Category Archives: Ice Cream Gift Certificates

Thanking Employees at Easter Time

A sincere “thank you” at work means a lot, so it makes sense to find ways to show your employees you appreciate them throughout the year.

WateringCan 2013Whether you choose to celebrate the Easter Holiday or Springtime, your employees will be grateful for the recognition and the post-winter pick-me-up.

In fact, a Harvard Business Review (HBR) blog notes that saying thank you is vital. In “Do You Really Need to Say Thank You?” Peter Bregman, author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done, writes:

“When you offer a real thought-out “thank you” to someone, you’re acknowledging her effort, appreciating her thoughtfulness, recognizing her intent, and offering feedback on the impact of her actions.

Still, it’s more than that. Those things are rational, but saying “thank you” is mostly an emotional act. It connects one person to another. Saying “thank you” doesn’t just acknowledge someone’s effort, thoughtfulness, intent, or action. It acknowledges the person himself.

Acknowledging other people is … perhaps the critical responsibility … of a good manager, but … that’s understating it. Acknowledging each other is our basic responsibility as human beings living in community with other human beings.”

But is it appropriate to celebrate Easter in the workplace?

gThankYou! - 5 Easter Eggs Enclosure CardMost Companies say Yes! So says WorkplaceCommunications.com:

“Of course, not everyone celebrates the holiday, but this should not stop you from offering your employees a [thank you gift].”

An article by Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) staff in HR Magazine makes a great point about any workplace gifts or festivities for holidays: Make sure everyone feels included. If that means a more secular approach for your organization is a better fit, don’t loose the great opportunity to thank employees, just change your emphasis to celebrating the emergence of Spring.

“It can be difficult to stay religiously neutral during [holiday] celebrations,” according to SHRM member Melissa Fulwider of Augusta Iron & Steel Works Inc. in Augusta, Ga. Her tips include:

  • Thank employees for their work throughout the year.
  • Give everyone a small gift.
  • Share a meal with employees.

Here are a few employee appreciation ideas for your Easter or Springtime gift:

  • Homemade TreatsHot cross buns, carrot cake muffins, cupcakes with bright-colored frosting, or decorated sugar cookies say Happy Easter or Happy Spring.
  • Gift BasketsWhile they’re typically for kids, what adult wouldn’t want to receive basket full of chocolate and other goodies?
  • Items that Say “Spring is Coming”Try a flower-pot with a packet of seeds or planted spring bulbs that will bloom in the office.
  • Small Gift Certificates or Gift CardsEmployees will appreciate even a $5 certificate for pie or ice cream.  Something they can enjoy alone, or share with their family. There’s a gift certificate or card for every budget.
  • Office Party – Host an office breakfast or special lunch. Make it festive and everyone will enjoy the special break. It’s a great way to celebrate a team or work group.
  • Get Outside – Celebrate by planting flowers at a local shelter.
  • Write a Thank You Note – Personalized notes of gratitude are always a welcomed gift of recognition.

In “Easter Activities for the Office,” SmallBusinessFreeForms.com suggests an Easter office party:

“An office Easter basket lunch party always put a smile on [workers’] faces. … Take some Easter Baskets and fill them with a sandwich, Easter hard-boiled eggs, chips, and don’t forget the Easter cookies and candy. You can also add some Easter-themed pens and notepads, etc. to the baskets. Have some refreshments to go along with these and maybe a large fruit and vegetable tray … with a little Easter decor and have some fun. …”

If you go the party route, SmallBusinessFreeForms.com offers a free Easter party flyer.

If you choose homemade gifts, Workplace Communication.com, in “Easter Basket to Make for the Workplace,”  suggests a fun way to make them. If your staff is small, maybe a group could have a (paid) work party and make them for the rest of the team.

 How does your business thank Employees at Easter time? Do you celebrate the Easter holiday or make it a Spring-theme event?

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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Thank Your Staff: It’s Administrative Professionals Week!

Always the last week in April, with Administrative Professionals Day Wednesday, April 25, it’s a great time to show your gratitude and appreciation to these valued employees.

gThankYou! - Administrative Professionals Week 2012 LogoThe theme for this year’s Administrative Professionals Day  is “Admins, the pulse of the office,” according to the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), as the holiday marks its 60th anniversary.

