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.