A Bittersweet Family Business
By Christine Y. Chen

(FORTUNE Small Business) – Who knew those little pink packets contained so much tragicomedy? In his new memoir Sweet and Low, disinherited scion Rich Cohen writes of the rise and fall (and rise and fall again) of his family's company. The book recalls how Cohen's grandfather Ben Eisenstadt invented the individual sugar packet, but naively pitched his unpatented idea to Domino Sugar, which stole it. Undaunted, Eisenstadt invented Sweet'N Low, growing it into a mini-empire fueled by the dieting craze in postwar America. But after Cohen's uncle inherited the company, employees with Mob connections set up shell corporations and cooked the books. As the company was under federal investigation, the ban on saccharin and the rise of NutraSweet changed the market. Meanwhile, the Eisenstadt clan fought bitterly over the Sweet'N Low fortune. Cohen's stirring and often hilarious yarn details how a small family company created an iconic brand, but also warns of the perils of success and succession. It won't do much for your coffee, but this Sweet and Low might be good for you.

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Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.