It’s one of the largest workplace observances outside of employee birthdays and major holidays, IAAP reports. The event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, educational seminars and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff.

Say it with Gift Certificates of Gratitude
Holiday Insights notes the most common ways to recognize your administrative professionals are:

  • Cards, often with Gift Certificates
  • Flowers
  • Lunch
  • Candy
  • Gift baskets

Administrative Professionals:  The Heart and Pulse of the Office
These professionals certainly deserve your thanks. IAAP calls them “the steady center of efficiency … helping ensure jobs get done right, on time and under budget.”  And, usually with a smile and a bright disposition too.

International speaker and trainer Marja Lee Freeman, “The Employment Lady”, and founder of M.L. Freeman Consulting, asks  “So, what are YOU DOING for your staff this Administrative Professionals Week?” in her article, Administrative Professionals Week Celebration . “It’s time people realize the office administrator is the heart and pulse of a successful organization—for profit, nonprofit or any profit!” she enthuses.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports more than 4.1 million secretaries and administrative assistants work in the United States and 8.9 million people work in various administrative support roles.

Recognize Support Staff’s Contributions
Although it’s important to recognize employees throughout the year, Administrative Professionals Week provides a great opportunity to thank support staff for their contributions, advises OfficeTeam’s Robert Hosking, Executive Director of the world’s largest temporary staffing service for Administrative Professionals.

The staffing firm’s press release at PR Newswire, OfficeTeam Offers Recognition Tips For Administrative Professionals Day (April 25), says “Although the achievements of these individuals often occur behind the scenes, administrative professionals make a significant impact on their organizations every day.”

And Harvard Business Review enumerates admins’ contributions in The Case for Executive Assistants.  “At senior levels (of Management) the return on a skilled assistant can be substantial”, says author Melba J. Duncan.  And, “granting middle managers access to an assistant—or shared resources—can give a quick boost to productivity even at lean, well-run companies.”  Duncan adds:

“Effective assistants can make enormous contributions to productivity at all levels of the organization. They ensure meetings begin on time with prep material delivered in advance. They optimize travel schedules and enable remote decision making, keeping projects on track. And they filter the distractions that can turn a manager into a reactive type who spends all day answering email instead of a leader who proactively sets the organization’s agenda.”

Melba J. Duncan is president of search and consulting firm The Duncan Group and author of  “The New Executive Assistant: Advice for Succeeding in Your Career”.

At gThankYou.com, we’ll thank our support staff with gift certificates for ice cream.  How will you thank yours?  Let us know.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are one of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand whole Turkey or half or whole Ham, at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.  

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo, and ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

gThankYou! Poll: What’s Your Favorite Ice Cream Flavor?

Here at gThankYou! in lovely Madison, Wisconsin, we think there’s no more enjoyable and tasty way to beat July’s summer heat than with a cool, creamy treat. And there’s no better time to do it, either. July is National Ice Cream Month, a designation launched in 1984 by the late former President Ronald Reagan, who was famous for more than his style of populace politics and love of Jelly Beans.Ice Cream Cones

According to the International Dairy Food Association, more than 90 percent of people in the U.S. enjoy ice cream: The industry generates more than $21 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands. About 9 percent of all the milk produced by U.S. dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream.  Wow.

So, what are the hottest ice cream flavor trends this year? It might not come as a surprise, but flavor-wise, vanilla continues to reign as the top choice among U.S. ice cream eaters, topping sales in both grocery stores and restaurants, says the IDFA .  Why?  This flavor is the most versatile, mixing well with toppings, drinks and bakery desserts.

In order, America’s top five favorite ice cream flavors currently are:

  1. Vanilla
  2. Chocolate
  3. Cookie ‘n cream
  4. Strawberry
  5. Chocolate chip mint

Surprised?  Not us.  Data in the NPD Group’s National Eating Trends In-Home Database says the most popular ice cream flavors are: Vanilla (27.8 percent), chocolate (14.3 percent) and strawberry (3.3 percent).

But this doesn’t stop creative ice cream makers from coming up with all sorts of new concoctions every year. For some, the more strange the flavor, the better. (Maple Bacon Sundae cone anyone?)

