By Hannah Simon
Two beloved members of the Jewish Community in Fort Worth are starting new businesses. Rich Hollander, 70, started his business, A Sweet Goodbye, and Sydney Ratner, 13, launched her business, Syd’s Sweets.
The idea of A Sweet Goodbye came to Rich while he attended a morning minyan at Congregation Ahavath Sholom. He is a regular attendee there. As he was “talking” to his deceased parents, he wished he could hear their voices. Then, the idea hit him. What if everyone could push a button and hear their loved ones’ voices after they die? His idea — to let people record a message that they can leave their loved ones before they die, so that their loved ones can listen to the message on their smartphones anytime they want.
There are a couple things about A Sweet Goodbye that make it unique. First, since Rich got the idea during a minyan at Ahavath Sholom, he and his wife Terri will donate 10% of profits to the shul. Second, this business is being created by a 70-year-old man. Third, the people involved in this new business were born in every decade since the 1940s. Lastly, A Sweet Goodbye has people of all generations communicating from all over the United States and New Zealand. A Sweet Goodbye will launch Aug. 10. You can visit the website at www.asweetgoodbye.com.
“Creating a new business at any age is challenging. Creating a new business for me has been a joy because of the incredible team of people that have come together for this project,” Rich explains. “They have kept our mission throughout the process. We wanted to create a tool to allow our customers to easily and affordably leave a legacy message for their families, friends and loved ones. On August the 10th the world will get to see if we accomplished that goal,” he added.
Rich was born in 1948 in New York. His father was in the Air Force. Rich lived in New York until he was 7, then he moved to Hawaii for a year. Afterward, he moved to Northern California, where he grew up and graduated from Humboldt State. From there, Rich went to work at his father’s Radio Shack store. Rich moved up the ranks at Radio Shack. Thirty seven years ago, Rich became a vice president and general manager and moved to Fort Worth. He later retired from Radio Shack. Rich and Terri have two adult daughters, Becky and Mandy. Becky and her husband, Steve, have two children, Zachary and Sophie, and they live in Fort Worth. Mandy and her husband, Ben, have a daughter, Madison, and they live in New Zealand.
Sydney Ratner started her home baking business because she did not have enough time to complete her bat mitzvah project which was to volunteer at the Tarrant Area Food Bank. COVID-19 got in the way of her plan. Her mom helped develop the idea to start a baking business to raise money for the Food Bank. People can order on Facebook, and Sydney will deliver it. If people outside of Fort Worth want to donate, they can email her or her mom. When asked her favorite thing to bake, Sydney answered, “Cakes are my favorite because the designs are fun. I get to express myself with edible art.” Sydney also added, “I feel good making it; I have always enjoyed baking. It is something I really enjoy doing. It always feels good doing it for other people.” Email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sydney is the daughter of Jennifer and Hal Ratner and is a rising eighth-grader at Mclean Middle School. Samantha, her 17-year-old sister, will be a senior at RL Paschal High School. Sydney is the granddaughter of Carol and Steve Kline and Mark and Naomi Rosenfield of Fort Worth and Arlene and George Ratner of Florida.
By Hannah Simon