February 14, 2013
What do you do when you find yourself a divorced single mom with no income?
You go out and look for a job, of course!
In 1982, that’s exactly what Bonnie Tempesta did. A native of the Bay Area, Tempesta was overwhelmed with fear and the responsibility of starting a new life after being married for ten years. Bonnie also had a healthy respect for the task of raising a little girl by herself and knew that she needed to do something to makes ends meet.
Having a passion for culinary arts, Bonnie’s instinct was to seek work in the food world. She landed a part-time job at a high-end chocolate shop in the Financial District of San Francisco, serving espresso coffee drinks.
After working there for a while, it occurred to Bonnie that the Italian cookies her aunt Isa from Prato, Italy, used to make would go perfectly with the coffee drinks she was serving.
She began making the twice-baked cookies out of her kitchen (biscotti in Italian means, “twice-baked”). These biscotti became so popular that soon Bonnie had a hard time keeping up with the demand. It was then that she decided to open a bakery (with the help of her late mother and brother) and make the biscotti on a much larger scale.
This was the dawn of the biscotti age in the United States. In fact, Bonnie is often called “The Biscotti Queen” for being the first to introduce this Italian treat to America on a large commercial scale.
As if Bonnie’s plain biscotti weren’t enough of a hit here in the U.S., Bonnie decided to marry her cookie with some of the high quality chocolate from the shop she got her start in and a completely new version of biscotti was brought into the world!
In the years she owned La Tempesta Bakery, Bonnie experimented with other flavors as well - even having a peanut butter biscotti in honor of Fourth of July. Everything she baked was a success.
In addition to being a fabulous cook, Bonnie also has good business instincts. She was able to build an extremely successful biscotti company (La Tempesta), which by 1995, was seeing revenues of nearly $9 million. Bonnie eventually sold and went into semi-retirement to focus on raising her daughter.
Bonnie remarried in 1993 and would find herself in the divorce arena again more than sixteen years later.
She always had it in her mind to bake biscotti again some day and with her daughter grown and more time on her hands, Bonnie decided she would start a new company. She and a handful of friends began baking the cookies in her kitchen again and - just as before - her biscotti is selling like hotcakes!
The company name Bonnie came up with for her new venture is “Boncora,” which literally means “Bonnie Again,” and it is a combination of her name and the Italian word for again, “ancora.”
In the few short months since its inception (September 2012), Boncora Biscotti has been written about inNewsweek, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, and the New York Times food review sections.
While the biscotti is still all made by hand, you won’t have to head to your favorite fine food store or fancy food show to find them. Boncora Biscotti are available on-line and you can get more information by visiting the site at: www.boncorabiscotti.com
As someone who sees people go through the frightening divorce experience every day, I love Bonnie’s story because she faced her fears, undertook something she was really good at and managed to develop a successful career out of it – not once, but twice!
Other women who have overcome hard times following divorce include California Congresswoman, Lynn Woolsey, who, with three small children in tow, had to go on welfare following her divorce, and J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series) who went from extreme poverty following her divorce to being ranked the twelfth richest woman in the United Kingdom by The Sunday Times Rich List in 2008.
It goes to show that the darkest transition in your life can turn into the sweetest, most creative and most powerful new beginning imaginable so make it a point to get through your divorce in one piece and after it’s over (and it will have an end) don’t be afraid to share your talents with the world.
May 8, 2011contemplating divorce, divorce help, divorce support, divorce video, Michael Pritchard, Susan Pease Gadoua
January 12, 2011
With the ushering in of a new year, it’s time to set goals for what you’d like to accomplish in the twelve months ahead.
Anyone who has had to grapple with the unfortunate choice of whether to stay in a troubled marriage or leave, knows that this is not an easy place to live from. And those who have been in this place of indecision for a while know that it becomes increasingly draining the longer you stay in this middle ground.
Yet, I have seen people remain undecided–unhappy in the marriage but unwilling or unable to create the change they need to improve or to get out of the marriage - for years.
They get caught in what I call the “Marital Indecision Cycle,” and anyone who has been in that place for over 24 months, needs to know that it’s probably not just another “rough patch” that every marriage experiences, and that it’s in your best interest to get out of the indecision.
Being in a place of nuptial neither here nor there causes stress and a reduction in productivity and presence. It is the equivalent of a ship sailing the ocean trying to stay afloat with a gaping hole in its hull. Additionally, anyone who has ever said or felt, “this indecision’s killing me,” should know this may be truer than you realize.
