Oct. 13--The response to two short business stories I wrote this past week was one that Homer Simpson would have appreciated.
The first story revealed that the Glancy family is looking to sell Paul's Bakery after running it for more than 40 years. Paul's is best-known for its donuts, a food near and dear to Homer's heart (and stomach).
Apparently those donuts are very important to local residents, many of whom expressed concern that the sweet treats may not be the same under new ownership. My Paul's story received more than 3,000 Facebook "likes," easily the most I can remember for any post that I have written.
Later this past week I wrote a post about another one of Homer's favorite things: beer. The article was about a craft beer event called the Fredericksburg Brewfest coming to the Fredericksburg Fairgrounds on Oct. 19.
Though that one didn't resonate quite as much as the Paul's post, it did lead to more than 1,100 Facebook "likes," again one of the highest totals I can recall for anything I have written.
Those two reader reactions got me thinking: What business articles do people seem to care about the most? I asked the head of Fredericksburg.com, Brian Baer, to run a report showing the 10 most-viewed posts on my Business Insider blog this year.
If I had to sum up the results as of Wednesday morning in two words, it would be "food" and "death." Just about all of the top 10 involved something related to eating or someone dying. Longer, in-depth articles full of financial analyses were nowhere to be found.
The aforementioned Paul's story topped the list. Placing third was another story about donuts: a post revealing that the three Dunkin' Donuts stores in Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County had at least temporarily closed.
The second most-viewed post was a sad one. It told readers that longtime NSWC Federal Credit Union CEO Harry Clayton Ovitt Jr. had been killed in an August car accident on his way to work. Also in the top 10 was another tragedy: news that A. Smith Bowman Master Distiller Truman Cox had died in February at the young age of 44.
A story about the Wegmans real estate property being on the market made the list. So did two stories about restaurants opening--Wendy's and McDonald's in Harrison Crossing, Peter Chang's in Central Park--and three posts about businesses closing--F.W. Sullivan's in downtown Fredericksburg, Facelogic in Central Park and Noodles & Co. in Cosner's Corner.
Brian and I both suspect that if there were ever a story about Cheesecake Factory, Trader Joe's or Whole Foods Market opening in the Fredericksburg area, that would quickly jump into the top 10.
But would it challenge Paul's for the top spot? That remains to be seen, and it won't be easy. Readers showed this week that there's little more important to them than a yummy donut, a reaction that Homer would have shared.
Staff reporter Bill Freehling writes this biweekly column on business, personal finance and investing. He can be reached at 540/374-5405 or firstname.lastname@example.org.