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Which is the Best Online Marketplace: Amazon, Etsy or Ebay?

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2016-06-26 18:00

When you sell crafts online, choosing the right platform is paramount. There are plenty of different options available to handmade business owners. Three of the most popular are Etsy, Amazon and eBay. But each one offers different options and benefits for handmade shop owners. Here are some comparisons and basic information that can help you make the best decision when it comes to choosing Handmade at Amazon, Etsy or eBay.

Which is the Best Online Marketplace for Your Crafts? Amazon

Handmade at Amazon is a relatively new offering from the ecommerce giant. It allows artisans and handmade business owners to set up their own shops on the popular platform.

Audience

Amazon has over 250 million customers worldwide. So there’s definitely access to a wide array of potential customers. However, not everyone who visits Amazon is specifically looking for handmade goods, so it’s not exactly a targeted group of customers.

Listing Fees

Amazon doesn’t charge listing fees, but instead takes a percentage of each transaction.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

Amazon lets you add one main image for each product and then up to eight alternate images for each listing, free of charge. Amazon also specifies that main photos should depict only the product for sale, not drawings or renderings, and no props that don’t come with the product.

Final Sale Fees

Currently, Amazon takes 12 percent of each sales, with the sale price calculated to include shipping. Starting August 1, 2016, that rate goes up to 15 percent.

Video options (available or not)

Sellers don’t have the ability to add video to listings. However, Amazon itself can add videos for certain vendors, but only those who are part of invitation-only vendor programs.

Payment options

Amazon accepts a variety of different payments, including credit or debit cards, checking accounts, Amazon gift cards, Amazon Points and even cash on delivery in some instances.

Inventory Management features (can you easily export items to and from your site to these sites?)

You can add your products through Amazon after you apply and get accepted. But you have to add the information for each listing. There’s not a simple import feature for you to add products from another site.

Rules and Regulations

To sell on Handmade at Amazon, you need to apply and get accepted. You also need to sell only items that are handmade by you or a member of your team, if your team is under 20 people. You can also set your own production time and even offer custom products. But Amazon only lets you set production time for 30 days out.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

With Handmade at Amazon, you get a unique storefront with a custom URL and artist profile. There, you can tell your story and offer ways to connect with customers. And of course, you can showcase all of your products for sale in that storefront, though they’ll also appear alongside other handmade products on Amazon when customers search or browse within a category.

Etsy

Etsy has long been considered the leading handmade marketplace. The site includes handmade crafts for sale, vintage items and even craft supplies.

Audience

According to Statista, Etsy had about 24 million active buyers as of 2015. Unlike eBay and Amazon, those shoppers are primarily interested in handmade items, rather than a variety of other goods.

Listing Fees

Etsy charges 20 cents per listing. And listings are good for four months before they expire. You can pay an additional 20 cents to relist items that have expired or sold.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

Etsy lets you upload up to five photos with each listing. There’s no additional charge for adding photos beyond that initial listing fee. Etsy recommends using photos that are a maximum of 800-1000 pixels wide and landscape or square images for the main photos.

Final Sale fees

Etsy charges a 3.5 percent transaction fee on every sale. You can pay those fees, along with the listing fees, once per month.

Video options (available or not)

You can create and upload a shop video to your main shop page. Etsy doesn’t have strict requirements for these, but recommends videos be around two minutes or less, landscape, and a max of 300 MB.

Payment options

Each Etsy seller can specify which payment methods to accept, including PayPal, credit cards, Etsy gift cards and Apple Pay.

Inventory Management features (can you easily export items to and from your site to these sites?)

You can add each listing individually on Etsy. But there’s no automatic upload or transfer feature.

Rules and Regulations

Etsy allows sellers to list items that are made by hand, vintage (must be at least 20 years old or more), or craft supplies. However, the definition of “handmade” has changed in the past few years, to the dismay of some Etsy buyers and sellers. The site is much less strict now and will allow users to sell items that are mass produced in some ways. So an item can feature original artwork but be actually produced on a mass scale.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

Each Etsy seller can set up their own individual store with its own header photo, profile and policies. Shoppers can view your products within your store or within Etsy categories or search results.

eBay

eBay is mostly known for online auctions. But some handmade business owners have found the platform to be helpful in selling crafts.