There is ample scientific research that points to the fact that chronic stress can cause a whole host of maladies–everything from suppression of the reproductive system to cancer, heart disease, hypertension, depression and insomnia.
While we all have stress in our lives to some degree whether we are married or single, have five kids or no kids, most of the stress we have is manageable, meaning low level and/or time limited.
Having problems (such as marital discord) that have no easy or apparent solution can push tension levels through the roof.
For most people, leaving a marriage is no small decision–and it shouldn’t be. Marriage is a serious commitment–especially if you have children.
But the longer you stay stuck, the more your health suffers, the more you role model an unhealthy relationship for your children, and the greater tolerance you develop for being unhappy and unfulfilled.
Make 2011 the year of change.
Here are three tips to help you gain clarity in your decision of whether to stay or go:
1. If your spouse is not working with you to get the marriage back to a good place, then there is nothing to work on. Nothing you do will be effective because it takes effort from both partners to create a workable, healthy marriage.
2. Do everything in your power to create the change your marriage needs (read self help books, seek out counsel from therapists, clergy and friends), attend self improvement programs alone and together to work on yourself as well as the relationship
3. Because you won’t get new mental and emotional information until you take different actions, try something you haven’t tried before - if you haven’t gone to couple’s therapy, seek out a therapist to work on your communication or conflict resolution skills; if you’ve never physically separated, try that for three to six months to see what that feels like. You will also get a new set of emotions when you recommit to your spouse, make the therapy appointment, move back into the bedroom or when you go out looking for apartments, talk to attorneys and download the paperwork you need to file for divorce.
Three books I recommend on this subject are:
Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay, Mira Kirshenbaum
How to Know When It’s Time to Go, Dr. Lawrence Birnbach and Dr. Beverly Hyman
And my first book, Contemplating Divorce, A Step-by-Step Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go, Susan Pease Gadoua
September 18, 2009
So many of you are finding the book helpful and nothing makes me feel better. I appreciate your comments and thought I’d post some of them here so you can get a sense of how the book might help you too.
Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen, Bowen Island, British Columbia, Canada
“an amazing book…” September 18, 2009
“Contemplating Divorce – [is] an amazing book, and belongs on the shelf of even happily married couples! [Pease Gadoua] discusses how to rebuild marriages in practical ways.”
Douglas C. Lord - Library Journal
“This is an excellent resource with a consistently respectful tone…” September 8, 2009
Even the best divorces are upheavals, messing up finances, routines, and emotions; this supportive primer totally aces helping readers clarify whether to go through with it. Social worker Gadoua notes the steps in the process of deciding, which range from passively considering to actively leaving. Instructive real-life examples show the dynamics of deteriorating marriages with both happy and unhappy endings. Gadoua also explains the difference between staying in a bad marriage out of fear vs. confidently leaving it with expectations of future happiness. Chapters encourage readers to optimize their attitudes and approaches in order to “best influence” their partners and themselves, and workbooklike sections raise issues to ponder. Clear advice seems elementary but not simplistic, e.g., “you can always choose how to interpret the events in your life. Your feelings about an event are one thing; how you interpret them is quite another.” This is an excellent resource with a consistently respectful tone; coupled with a guide like Nolo’s Essential Guide to Divorce, it will make readers feel better equipped to handle a tough decision. Highly recommended for all public libraries and family support collections.
***** 5 stars
A must read for anyone who wants to work on their marriage. June 3, 2009
By JST (CA United States)
This book is fantastic, and was instrumental in parting the clouds for me during one of the most difficult times of my life - determining whether my marriage was salvagable or not. The exercises in this book are very helpful in assessing the work that needs to be done on a marriage, and in determining whether that work can be done by the two of you or not. I highly recommend this book whether you are contemplating divorce or not - in my case, I was contemplating it, and some of the exercises in this book made it crystal clear to me which path was the right one for me. I can’t begin to express how thankful I am to have run across this book, and highly recommend it to anyone facing even the smallest difficulties in their marriage - it can help you see how to approach fixing things if you choose to, or deciding that it is time to end things if you choose to.
