other hand, somewhere the passion of one individual filmmaker is found to be missing in films produced by corporates and the creativity is compromised. So ideally ‘Creativity’ and ‘Business’ should co-exist and maintain a judicious balance to achieve cinematic excellence.”

Another renowned Director Vikas Bahl said that film-making is a business of heart. Corporate culture should match the creative film-making process. “One software called ‘Guts’ to be inserted into the excel sheets of corporates,” he added.

Also Read | Suresh Raina Birthday Special: Quick Facts About the Former India and CSK Cricketer As he Turns 36.

Flagging the issue of piracy, Vikas urged both Government and Corporates to join hands to resolve the challenging issue. “Legislation should be formed to tackle the piracy problem”, he opined.

Director Abhishek Sharma said corporatisation has ensured the ‘cleansing of money’ from the industry. He further said Indian film industry should be more organised and formalised to be called as an ‘Industry’ in true sense. “Are we truly an organic industry? We need to introspect. We need to come together keeping aside personal profit and loss and think about the industry as a whole”, he added.

Producer Mahaveer Jain said corporates are pumping in more money so that quality films can be produced. “With more players, more films are being produced and more people are getting employment”, he added. (ANI)

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)

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The empty Englishness of Love Actually

One of the pleasures of fiction, be it book or film, is that it can take us to actual places beyond our own national boundaries – and into other worlds which don’t exist. Think of fictional states from Narnia to (Graham) Greeneland – and Richard Curtis’ London, that parallel version of our capital seen in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually, where no one has ever seen a machete and swearing is only ever done in a jolly way. When I asked on social media for suggestions as to what this world might be called, I was inundated with suggestions. Curtistan, Curtopia, Notting Shill, Notting Swill, Treacletown and Englandland were among the non-obscene ones; my husband then weighed in with Smarming, Tweeford and – my favourite – Smarming-on-Twee.

It’s a desiccated England-land Disney-world by and for people who feel fear and loathing for their countrymen who do weird unpredictable things like desiring national sovereignty

Why do critics loathe this maker of apparently inoffensive films so much? And why does the prospect of an ABC News special reuniting the stars of Love Actually two decades later (including Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Bill Nighy and Curtis himself, plus a message from Martine ‘The Queen’ McCutcheon) turn otherwise civilised people into furious bundles of F-bombing? The one-hour special The Laughter & Secrets of Love Actually ‘will look at how the film became a beloved Christmas tradition and a global sensation, with new insight into behind-the-scenes secrets and iconic scenes. The special will also examine how the Covid-19 pandemic refocused the ways we love and connect and the omnipresent acts of kindness inside our families and communities.’ As if you couldn’t hate it more.

That I live in the city, Hove, on which the pointless pun was based, gives me an extra layer of loathing for this relentlessly festive five-bird-roast turkey of a film, and I wasn’t the only one; in the New York Times A.O. Scott called it ‘a romantic comedy swollen to the length of an Oscar-trawling epic… cheekiness, diffidence and high-tone smirking… more like a record label’s greatest-hits compilation or a very special sitcom clip-reel show than an actual movie… it has the calloused, leering soul of an early-60s rat-pack comedy, but without the suave, seductive bravado.’ But of course lots of people liked it. Written and directed by Curtis, with an ensemble cast of his favourite thespians, it took $246 million worldwide.

The surprising thing is how old the film looks – the Noughties seem like Swinging Sixties viewed from our post-Covid world. The one modern thing about it is the pleasing amount of various racial visibility, as no doubt Curtis took on board the scolding he got after making Notting Hill look as white as a Just Stop Oil demo. There’s a black DJ, a gospel choir and a gorgeous bridegroom who marries Keira Knightley – a clever move on Curtis’ part, the wedding alone necessitating that the groom’s family bumps up the BAME quota handsomely.