So what’s your favorite ice cream flavor, is it weird or not-so-strange? And, tell us what you think about these new less than traditional flavors below.  Happy licking everyone!

About Us
gThankYou, LLC is based in Madison, WI and produces America’s favorite meaningful, affordable and convenient employee gifts.  gThankYou!® Certificates of Gratitude™ are one way savvy companies demonstrate commitment to valued employees and customers. The company is best known for its Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, and Grocery Gift Cards.   Other Favorites include our Ice Cream and Pie Gift Certificates.

Look to the Professional Gift Pros

Those in the business of Thanks rarely get a chance to see it in action first-hand.  But that’s what happened recently when gThankYou was among a select group of professional gift pros highlighted in a story in the October Business Beat Magazine. The feature in the publication of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce explores the wide array of opportunities for giving professional gifts, noting that many firms choose to recognize employee accomplishments and occasions.

The heart of the message: “a gift lets you know you’re appreciated.”

And that’s really at the heart of why we’re here, to help company leaders appreciate employees, customers and friends. But it’s how we help that means the most to both employees and employers. Explains gThankYou President Rick Kiley of our popular Turkey Gift Certificates, the gift that launched it all and continues to be popular during the holidays, particularly around that season of gratitude, Thanksgiving:

“It’s so convenient for employees, and gives them flexibility and choice. They can redeem the certificate at their convenience and choose the turkey that suits them. It’s a very meaningful, highly visible gift that puts the employer front and center.”

That convenience and meaning allows gThankYou certificates convey appreciation in a way that builds relationships and engages employees.

It’s a rare treat for us to have such an “aw, shucks” moment. But having our work highlighted in this way gives us a glimpse of the appreciation that comes through recognition. Sort of a validation that what we’re doing really works. It certainly has given us a boost to work even harder to spread Thanks around.

News Release – gThankYou! Summer Enclosure Cards

gThankYou!, America’s employee gift certificate leader, announces New Free Enclosure Card designs.

What’s better than a triple scoop cone on a hot summer day? A free enclosure card from gThankYou that says “Thanks for a job well done!”.  Corporate America’s favorite employee gift source is pleased to offer four new free enclosure cards this summer to help make workplace gift giving more personal and simple.

Triple Scoop Enclosure Card

Triple Scoop Enclosure Card

Designs include an Ice Cream Sundae (complete with chocolate sauce and acherry on top), a tempting Three-scoop Waffle Cone, a

Sizzling BBQ Grill and an a collage of Favorite Summertime Activities. All gThankYou Enclosure Cards are displayed on the company’s website.  Each design was developed by artist Amy Pierquet of Waterfront Graphic Design.

“There’s nothing more fun to eat than ice cream, and nothing that makes for a better celebration,” says gThankYou President Rick Kiley of the new card options sure to make anyone smile.  They’re the perfect compliment to our new Ice Cream Gift Certificates.

These cards make giving gThankYou Gift Certificates

Summertime Favorites Enclosure Card

more convenient and meaningful.  Add a custom message and  your company logo to personalize your gift, and make it more special.

A popular choice for employee recognition and reward programs, and end-of-quarter employee gifts, gThankYou Gift Certificates give employers the ease of selecting new Ice Cream, Turkey, Ham or Grocery Gift Cards in a variety of denominations. Employees have the convenience of deciding the type of Ice Cream, Turkey or Ham they want by redeeming gThankYou! Gift Certificates at any grocery store.

About gThankYou.com. gThankYou® Certificates of Gratitude™ are an ideal employee gift. Turkey Gift Certificates, Ham Gift Certificates, Ice Cream Certificates and Grocery Gift Certificates are favorites because they are fun, meaningful, affordable and appreciated by all.

Convenience is the top reason companies choose gThankYou Gift Certificates.  gThankYou Certificates can be ordered quickly online or by telephone, are easy to distribute to employees, and can be redeemed at virtually any grocery stores for the ice cream, turkey, ham or groceries that employees choose.  gThankYou Gift Certificates create a perfect opportunity for workplace leaders to recognize success.

gThankYou, LLC (http://www.gthankyou.com ) is based in Madison, Wisconsin. Find out more about gThankYou on the company’s website. And read more about how Thanks can boost your company at the gThankYou Blog. Contact: Rick Kiley, President, gThankYou, LLC, info@gthankyou.com, 888-484-1658.