Audience

eBay’s user base grew to about 162 million active users in Q4 of 2015. However, not all of those users are interested in purchasing handmade crafts. In fact, some active users are primarily interested in selling rather than buying.

Listing Fees

The fees for eBay sellers can vary based on the type of listing, since you can host both auction type sales and fixed-price sales. In general, it’s free to create your first 50 listings per month, and then 30 cents per listing beyond that.

Image Options (free, charged and limitations)

You can add up to 12 images for free with each listing with eBay picture hosting. That also includes zoom and enlarge features so customers can get an up-close view of your products.

Final Sale fees

eBay also charges 10 percent of the total amount of the sale, which includes the item price, shipping and any other costs that you charge to the buyer, aside from sales tax. The maximum fee is $750.

Video options (available or not)

You can add FLASH files for sound or video on each eBay listing. So you can upload a video to a third party service like YouTube, then either link to or embed the video into your listing page.

Payment options

Sellers can select the payment options you want to accept, including PayPal and credit or debit cards. You can also choose to accept payment upon pickup.

Inventory Management features (can you easily export items to and from your site to these sites?)

You can create listings directly on eBay. Or you can upload your inventory data or listing templates through CSV or Excel files.

Rules and Regulations

eBay offers the ability to sell a wide array of items. So you don’t have to worry as much about restrictions on handmade items specifically. However, there are rules about listing items in specific categories. For instance, if you list an item as fine jewelry, it needs to have a fine metal setting or a fine gemstone included. Fashion settings are not permitted without fine gemstones in that category. There are also restricted and prohibited items, such as alcohol or hazardous materials, which generally aren’t allowed on eBay unless they’ve been pre-approved.

Store Availability (Is a store available versus just individual listings?)

You can create a dedicated store if you have an eBay seller account, credit card on file and a verified PayPal account. eBay also offers options for Premium or Anchor Stores as long as you have a high seller performance level.

Knitter Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Which is the Best Online Marketplace: Amazon, Etsy or Ebay?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Nomad Wallet Offers Phone Charger for Entrepreneurs on the Go

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2016-06-26 15:30

What would you say if you knew there was a stylish leather wallet with a built-in charging system for your smartphone?

Well, the Nomad Leather Charging Wallet looks like a normal wallet except it comes integrated with a battery and charging cable for charging up your phone or tablet wherever you go.

Ingenious, right?

The idea is that while it can sometimes be tough to find a place to recharge your phone while o the go, you would seldom leave home without your wallet. That’s where the Nomad Charging Wallet comes in. The wallet doesn’t only hold your cash and cards. It also includes a battery hidden within its spine with enough juice to bring an iPhone 6s up to full charge.

Obviously you can use external battery packs or battery cases to charge your phone on the go, but the thing about these charging solutions is that they tend to be bulky. Also, charging your phone from your car or looking for the nearest receptacle may not always be an option.

And given that some small business owners and entrepreneurs need to travel a lot and constantly have to stay in touch for business, the charger fills a need. Now it’s easy to bring a portable charger that you can never leave behind to help you get through the day. It’s also easy to take on business trips so you never find yourself left in the cold with a dead phone and no power source in sight.

Nomad Chargers – Designed to Fit Seamlessly into a Smartphone User’s Lifestyle

Nomad Goods, Inc., is the company behind the Nomad Charging Wallet, and a number of other innovative tech accessories for smarphones and smartwatches.

The company prides itself in making useful items that double as device chargers. The items fit seamlessly into a user’s lifestyle, freeing you from the need to always have a traditional charger on hand.

Company co-founder, Noah Dentzel, started thinking of these solutions when traveling around Spain. He was tired of trying to keep a phone charger handy. So he thought: why not nest device chargers into everyday items?