The elephant in the room is Tony Blair, emperor of Cool Britannia; Madeline Grant called the film ‘a Blairite hell-scape’ while Rupert Everett smirked that ‘Curtis was to Blair’s Britain what Leni Riefenstahl was to Hitler’s Germany.’ Hugh Grant attempts to distance his boyish PM from Blair by some unchivalrous cracks – ‘No scary wife!’ he assures staff when moving into No. 10 – and also with his embarrassingly ‘feisty’ anti-Americanism. Following Gordon Brown’s succession to Blair’s shabby Habitat throne, some pundits looked forward to a ‘Love Actually moment’ referring to the scene in which Grant’s David puts the sex-pest American president in his place. (This is the film’s surreal moment, when the age-old Anglo-American alliance hangs in the balance over who gets to snog Tiffany off EastEnders.) But his stand carries little weight, as you know the allegedly proud Brit PM would happily hand the radiant English maiden over to Jean-Claude Juncker for a drunken fumble, if that’s what it took to stay in the EU boy’s club.

The stench of our other country’s false consensus (especially the limits on what England is allowed to be – basically just a selection of pretty, powerless landmarks) is strong here. Somerset House, Grosvenor Chapel, Selfridges, the Tate Modern, the OXO Tower – all these places which in theory are open to the public, but which only a rarified strata of society ever see the inside of. You just know that all the ‘good’ characters would grow up to be Remainers; Liam Neeson with his dead wife, Colin Firth with his unfaithful fiancée, Emma Thompson with her cheating husband. I particularly enjoyed watching her character being betrayed, though the idea of these people having sex – no doubt using words like ‘willy’ – made me want to join a nunnery. Just a couple of moments remind us what the sad glory of love is actually like; Andrew’s wedding footage of Juliet marrying his best friend and the shimmering sorrow of the Sugababes ‘Too Lost In You’.

What would these characters be doing now? Well, there would have been a lot of boo-hooing over Brexit. Emma Thompson’s character would, like Thompson herself, not see the ocean-going snobbishness of writing off this country as a ‘tiny cake-filled misery-laden island’ or of flying thousands of miles from Los Angeles to protest about the impact of flying on climate change. Though Curtopia acknowledges that horrid things happen – Grant’s opening speech pontificates about the Twin Tours atrocity – there’s an overwhelming belief that the worst is behind us and we can all just bumble on together, the silly old sausages, because all you need is love.

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How would Curtis handle the migrant crisis? The cost of living threat? The mental health tsunami inflicted by lockdown? The ongoing erasure of women’s rights in every area of life from trophies to toilets? No doubt he’d co-opt the #BeKind brainwashing, but thanks to our smashed consensus – which only ever benefited the privileged – he’d probably be a flop starting out today. The overwhelming feeling I got from rewatching Love Actually was of the cultural appropriation of my country – the country of any person born working-class, of every race and religion – by those who’d be just as happy in any country you could get organic food and cheap labour. Though Curtis and his cosseted Cambridge Footlights crew present themselves as just about as English as it’s possible to be, there is no place in their pampered pantheon for agents of English insurrection from the Roundheads to the Pistols, from Boudicca to Morrissey. It’s a desiccated England-land Disney-world by and for people who feel fear and loathing for their countrymen who do weird unpredictable things like desiring national sovereignty.

Curtis recently put his Notting Hill house on the market (‘Like the ravens leaving the tower!’ a neighbour gasped to the Mail) perhaps to spend more time at his 18th-century Suffolk home – and perchance to spend some of the profits made on a house reportedly worth £20 million compared to the £3.6 million he bought it for the year before the film was released, sending prices rocketing way out of reach out of the indigenous population. Like Lord Billy Bragg of Dorset before him, he wouldn’t be the first ageing liberal multimillionaire to end up in a postcode where machetes are never seen and people only swear in a jolly way.  But if that means that he’ll stop making lame films selling the world his singularly wet and bankrupt view of our spiky, seditious and really rather splendid sceptred isle: good.

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How to Grow Organic Broccoli at Home: 6 Easy Tips

Broccoli is a highly nutritious vegetable loved by health food enthusiasts from across the world. A common ingredient in salads, it can be consumed either cooked or raw.

Broccolis are cruciferous vegetables belonging to the family of cabbage and cauliflower, and are rich in fiber. They are also a good source of several nutrients like Vitamin C and K, iron, and potassium.

