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Taco Titan: The Glen Bell Story Hardcover – February 1, 1999

4.1 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Bookworld Services; First Edition edition (February 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1565302990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1565302990
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,123,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Debra Lee Baldwin specializes in showing how top floral and garden designers use dynamic, sculptural succulents in a wide variety of eye-catching applications.

Her own garden, which has been in Sunset and Better Homes & Gardens, is in the foothills northeast of San Diego, where temps range from below freezing to upwards of 100 degrees.

Succulents, Debra explains, "are plants that drink responsibly. They store water in fleshy leaves and stems to survive dry spells, like when you forget to water them. They're a terrific option for good-looking, low-maintenance landscapes and containers."

Debra, a garden photojournalist, got her start writing about homes, gardens, architecture and interior design for the San Diego Union-Tribune, then went on to scout, write and shoot for major magazines. In 2005, her editor at Sunset suggested she do a book on succulents. "That changed my life," Debra says.

Debra's latest book, Succulents Simplified: Growing, Designing and Crafting with 100 Easy-Care Varieties, introduces the best succulents for gardens and containers, explains how to grow and use them, and gives step-by-step methods for design-oriented projects.

"Succulents Simplified is a guide for novice enthusiasts, a quick reference for anyone seeking a good overview, and a vehicle for design ideas I'm excited about," Debra says. "Throughout the book, I give my perspective on a subject that has become my passion."

Her first gardening book, Designing with Succulents, came out in 2007 and spent 19 weeks on Amazon's list of the Top Ten Bestselling Gardening Books. The sequel, Succulent Container Gardens (2010), topped the charts as well. Like Succulents Simplified, both are from Timber Press, the nation's leading publisher of gardening books.

Additionally, Debra shares her photos and expertise via articles, blog posts, newsletters, workshops, YouTube videos and on her website, http://www.debraleebaldwin.com. She is an in-demand speaker on the horticultural circuit, and she keeps in daily contact with succulent enthusiasts worldwide via email and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In the '60s, America was on the go like never before, and wherever people went, fast food followed. But in a growing world of hot dog stands and copycat burger joints, one name stood out from the rest: Taco Bell. Yet Taco Bell strained the patience and pocketbook of its founder, year after year. A menu with no buns or mustard was challenge enough. Add the fact that lenders and investors called Mexican fast food a fad.
And few people outside the Hispanic community knew what a taco was. "I'll have two TAKE-OHS, please." Clearly, this was a concept ahead of its time. Most men would have quit, but Taco Bell's founder refused to abandon his dream. With grit and determination, he made himself and those who shared his vision millionaires, and turned his little walk-up restaurant concept into one of the most popular brand names in America.
This is the story of Glen W. Bell, Jr.
As a young man, Glen had no money. During the '30s, he rode the rails and went door to door in search of honest work and a hard-earned dollar.
From these hardscrabble root grew the passion and desire of a tireless entrepreneur. A man who understood the customer and worked day and night to build a business backed by little more than the proceeds from the sale of a used refrigerator. A man who poured his own concrete and fried his own tortillas. The business grew, in part because the food was good and different and priced right. But in largest part because Glen--in his quiet, confident manner--had a way of attracting a breed of people who understood his vision. As a result, he helped employees, managers and franchisees carve out their own pieces of the American dream.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was an inspiring read to me. Glen Bell like Wendy's founder Dave Thomas did not have an easy childhood. Both developed and appreciated the values of hard work at an early age and this book shows that nice guys do finish first. While it is a very light fast read unlike a book about someone like Dr. Linus Pauling. This book teaches one that if you have an idea you should pursue it relentlessly and deal with everyone fairly as Glen did. Glen Bell never started out to be the richest or most famous person in the fast food business but he made major contributions to the industy with his ideas and simple honest values. While I continue to eat at upscale mexican restaurants frequently I do confess to eating at Taco Bell on a weekly basis. Thank you Glen Bell!
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Format: Hardcover
One might think a book containing Glen Bell's "recipes for success" would be primarily a business book; Taco Titan most definitely is not.

In Taco Titan, Baldwin through a mix of research, interviews with friends, family and Bell himself pieces together the Taco Titan's life, from early childhood living in near-poverty to the rise of Taco Bell and culminating with the establishment of Bell Gardens. Baldwin clearly has great admiration for Bell, and she certainly hits upon all of the key points in his (and Taco Bell's) life. The book is well written, easy to read, and the occasional use of suspense and foreshadowing makes it hard to put down.
Unfortunately, the entire story is presented as seen through rose-colored glasses. The book is a combination of biography and autobiography in the worst way. In an autobiography, the subject, reflecting on his or her life generally is somewhat introspective and points out things that they wish they had done differentially. In a biography, the biographer points out both the subject's success and failings. From reading this book, one would get the idea that everything in Bell's life simply fell into place. It mentions not one mistake nor any regrets on the part of Bell. Moreover the "recipes for success" at the end of each chapter seem to suggest that each experience was not only perfect, but a standard to be emulated. A number things that one might perceive as set backs are presented (such as when Bell, during his divorce, "gives" his entire net worth to his wife) but they are glossed over, and generally presented as a choice Bell made, not a product of circumstance.
Since this is the only book on Taco Bell, if you want to know about the company and its founder, it is the book to buy. Just don't expect to learn much more than a timeline of Bell's life from it.
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Format: Hardcover
When I was developing my business plan for my brokerage firm, I looked up various autobigraphies of others in the financial industry to get inside their head. One day I stumbled across this book. I was not convinced by the cover to read it, but I grabbed it anyway. Boy was I NOT disappointed!
From reading Glen Bell's story I discovered a lot of trivia about the taco business, like Glen Bell's invention of the taco ;)
But more importantly I took away five guiding points for my life and more importantly for my business.
1. Stay ultimately focused on your vision.
2. Keep expanding on your vision, as you grow so should it.
3. Don't be afraid to scream from the rooftops by promoting your business big.
4. Never let a little thing like money get in your way.
5. Those that can't see your vision, needn't be in your vision.
Great book for entrepreneurs who think they have it bad and can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, its there, Glen Bell proves it.
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