Partnering with Brian Hahn, the two co-founders conceptualized the Nomad chargers, starting with the NomadKey. The NomadKey is a small USB jack that clips easily onto a keychain, ensuring you never have to worry about forgetting your charger. Unless you forget your keys,Q of course.

Noah and Brian kept the momentum going with new products, including the Nomad ChargeCard, Nomad ChargeClip, Nomad Plus and Nomad ChargeWallet.

A Peek at the Nomad Wallet

The company claims the Nomad Wallet is crafted from high quality Horween leather. It features a 2,400mAh lithium-ion backup battery that takes roughly 2 hours to fully charge. According to the company, the battery utilizes an advanced SoC (system on chip) microprocessor that allows it to fit into the folds of the Wallet.

Hidden inside the Wallet is also an Apple MFi Lightning or Type C cable that you can pull out and use to charge your iPhone or other device. Simply connect your phone through the Lightning cable to charge.

You would expect the Wallet to be big and bulky considering that it comes with the battery and Lightning cable tucked away inside. The company claims the product is just about the same size as a normal wallet. It measures 9.5cm (height) x 12.5cm (width) x 2.5cm (max thickness), says Nomad.

There are two styles of Wallet: a classic bi-fold option for more cash and card carrying capacity, and a slim version for light and minimalist carry. The Bi-fold can carry six cards, along with bills in the wallet’s main compartment, while the slim fold can carry four cards along with bills in the main compartment.

If you’d like to buy the Nomad Leather Charging Wallet, it is available for pre-order on the company website priced at $119.95. Shipping of the wallets is expected to begin July 30 (for the Lightning) and August 31 (for the USB C), with free shipping in the U.S. and $10 shipping charge worldwide.

Image: Nomad Goods

This article, "Nomad Wallet Offers Phone Charger for Entrepreneurs on the Go" was first published on Small Business Trends

The Boelter Companies Acquires Premier Restaurant Equipment Company

Nation's Restaurant News - Sun, 2016-06-26 13:38

The Boelter Companies, Inc. announced that it has acquired Premier Restaurant Equipment Company based in Minneapolis, MN. United by a common business culture and a depth of talented foodservice professionals, the purchase allows for Boelter and Premier to combine resources, enhancing the process of opening a restaurant or commercial facility with a legendary vision for design and exceptional project management.

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Six Eye-Opening Mobile Trends for 2016

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2016-06-26 12:00

A big problem that so many businesses face is staying on top of what is new in the niche.  But just because something is hard does not mean it’s not possible.  Generating new ideas often comes after a good hard look at what’s on the horizon.  An easy and effective way to do this is with a close examination of what is trending in your business’ market.

Those of us in the mobile business face great challenges when it comes to following trends because technology is changing so fast.  As soon as one idea becomes popular, it is quickly washed away — only to be replaced by something newer, faster, smaller, and more portable.  That is unless you dig deep and find what is on the horizon.

Here are six eye-opening mobile trends for 2016.  By looking at them, you can help yourself think through your next mobile venture.

Keep Your Eye on These 6 Mobile Trends in 2016 Invest in Smart Phone App Development

Smart phones will soon be to future generations what rotary phones were to the “Happy Days” generation, and the numbers support this growth.  This means that the demand for applications for these phones will be on the rise.

Investing in smart phone app development will certainly yield profit.  In fact, Android’s market grew 65 percent in 2015.

Whether you are considering investing in an app for your business or you are tossing around the idea of starting a white label app development company of your own, you are certain to generate some income and stay current with the market trends.

Knowing How to Use Data Driven Decisions is the Key to Marketing

If your business is not using data to make decisions, it’s a good bet that you are close to (if not already) a failed venture.  You have to use data as the backbone of your decisions — especially if you are in the mobile industry.

Data acquisition in 2016 isn’t the challenge that it was years ago.  It has become much easier to collect and much easier to sort.  If you want numbers, you can get your hands on just about any type of numbers you want.  The key is what you do with those numbers.