This nutritional powerhouse of a vegetable is hence considered a superfood. But the world is still divided when it comes to its taste. There are many who love its slightly bitter flavour, whereas there are others who hate its unique taste.

Broccoli thrives well in cool climatic conditions and therefore grows well during winters.

Rema Devi, a terrace gardener from Changanassery in Kerala, says broccoli is easy to grow in any climatic conditions, and even in off-seasons. “With a little care and effort, broccoli can be nurtured anywhere. Though it is a cold-loving plant, it isn’t impossible to grow it in tropical climatic regions like Kerala. Just make sure that it is not exposed to too much heat or sunlight and receives enough water,” she tells The Better India.

Rema has been growing vegetables in her terrace garden for the past two decades. She also has a YouTube channel named Rema’s Terrace Garden, where she gives out tips and tricks on how to maintain a cost-efficient and sustainable organic terrace garden.

She shares a few tips on growing broccoli organically at home.

1. Sowing seeds or saplings

Broccoli can be propagated either through seeds or saplings. If you are using seeds, sow them in a seed tray or pot and let them germinate into a sapling. Sprouting seeds like this is an effective way to increase the germination rate as well as produce stronger seedlings. Make sure the soil is moist and not dry, as the seedlings won’t grow well if the soil is too dry or too wet. Keep a check on the moisture level and water if necessary.

Once the seeds germinate into healthy seedlings, they can be transplanted directly in the soil.

“Before transplanting the seedlings or saplings, you can dip the roots in pseudomonas liquid for about 30 minutes. This helps strengthen the roots, which are prone to decay,” says Rema.

2. Preparing a nutrient-rich potting mix

Mix the soil with lime and dry the soil mix for about a week. “The ratio must be 5 gm of lime for a single grow bag. After drying the soil mix under direct sun for a week, add some organic manure like cow dung powder or compost into it. You can also add some coco peat. Before planting the sapling or seedling, add a handful of neem cake and bone meal for each grow bag,” says Rema.

Broccoli at Rema Devi's terrace
Broccoli in grow bags at Rema Devi’s terrace.

3. Filling the grow bag

An important step while growing seasonal vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower is filling up the grow bag according to the plant’s growth.


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“Fill just 1/4th of the grow bag with the soil mix and plant the sapling/seedling in it. Later, when the plant grows, keep adding the soil to the grow bag. This helps accelerate the growth of the plant as well as in forming big broccoli (head),” she adds.

4. Requires only 50 per cent sunlight

Broccoli grows well in cold-climate. Therefore, it is suggested to keep the plant in a place where it receives up to 50 per cent of sunlight, as opposed to directly under the sun. “It also grows in temperate climate regions like Kerala. But we have to take extra care of the plant to ensure its growth and yielding,” says Rema, adding that she waters it twice a day to retain moisture in the soil.

5. Adding organic fertilisers

After planting the sapling, make sure that the soil doesn’t go dry, but also make sure to not overwater it. “You don’t have to add any fertilisers immediately after planting it. The soil is rich enough for it to establish growth. So let it be in the soil for at least two weeks. Later, bio-slurries and other organic inputs can be added to it to enrich its growth,” says Rema.

How to make a bio-slurry: Mix some cow dung with groundnut cake, neem cake and leaves of Gliricidia/neem — or any other green leaves — in a container and close it. Keep the mix for about 10 days. Then open it to add 100 gm of lime and mix it well. Keep the mixture for five more days.

“Take one cup of this organic mixture and dissolve it in 10 times of water. This bio-slurry can be applied to the plant once in a while for better growth. Besides, one can ferment groundnut cake and apply it to the plant twice a week,” she adds.

6. Combating pests

Broccoli is prone to pests, so it is essential to make organic pesticides to prevent this.

Take 100 gm of neem cake and mix it in about 3-4 litres of water. Grind 2-3 bulbs of garlic and add it to the mix. Keep it overnight (at least 12 hours). Then strain the mix and spray it onto the plants.

“If the plant grows healthy, then the vegetable will be ready to be harvested after 60 days from planting. Also, not just the broccoli head, even its leaves are edible and nutritious,” adds Rema.

Edited by Divya Sethu; Photo credits: Rema Devi

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