Our Thanksgiving story

No turkey here

Twenty four years ago this month, our family arrived to this country just a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. We were a young couple with two small kids, a few suitcases, and tons of dreams. Our first Thanksgiving dinner consisted of popcorn and candy while watching that year’s Disney family film twice in a row at a mostly empty movie theater which was just fine with us. You see, this whole Thanksgiving thing felt pretty foreign to us at the time. We thought it was all about remembering the Pilgrims, eating turkey and pumpkin pie, watching (American) football, and getting ready for frenzied shopping the next day, and none of that really resonated with us.  It didn’t help that so many people referred to it as “Turkey Day” and we weren’t particularly fond of turkey…

Eventually I came to really “get”  Thanksgiving – the part about Giving Thanks – and now it’s one of my favorite holidays. We’re still not turkey fans, so we usually substitute with an Argentine-style barbecue… but what’s not to like about a day spent in gratitude for our blessings, and sharing with loved ones? What a great concept!

Among the many reasons to be thankful this year, we have an important milestone to celebrate – the 20th anniversary of our business, BreakTime Refreshments (aka Soft Delivery).  It’s been quite a journey and we’re certainly proud of our  accomplishments, but above all we’re immensely grateful. To our family, friends, employees, mentors, customers, and suppliers who have supported us along the way, and to this amazing land of opportunity, we Give Thanks and we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!

“Gratitude is the inward feeling of kindness received. Thankfulness is the natural impulse to express that feeling. Thanksgiving is the following of that impulse.” — Henry Van Dyke

Sharing in your success

One of my favorite things at the end of each year is receiving the big Book of Lists published by the Denver Business Journal, and looking through it to see how many of our clients made the list of the hottest companies in their fields. I know this may sound silly and even presumptuous, but we really take pride in our clients’ accomplishments!

Whenever I learn about awards they’ve earned, or read articles about the cool things they do in their industries, or watch them grow into bigger offices with larger staffs, I can’t help but feel like we’ve had a teeny tiny part in that…

Why? Because we don’t see ourselves as simply providing all kinds of beverages and snacks for offices. At the end of the day, our main goal is to help keep our clients productive and happy at work, making their jobs easier and more enjoyable.

Here goes a big thank you to all our clients for letting us support their past, present, and future successes. We wish you a happy and successful 2012!!

Getting Better All the Time

 

We’re constantly learning –  from multiple media sources, from the people we relate to, and (hopefully) from our own experience.  Being a “student of life” is about nurturing our natural curiosity and the desire to improve ourselves.

Professional development goes hand in hand with personal development. Fortunately, the resources to help us get better at what we do are plentiful. The internet is of course the most used research tool anymore, where wide access to tons of information is readily available – especially when you work in an office!  There are some good websites specifically geared to administrative professionals, including Desk Demon, The Effective Admin, and The Administrative Professional Society. In addition, the International Association of Administrative Professionals is dedicated to professional advancement through education and networking, and there are two local chapters right here in Denver, plus one in Boulder and another one in Colorado Springs. Networking is a good way to connect with new people and build relationships which often foster professional development and may even open doors to new employment opportunities. LinkedIn is a great social media site for expanding your professional online network. Joining any of the local LinkedIn groups will give you the chance to participate in discussions and even attend live networking events. Colorado Business Women  supports women in the workplace by promoting “involvement in political and legislative issues, community outreach, and personal and professional development”. The local DTC chapter holds monthly lunch meetings featuring speaker presentations and offering networking opportunities.

Striving to be the best you can be at whatever it is you do is always rewarding. It hardly ever goes unnoticed by the people around you, and – more importantly – it just feels really good to know you’re doing a good job and getting better at it every day.

“The greatest gift you can give to somebody is your own personal development. I used to say, ‘If you will take care of me, I will take care of you.’ Now I say, ‘I will take care of me for you, if you will take of you for me.” ~ Jim Rohn

Regarding The Candy and Soft Drink Sales Tax

The State of Colorado recently passed a bill eliminating the sales tax exemption on soft drinks and candy, which will go into effect on May 1, 2010.

Food for home consumption is exempt from state sales tax, but apparently candy and soft drinks will no longer be considered “food” for tax purposes. The bill basically amounts to a “tax on sugar” of sorts, but the way it defines the categories of soft drinks and candy is more than a bit confusing.  Most of us are left wondering just how much the cost of those products will be affected. Well, it depends…

• Businesses that purchase soft drinks and candy for the office as an employee perk or to give away to clients are already paying (or should be paying) state and city sales tax on those items, which are considered a business expense. No change there!

• Soft drinks purchased at restaurants are already being taxed – no change there either!

• At the supermarket, convenience store, etc., you will be charged sales tax on soft drinks and candy, just like you pay tax on paper, soap, and other non-food items. Prices will not go up per se, but your cost on these items will go up by 2.9%.

• When you purchase items through a vending machine, the price will already include sales tax and the vending operator is responsible for remitting those funds to the corresponding state and city tax agencies.  The state sales tax on candy and soft drinks will now cost vending operators almost 3 cents per dollar of revenue on certain items and some operators may decide to raise their prices, while others may choose to absorb the cost rather than risk a decline in sales – so we’ll probably see some price increases in vending machines.

And which are the items to be taxed as a result of this bill? What exactly falls under the categories of candy and soft drinks? Ah, here comes the fun part!

According to the bill, soft drinks are sweetened non-alcoholic beverages, so it would follow that soda pop, most iced teas, sports drinks, energy drinks, etc, should be taxed – but not juice, nor drinks that contain at least 50% juice, milk, or milk substitutes (like soy), nor unsweetened drinks such as seltzers.

The bill goes on to define candy as “a preparation of sugar, honey, or other natural or artificial sweeteners in combination with chocolate, fruit, nuts, or other ingredients or flavoring in the form of bars, drops or pieces. Candy does not include any preparation containing flour and shall require no refrigeration.”
Okaaay… that means it excludes cookies, muffins, or pastries, because those have flour, and also ice-cream even if it contains candy, because it needs to be refrigerated. Cookie-like candy bars like Kit Kats or Twix and licorice-type candy like Twizzlers should also be excluded because – who knew? – they contain wheat flour… 

The details of the bill are still being fine-tuned, but it’s a pretty sure bet that the final result will be an accounting nightmare for retailers and vending companies, and a slight increase in the cost of certain items for consumers.

Personally, I just think it’s a travesty to tax any kind of chocolate – isn’t that one of the main food groups???

For additional clarification – or confusion – you can read about the changes on the Colorado Department of Revenue website.