Your goal should be to use the data to make connections with potential clients. So what if you know that Mrs. Smith visited Store XYZ seven times in the past month on her mobile device. The trick is finding out how Mrs. Smith’s visits to store XYZ can help your mobile business.

The first step in the puzzle is assuring that your IT department and your marketing department has clear lines of communication.  A solid plan for sharing the information is the first step to utilizing the data you collect.

From there, you need a good team that can actually interpret the data.  Ultimately, your goal in any mobile venture is to find a way to simplify the lives of users.  Your team of data analysts needs to be able to interpret the data and supply it to your marketing department.

After your marketing department is given numbers and statistics that are easy to understand, it needs to take creative and innovative risks based on the numbers.  The more you learn about mobile users and their patterns of use, the easier it will be to simplify their lives.

Of course, there are always going to be people who are just able to follow their gut when it comes to innovation and creative thinking.  If you have one of those guys on your team — you know the type, anything he touches turns to gold — don’t dismiss him.

But for the most effective and practical solutions, look at the data and invest in a team that can interpret the numbers to mean something beneficial to your mobile business.

Say What You Need to Say — 2016 Technology Has Your Back

Don’t hold back what’s on your mind.  In fact, in the near future, you will be able to speak it right to your computer.  The best part — it will understand you.  Many of the industries biggest and brightest are battling with young and innovative start-ups to see who will figure out the best and most effective way to use voice computer interfaces.

Most computers come equipped with some type of voice recognition software, but as we journey into the future, these software applications will become much more innovative, which will allow computers to become even more involved in our day to day routines.

Your desktop is not the only form of technology that is listening to what you have to say. Most mobile devices are already equipped with some sort of voice recognition. Mobile devices are also jumping on board to develop voice recognition apps.  Companies across the globe are looking to develop the most responsive voice apps to stay abreast of the changing trends in the mobile market.

While we are not reaching “Jetsons” status just yet, there are several companies breaking ground in this niche, and it is certainly something to pay close mind to.

“Push” Those Ads — It’s the New way to Spread the Word

Push notifications are a great way to get information into the hands of your customers, and the numbers support it.  First of all, 2/3 of the population owns a smart phone.  And that 66 percent of people check their phones approximately 46 times per day.

That means that you have 46 opportunities EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. to send push notifications to people who chose to download your app.

With modern technology, you can use radiused and geofenced push notifications to offer promotions to consumers when they are near your stores.  To top off the benefits of the push, the best part is there are character limits, so you can say what you need to say in a short and sweet notice.  There’s no need for elaborate and creative copy.

SMS Marketing is the New Social Media

The social media craze has made its mark in advertising — there’s not doubt there.  You have to have a strong social media presence so your customers can engage with your brand.  They virtually do the legwork for you by sharing what you have to say.  But, it’s time to look past social media.  You need to look for even faster and more personalized ways to reach people.

In the past, this was called telemarketing.  Today, telemarketing is a good way to upset people and get called a name or two.  But, this is largely because people are engaging less and less in phone conversations and more and more in text communication.

Phone calls are a thing of the past.  Heck, you don’t even need to call to order a pizza or make a hotel reservation anymore, you can just text your request.  In fact, the research shows that 73 percent of people text.  Of those 73 percent of people, 55 percent of them send over 50 text messages each day.  As SMS messaging becomes the preferred means of communications, it makes sense to use it to advertise.

SMS marketing lets your customers engage with your brand on a personal level.  In fact, app developers are making messaging platforms that are starting to rival the built-in texting applications that come with phones.  Products such as Handcent, Chomp, and Hoverchat, are dominating the Android market.

What this means to you is that you virtually have a direct line to your consumers pockets.  You can tell them everything they want to know about your product.

Let Millennials and Generation Z Guide Your Thinking

Gone are the days of, “If you will build it they will come.”  Today, app developers have to build apps to simplify the lives of their users.  Simply put, this means that you need to look at the subsets of consumers who have technology needs that need met.  Enter Millennials and Generation Z users.

