It's no secret that America loves its bacon. For proof, just look at the crazy success of the Perfect Bacon Bowl, As Seen on TV's newest sensation.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl resembles an upside-down plastic bowl. Wrap three strips of bacon around it, pop it in the oven, microwave or toaster oven and the bacon cooks in the shape of the container - a "bacon bowl." Then you fill it with whatever you want - scrambled eggs, dip, mac 'n cheese.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl debuted in November 2013 on As Seen on TV and almost immediately became a hit. Since then, more than two million boxes have been sold (they come two to a box and retail for $10.99).
Doug Quint should have been working on his dissertation in June 2009 when he decided he wanted a "fun summer job."
"I thought about being a butcher or an exterminator - just something crazy," he said. Then he saw a posting for an available ice cream truck, and New York's Big Gay Ice Cream Truck was born. He and his partner, Bryan Petroff, spent the summer turning out a more colorful version of Mister Softee - with far better ingredients. One summer turned into another and five years later, the pair - who left their other jobs two years into the venture - have launched a Big Gay empire (two storefronts in New York and one opening in LA this spring).
"Community-supported beer" doesn't just mean buying a pint at your local watering hole. For a growing number of upstart breweries, it's how they're getting their operations off the ground.
Queens' Big Alice Brewing - located in an old Bible warehouse near the water - opened its doors in June and is selling beer shares as a way to finance the brewery. Inspired by the concept of community-supported agriculture, in which people buy directly from farmers, CSB subscribers pay $200 and receive two large bottles of beer each month for six months.
Editor's note: This story is part of CNN's American Journey series, showing how people have turned hobbies into jobs. Have you transformed your passion into profits? Share your story with CNN iReport, and you could be featured in a CNN story.
Helping families build homes was a job that Jessica Vu excelled at. As a sales consultant in Bellbrook, Ohio, she walked people through buying homes, selecting floor plans and customizing everything from doors and windows to counters.
Then the housing market crashed in 2008, and she was laid off while she was eight weeks pregnant with her first child. Like many Americans who lost their income sources when employers cut more than 1.2 million jobs in the first 10 months of 2008, she struggled to find her footing.
As the ripple effects of the recession continue, with monthly unemployment claims up in July, people like Vu are seeking alternatives to traditional office jobs and gambling on their passions.
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