Danny Raskin: Simply Smart

The Jewish News
Danny Raskin

Danny Raskin

Former Vineyards owner making an impact in gift baskets, health bars.

When he sold his Vineyards location on Northwestern two years ago, there was much talk and wondering why … But never realizing what it would today eventually become.

Ron Asmar retained his Nibbles & Nuts and Maggie’s Chocolates in a nearby former beauty shop on Northwestern Highway, just south of 14 Mile, Farmington Hills … also on property owned by him.

The popular Nibbles & Nuts operation has been presenting gift baskets, trays, etc., shipped nationwide and abroad along with the larger-than-ever local personally delivered gifts … along with Jewish mini- and traditional kosher pastries, candies, jams, cheeses, etc., for more than 30 years.

Tony, Ron and Maggie Asmar of Simply Smart bar
Tony, Ron and Maggie Asmar

Together with the manufacturing and distributing of Simply Smart and Smart Kids health bars and Corporate Express Catering from Oak Park offices, the family of Ron, wife Maggie, and their son Tony, have established a very busy group of highly successful enterprises … With more demand than ever.

State-of-the-art natural health bars … Simply Smart Bar, Smart Kids Bar and Live Smart Bar … are made at a 15,000-square-foot building owned by Ron next to Oak Park’s former Stanley Steamer that houses a huge state-of-the-art machine that can produce more than a million health bars a week … all peanut-free, soy-free, and vegan … The machinery by Ron’s Live Smart Manufacturing company putting out the highly wanted and accepted fitness and well-being bars is something to behold.

And there is the widely expanded Corporate Express Catering operation at homes and businesses … from simple to elaborate… plus barbecues and other outdoor events … From large events to deli trays, etc.

A simple everyday selling occurrence only two years ago that might have happened to put the Ron Asmar family team into a much higher realm of business is certainly a success story indeed.

Simply Smart Bar health barsLOCAL COMMUNITY-ITES galore joined the 1,500 who witnessed the recent amazing performance put on by Bob Anderson in his impersonation of Frank Sinatra in “Frank, The Man The Music,” courtesy of Joe Vicari and his Andiamo restaurants … and were loud in their standing acclaim to Joe for bringing Bob… “I wasn’t a big Sinatra fan,” Dr. Leonard Aronovitz told him, “but I sure am now. It was one of the best shows I have ever seen!” … “This show is going to Broadway!” Susu Sosnick said. “It was unbelievable!” … Doreen Hermelin declared, “That show was fantastic. He is such an unbelievable talent!” … Mickey Shapiro exclaimed, “He was as good as Sinatra at his best. I almost thought I was watching Sinatra himself!”

GRAD TIDINGS … Central High School class of 1953 has a biggie on tap for July 15 … A lunch at Glen Oaks Country Club, 13 Mile, Farmington Hills, by the January and June classes on their graduations 65 years ago … For more info, call Marsha King, (248) 661-3422 or Bernice Betman, (248) 737-5773.

RESTAURANT TIP … To waiters and waitresses … Many customers don’t enjoy sitting at an empty table without something to gnaw on … Especially the hungry ones … If the eatery they work at serves crackers, cheese, beans, etc., bring them promptly for something to nibble on … Bring rolls or bread and butter immediately … Remember, a hungry customer is numerous times a very unpleasant one!

NONE OF THE three places he has looked at will be used to house “Mom’s,” which Matt Prentice will ultimately open after coming back into the restaurant and catering business on Oct. 23 … The other two, he says, would be cutting-edge small plates concepts very affordable yet with chef-inspired fare “that will compete with the best of our Michigan restaurants.”

GOOD SERVER DEPT. … Smiling, congenial and most efficient Wai Yee U, who so many ask to wait on them … and there are quite a few … simply saying “Catherine, please.” … The favorite waitperson of many at Shangri-La West Bloomfield, Orchard Mall, 15 Mile and Orchard Lake Road, has been there since day one of owner Cholada “Nancy” Chan taking over the former Rikshaw Inn years back.

OLDIE BUT GOODIE … During Shabbat services, a rabbi kneels and puts his forehead to the floor and says, “Before you, oh Lord, I am nothing.”

The cantor looks at him, thinks it couldn’t hurt, and kneels, puts his forehead to the floor and says, “Before you, oh Lord, I am nothing.”

Abe Cohen in the fifth row is watching this and thinks that it is a pretty good idea. He goes in the middle of the aisle, kneels and puts his forehead to the floor and says, “Before you, oh Lord, I am nothing.”

The rabbi nudges the cantor. “Look who thinks he’s nothing!”

CONGRATS … To Sam Essick on his birthday … To Simone Vitale on his birthday … To Joe Smiler on his birthday … To Marilyn Warnick on her birthday… To Robert and Gayle Meyers on their 50th anniversary.

Danny’s email address is dannyraskin2132@gmail.com.

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