These guys are the ones who are filling the social media feeds with their thoughts, and they are the ones advertising their every move online — and they are doing it from their smartphones.

This means opportunity for you.  What are they talking about?  What do they need?  These kids put it all out there.  Use this to your advantage.  Find out what they need based on what they are saying, then build it.

Conclusion

If you want to compete in the mobile industry, you have to do your homework.  This means looking at the past and learning what has worked, and what has failed.  It also means looking at the data and trying to predict what is needed in the future.

By paying close mind to what’s trending in the industry, you can set yourself up for a successful mobile venture.  These six eye-opening trends should get your wheels spinning.  Look to apply them to what you know about the business and with some hard work, you can develop the next must have app in the store.

Using Smartphone Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Six Eye-Opening Mobile Trends for 2016" was first published on Small Business Trends

McDonald's lowers its tax bill as profit soars

Topix - Sun, 2016-06-26 11:24

McDonald's employees are being underpaid tens of millions of dollars per year thanks to an agreement struck between the fast food giant and the food workers' union. Fast food giant McDonald's Australia cut its tax bill by more than half in 2015 by routing payments via the low-tax nation of Singapore.

Categories: Today's Food News

The 10 Laws of Trust: Building Trust in a Fast-Paced World

Small Business Trends - Sun, 2016-06-26 09:00

“We take trust for granted, not conscious of how it pervades relationships,” writes Joel Peterson in The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great

As Joel Peterson wisely points out in his new book The 10 Laws of Trust: Building the Bonds That Make a Business Great, trust is required in every type of relationship we engage in at the checkout counter, board room, or the kitchen table. Yet, trust between consumers and business is at an all-time low, despite all the talk about “customer service” and “relationship-building”.

Why?

What is The 10 Laws of Trust About

The 10 Laws of Trust breaks down trust and how it should be used to create a high-trust environment. The paradox is that most of us think we know what trust is. This is why businesses feel so comfortable using the word “trust”. They expect to know what it is.

The problem is that businesses often run auto-pilot in regards to trust. Because businesses assume they know what trust is and consumers assume they know it, everyone carries on. Businesses create policies and consumers shop for products … until an Enron or Volkswagen scandal shakes up our ignorance.

The path out of this ignorance is a willingness to truly understand trust, something The 10 Laws of Trust tries to do for business leaders who want to establish a high-trust business. The book argues that building that high-trust business starts at the foundation with leadership. Leaders who can be trusted set the tone directly (through policies, budgets, and actions) and indirectly (through their own personal lives) for a business. They are the people that keeping businesses running, even when the spotlight isn’t on them.

From this analysis of trust-based leadership, Joel Peterson extracts 10 laws that he feels exemplify a trust-based leader and business. These laws are stunningly simple (For example, “Keep everyone informed”); however, in practice they aren’t followed. How many companies do you know have policies that require employees to sign off a form for almost every decision they make? How many companies have private meetings or fail to disclose information to the public or employees? This is what Peterson means. Trust is not just a five-letter word. It’s something that you work out and craft like any other part of your business.

Joel Peterson is the Chairman of Jet Blue Airways, a consulting professor at Stanford, and founding partner of Peterson Partners (PPLP), an investment firm managing over half a billion dollars in assets.

What Was Best About The 10 Laws of Trust

The best part of The 10 Laws of Trust is the straightforward way that Peterson deals with the vague concept of “trust”. Rather than engaging in academic “marketing speak”, Peterson breaks down trust into concrete laws and provides simple examples to back up his laws. For people who are tired of reading vague articles about ethics and responsibility, this book should be a nice break.

What Could Have Been Done Differently

The downside of the general and broad nature of The 10 Laws of Trust is that the focus is on principle rather than specific strategies. Recommendations are provided throughout the book; however the book leaves it up to the reader to figure out how to implement them. To provide an example, the book asks readers to be more transparent in budgets and provides examples of big companies (like Zappos) that do. The book doesn’t get involved in the decisions about what to make transparent and how for a specific type of industry or business.