***** 5 stars
Extremely insightful; great questions & workbook exercises, November 4, 2008
By Yvonne Gittelson “Dog Wrangler” (Goshen, MA United States) -
I bought this book for a friend, and ended up previewing it myself to make sure it was worth passing on; it definitely is. Having gone through a split 5 years ago (not of my choosing, but ultimately of my relief), I was able to look at this book through the lens of hindsight. I think it is an excellent guide, and I’ve recommended it to a therapist friend of mine, and she agrees. The most important aspect of the book is that there is no right or wrong answer for any/every reader, of course. Every relationship is different, and anyone reading this book will have the opportunity to consider the thought-provoking questions at the end of each chapter to see if the marriage can be saved, or if too much damage has been done. Especially if the question of therapy or counseling is currently not an option for you, this book provides a most excellent and inexpensive substitute first step in the process of considering what to do next. Highly recommended.
***** 5 stars
Excellent reading for making life changing decision, August 1, 2008
By Birder123 “nancy” (Tampa, FL, USA) -
Contemplating Divorce is an excellent read for those looking to make the life changing decision to divorce. It has a break down of all the steps needed to make the decision and guides the reader with how to approach every step. This book is very well written and the real stories cover a wide range of marital situations. Personally, I can’t wait for Ms. Pease Gadoua’s next book!!
OUTSTANDING book, November 23, 2008
By Dorie Rosenberg (San Rafael, CA USA) -
This book offers the reader a wealth of information about the difficult, limbo space between an unhappy marriage and making the decision to stay or leave. I especially appreciated Susan’s applications of the theories of phases of contemplation and Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to help the reader gain clarity about his or her own process. The exercises are helpful and worthwhile to do. This is a very practical volume that gave me much to reflect on. I recommend it highly for both therapists and the general public.
Dorie Rosenberg, L.M.F.T.
San Rafael, CA.
***** Great book!
By K. Morrison -
This is an important and illuminating book if you REALLY want clarity around one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make! It’s well-written and informative and will definitely help those who are struggling with whether to stay or go.
***** 5 stars
Marriage & Family Therapist review, November 22, 2008
By Mary Beth McClure
After reading many books on the subject, I found the material in ‘Contemplating Divorce’ to be thought-provoking and original, particularly about the cyclic nature of denial and grief. The author outlines clear stages of the process and direction on the most difficult decision: how to know when to keep trying at a marriage and when to let go. Although “Divorce” is in the title, the book has a wealth of wise counsel on doing what’s possible to mend a relationship and an expanded definition of ‘failure’ and ’success.’ I recommended this book and the writing exercises at the end of each chapter to many clients. The author has a refreshingly balanced perspective that provides readers with a clear light.No tags for this post.
Such as are in the institution (of marriage) wish to get out… Excerpt from a quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson
May 10, 2009
We are experiencing very tough financial times and, while the actual divorce rates are down, the quality of marriage is suffering tremendously. Many people can’t afford to divorce right now, but I predict that when the stock and real estate markets start to recover, we will see a spike in divorce rates.
I say this because, along with articles I have read in the past eight months about divorce rates declining, I myself have been hit with a deluge of calls from those who are unhappily married and just waiting out the economy to bring divorce proceedings. What’s worse is that many of these people might otherwise go to counseling but they can’t afford it! I’m afraid that too much damage will have been done.
Of course, a down economy is not usually enough by itself to cause a marital relationship to sour. There are often other factors that come into play such as too much drug and alcohol use, poor or non-existent communication between spouses, other stressors such as having children, a mortgage or rent that is too high, a loved one being ill or dying, depression or mental illness, or living with pain, to name a few.
My advice to anyone in this type of situation is to get support! This doesn’t have to cost money - it can come in the way of reaching out to friends and telling them what is really going on, going to church/temple, 12-step programs, as well as visiting local community mental health agencies that often have sliding scale fees available.
When tough financial times hit, it can be tempting to put mental health on a back burner but I assure you that taking care of your “insides” will go a long way in making you feel better, giving you a different perspective on your situation and potentially even helping turn things around for you and your spouse.
A tip for searching for these services on the internet:
Google the name of the county or town in which you live, then “low fee counseling.” You are likely to find a local, state or county run organization that provides such services. If none is listed, contact the agencies that come up directly and ask them where they might suggest (since they are likely to know of more resources).
Finally, if you have insurance, don’t forget to contact them to take full advantage of coverage they may offer you.
If you need further help in finding appropriate mental health support, feel free to contact us and we will do what we can to assist you in getting the right resources.Tags: bad marriage, contemplating divorce, deciding to divorce, divorce support, marital troubles