Certificates of Gratitude™ is a trademark and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Best Ice Cream Sundaes

We’re big fans of Ice Cream Sundaes, as well as lists. So it was great fun pouring over some lists of the top Ice Cream Sundaes. The Ice Cream Sundae remains among the most simple, yet elegant desserts. But one thing is certain: there’s no end to what you can create using ice cream, toppings and your imagination.

Here’s a sample:

Breyers Spaghetti and Meatball Sundae

  • Michel’s Frozen Custard in Madison, WI, once offered the Viva Las Vegas Sundae (available now only by request) featuring vanilla custard topped with creamy peanut butter (a la Elvis), hot fudge and banana slices.
  • Grown ups and kids with advanced palates will enjoy the Tiramasu Sundae posted in the Augusta Chronicle from “Sundaes & Splits: Delicious Recipes For Ice Cream Treats,” by Hannah Miles. It uses homemade mascarpone ice cream with from-scratch syrup.
  • Blue Bunny Ice Cream has a recipe for the Cinnamon Bun Hot Apple Sundae posted in the Chatanooga Times Free Press. Think of a gooey, halved cinnamon roll with vanilla ice cream, glazed walnuts, apple pie filling and butterscotch-caramel topping.
  • Breyers Ice Cream and chef Gale Gand have created a Spaghetti & Meatballs Sundae with rocky road “meatballs”, sauce made of mashed strawberries and vanille ice cream extruded through a potato ricer to become noodles.

Think you make the Best Ice Cream Sundae? Now, you can prove it. Breyer’s is searching for the next best treat in its Sundae Scoop-Off Contest. Submit family-friendly entries containing 10 or fewer ingredients through September 13. The winner gets $10,000, a trip to Chicago and a private cooking lesson with Gale Gand.

And don’t be shy about sharing your favorite, and best, Sundae picks here.

Best Ice Cream Dessert

We don’t want to start any arguments or anything, but an informal poll of ice cream lovers here has revealed that, hands down, the Best Ice Cream Dessert is (drum roll please…) Ice Cream Cake! It appears that 2010 has unofficially been declared the year of the Ice Cream Cake as more and more specialty ice cream shops and national chains offer their own versions.

Nothing draws guests to a party than the mention of Ice Cream Cake on the invitation – a proven phenomenon. The great go-togethers pair very well combined in a frozen treat.

But if you’re a DIY type, there are many technique tutorials and how-to’s available to help you create the perfect Ice Cream Cake for your get-together or party. Here are a batch of recipes and tip sheets to get you going:

Several sources say the idea for ice cream cake came from the trifle, an elegant dessert  made by layering cream and cookies or cake in a big, glass serving bowl called (what else?) a trifle bowl. Seems anything goes with today’s Ice Cream Cakes.

What’s your favorite Ice Cream Cake, or nomination for the Best Ice Cream Dessert ever?

Grilled ice cream, and other ways to celebrate National Ice Cream Day

We’re halfway through July and would be remiss if we didn’t mention that this month is National Ice Cream Month! In fact, this Sunday, July 18, is National Ice Cream Day. It’s apt to point out the many ways to celebrate everyone’s favorite frozen treat.

As the story goes, former President Ronald Reagan in 1984 named July National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday in July National Ice Cream Day. In true populist fashion, he proclaimed the celebration pointing out that a full 90% of Americans love ice cream. Sounds about right.

There are so many ways to celebrate with ice cream from an old fashioned Ice Cream Social to trying new concoctions, like barbecue ice cream. (You read that right.)

The World Dairy Diary Blog recently featured the dessert by self-proclaimed Grillmaster Rick Browne. It’s a version of Baked Alaska you can make on the grill. (Is there anything you can’t prepare on the grill?) Check out the video and try making it yourself. Or, check locally to find ice cream festivities where you live this weekend.