Why Read The 10 Laws of Trust

If your business is suffering from a lack of mission or you just want to ramp up the relationships in your business, The 10 Laws of Trust is perfect for upper-level management and executives who need the inspiration (along with some broad recommendations) to do it. The book is good for any type of leader (on a personal or private level) but the content (style, language, and tone) is geared for the leader (s) who has the authority to implement big changes.

This article, "The 10 Laws of Trust: Building Trust in a Fast-Paced World" was first published on Small Business Trends

First through the door for one hungry onion ring fan

Topix - Sun, 2016-06-26 06:55

BANGING ON THE DOORS: Braden Hyde will be the first of the hungry horde expected at the opening of Hungry Jacks on Monday morning. Picture: Brodie Weeding.

Categories: Today's Food News

Ain't Life Grand Investments' Nonprofit Making Life Grand...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

Making Life Grand teams up with Project Team Taylor for second annual fundraiser to help make a difference in the lives of those fighting the battle of cancer.

(PRWeb June 17, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/aintlifegrandinvestments/projectteamtaylor/prweb13486813.htm

MaidPro Franchising Gets Bigger in Texas

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

MaidPro expands its presence in Texas with new East Dallas location. MaidPro White Rock joins twenty-four MaidPro locations currently serving the Lone Star State.

(PRWeb June 17, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13494506.htm

Ceterus Named One of South Carolina’s Best Places to Work

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

A Charleston Company Receives Award for Its Dedication to Its Employees

(PRWeb June 17, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13494872.htm

Engel & Völkers Beverly Hills Leads Listing Miguel...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

A dynamic team of advisors from the premium real estate brand brings this one-of-a-kind Los Cabos complex to the market

(PRWeb June 17, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13491979.htm

Divinely Inspired Food Franchise Woos Franchisees with Unique...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

Company ditches frozen fries snack menu for freshly made meals and healthier options. French Fry Heaven has announced new franchise opportunities as it unveils a new "Divinely Inspired"...

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/05/prweb13413498.htm

After 15 Years, Mid-America Harley-Davidson in Columbia, Missouri...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

The Powersports Listings M&A group announces the sale of Mid-America Harley-Davidson to area entrepreneurs after 15 years of family ownership.

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13464223.htm

Tony Roma’s Continues Middle East Growth with New Dubai Restaurant

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

New location strengthens Tony Roma’s presence in the United Arab Emirates

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13487511.htm

Latest MRINetwork Survey Finds Companies are Making Key Hiring...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

Employers are Disconnected from What Motivates Top Candidates to Accept Job Offers

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13489820.htm

Experienced Asset Protection Attorney Explains Why The Domestic Asset...

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

Hillel L. Presser, Esq., MBA of The Presser Law Firm, P.A., Asset Protection Attorneys, offers tips on protecting your assets from...

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13476327.htm

Introducing the Deco-iSpot from Unifiller

PR Web - Sun, 2016-06-26 03:30

Now anyone can expertly decorate cupcakes using the Deco-iSpot from Unifiller.

(PRWeb June 16, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/06/prweb13487033.htm

KFC Watt A Box Lets You Charge Your Phone While Eating Chicken

Topix - Sun, 2016-06-26 02:35

KFC recently gave its Indian customers a quiz. It was a simple multiple-choice question: "I'm so rundown that I really need _________."

Categories: Today's Food News

A split heard round the industry

AutoNews - Sun, 2016-06-26 01:01
The United Kingdom's stunning decision to abandon the European Union could slash automakers' profits by billions of dollars and cut new-vehicle sales by nearly a million units over the next three years, analysts warned.
Categories: Latest News

Crazy fast chicken

Topix - Sat, 2016-06-25 22:14

I understand Bon Apetit has closed one of its branches along Jinja Road which is not that surprising considering that there was another branch situated within a 10-minute walk, the end result being unwarranted competition. Ugandans have an amazing love affair with chicken and it a sure bet that no occasion of food would be complete without that much loved staple.

Categories: Today's Food News