Here’s some ways people are celebrating Ice Cream this year:

  • Scope out freebies, like these at Buffalo’s Perry’s shops.
  • Go for some artisanal treats. Because we in the U.S. eat more ice cream per person than any other country, every town and city has its own special scoop shop, with specially made Ice Cream, like these in Minneapolis.
  • Play Ice Cream Trivia while enjoying your favorite dish or cone. The Great Falls Tribune has posted a good bit of history to get you started.

Remember, you have the whole of the month to celebrate. How will you mark this cool occasion?

Ice Cream or Custard?

Last week, Vice President Joe Biden stumped for Wisconsin Democratic Senator Russ Feingold in Southeastern Wisconsin when he made what he may not have realized is a political gaffe here. Stopping to scoop cones at Kopps Frozen Custard in Glendale, Biden asked, “Where’s the ice cream?”

An employee reportedly informed the vice president that the shop served custard, not ice cream.

Biden’s mistake illustrates a really good point. Most people don’t know the difference. That strikes me as somewhat odd, because I sense most do grasp the difference between ice cream and other frozen treats like, for example, sherbet or granita.

In the interest of clearing up the confusion, here’s a primer:

Let’s start with the misunderstood frozen custard. It’s not soft serve ice cream. But it is unmistakable from any other type of ice cream once in your mouth and belly. It’s much richer than ice cream, made with egg yolks in addition to cream and sugar and contains more milk fat. Its extra creaminess also comes from a different churning process.

From the folks at WiseGeek:

“Frozen custard gets its creaminess from a higher percentage of butterfat compared to standard grade ice creams. In order to be considered a true custard, the mix must contain at least 10% butterfat, but it’s not unusual to see butterfat percentages as high as 18% or more. The beaters inside the chamber of a frozen custard machine turn much more slowly than those in a soft-serve ice cream or frozen yogurt machine. This slow churning prevents excessive air from being mixed into the custard as it freezes.”

Various regions stake claim to serving the first custard — Chicago and New York among them. But I’ve never seen a concentration of custard stands and devotees as in Southern Wisconsin. There are three local stands within a bike ride or walk from my house alone. (It’s a true mystery why our city keeps appearing on lists of the healthiest places to live.)

And now, for comparison, let’s discuss Ice Cream. Epicurious’ food dictionary describes Ice Cream as such:

“…ice creams with solid additions must contain a minimum of 8% milk fat, while plain ice creams must have at least 10% milk fat. French ice cream has a cooked egg-custard base. Ice milk is made in much the same way as ice cream, except for the fact that it contains less milk fat and milk solids.”

So, there you have it. Custard is denser and richer than ice cream or other frozen treats. Perhaps the White House staff can bone up on regional culinary specialties next time Biden travels, lest they want to endure another classic Biden blunder.

The Weirdest Ice Cream Toppings

What’s the most unusual thing you’ve eaten on top of your ice cream? How about buttered popcorn? It’s perhaps the oddest on this list of weird ice cream toppings.

The best thing about ice cream is the countless ways there are to serve it. It’s the ultimate customizable treat with toppings, mix-ins and variations to please everyone.

But what’s the top ice cream topping? According to WiseGeek, hot fudge, caramel and butterscotch sauces are the most popular, with strawberry sauce and maple syrup following. My favorite, particularly with a bowl of quality vanilla, is homemade rhubarb sauce.

There’s so much more than sauce, categorized like this:  fruits, candies, nuts and other fun other stuff — think sprinkles and whipped cream.

Some of the more unusual toppings listed by Quazen include warmed peanut butter, chocolate-covered coffee beans, green tea and canned pumpkin. I still say the most odd has got to be buttered popcorn. (I’d love to hear from anyone who has tried this – doesn’t the topping get mushy?) Says Quazen:

“Ooooo, gross! Nope. Give it a try. Microwave some buttered popcorn, then sprinkle a handful on top of a bowl of vanilla ice cream (or any choice of your own). It’s fantastic, with a nice mix of sweet and salty.”

If you need new topping ideas find them on Suite101. And if you like from-scratch, try this recipe for toffee sauce from ice-cream-recipes.com. Add texture with this Graham Cracker Crunch topping recipe from All Recipes.

Then, if you’re up for a fun challenge, try this trivia game on Sporcle where you can guess the Top 10 Ice Cream toppings. I scored a six. And buttered popcorn was not on this list.