Scooter’s Coffee® Commemorates 25th Birthday by Breaking a GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS™ Title for the Largest Cake Ball

Don and Linda Eckles  Cofounders of Scooter's Coffee
Scooter's Coffee is the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title holder for the Largest Cake Ball. Achieving the World's Largest Cake Ball is part of the Scooter's Coffee 25th Birthday Celebration in 2023. Pictured here are Don and Linda Eckles, who founded Scooter's Coffee in 1998 in Bellevue, Neb. GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS official adjudicator Brittany Dunn presents the certification. 

OMAHA, Neb., -- Scooter’s Coffee is proud to announce it is the new GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title holder for the World’s Largest Cake Ball. The approximately 848-pound, birthday-themed Cake Ball was unveiled at the annual Scooter’s Coffee GROW Conference in Omaha, Neb. The Cake Ball, baked from scratch and assembled by employees from Scooter’s Coffee affiliated company Harvest Roasting, will be sliced and served to more than 1,500 Scooter’s Coffee executives, employees, franchisees and coffee bean growers attending the company’s 25th Birthday Celebration at the conference.

Official adjudicator Brittany Dunn from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS attended the GROW Conference to certify the record; the cake ball weighed 384.75 kilograms. Covered with rich buttercream frosting and festive birthday sprinkles, the treat broke the previous 628-pound record for the Largest Cake Ball.

“Making the World’s Largest Cake Ball for our Scooter’s Coffee family demonstrates the fact that Scooter’s® in-store bakery items are handmade from scratch at our affiliated company, Harvest Roasting, to offer fresh, delicious baked goods to customers across the Scooter’s Coffee 29-state footprint,” said Joe Thornton, President of Scooter’s Coffee, LLC.

In addition to mouthwatering cake bites, Harvest Roasting bakes and distributes to Scooter’s Coffee locations muffins, cinnamon rolls and cookies. Harvest Roasting employees have been working to perfect the World’s Largest Cake Ball for several weeks. Eleven cake layers, each weighing between 15 to 100 pounds, were expertly crafted, carefully transported and delicately assembled during the GROW Conference. Employees then applied 150 pounds of buttercream frosting and 50 sprinkles, each weighing 2.5 ounces. Approximately 30 employees were involved in designing, baking and assembling the Cake Ball.

“I’m proud of this team working seamlessly to accomplish an amazing goal of setting a new world record,” said Craig Stevenson, Vice President, Manufacturing at Harvest Roasting. “It’s a confirmation of who we are at Harvest Roasting and proves we can accomplish anything in the future.”

“Creating the World’s Largest Cake Ball is just another example of how our employees and franchisees are committed to innovation in creating amazing experiences for our customers every day as we continue to grow rapidly across the United States,” said Thornton.

Below are some fun facts about the World’s Largest Cake Ball:

  • 690 pounds of dough was used.
  • 6,430 Scooter’s Coffee Cake Bites would fit inside the World’s Largest Cake Ball.
  • The Cake Ball is 33 inches wide and 32 inches tall.
  • Many tests were completed to determine the rigidity of the Cake Ball.
  • While countless hours of planning and testing took place, the Cake Ball took just two hours to assemble and frost at the GROW Conference.

According to requirements, the World’s Largest Cake Ball had to be consumed or donated to ensure no food waste. Any remaining slices from the GROW Conference will be donated to Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue. An earlier prototype of the Cake Ball that weighed 844 pounds was donated to Boys Town.

About Scooter’s Coffee
Founded in 1998 by Don and Linda Eckles in Bellevue, Nebraska, Scooter’s Coffee uses only the finest coffee beans in the world, which are roasted by its affiliated company, Harvest Roasting, in Omaha, Nebraska. In more than two decades of business, the key to Scooter’s Coffee’s success is simple: stay committed to the original business principles and company’s four core values, which are Integrity, Love, Humility and Courage. The Scooter’s Coffee Brand Promise, often recited to franchisees, customers and employees, is: “Amazing People, Amazing Drinks… Amazingly Fast!®” It represents the company’s business origins and reflects a steady commitment to providing an unforgettable experience to loyal and new customers.

Scooter’s Coffee, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in 2023, is at the dawn of a strategic growth phase nationwide, approaching 700 stores in 29 states. The U.S. coffee market is an estimated $48 billion-a-year, recession-resistant industry, and Scooter’s Coffee is striving to become the #1 drive-thru specialty coffee franchise system in the nation.

For more information, visit,, or, or call 877-494-7004.


March 21, 2023 – Optimae Behavioral Health Services, a division of Optimae LifeServices, is joining the National Association of Social Workers in celebrating this year’s Social Work Month in March with the theme “Social Work Breaks Barriers.” The observance serves to highlight how social workers have enriched our society by empowering people and communities to overcome hurdles that prevent them from living life to the fullest.

The annual Social Work Month campaign in March is a time to inform public, policymakers and legislators about how social workers have always broken barriers when it comes to the services they provide in an array of sectors, including hospitals and mental health centers; federal, state, and local government; schools; community centers; and social service agencies.

Optimae’s social workers serve on teams across central, eastern and southern Iowa that provide a number of services, including psychiatric evaluation and medication management, therapy and skill-based supports. Optimae also offers crisis evaluations 24/7 at local hospitals in southeastern Iowa and urgent care in office. Its HHS-funded recovery centers in southeastern Iowa are open to all and have a daily schedule of support and educational groups.

People become social workers because they have a strong desire to help others and make society a better place. Social work is one of the fastest growing professions in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). More than 700,000 professional social workers are hard at work nationwide, but that number is expected to rise to almost 800,000 by 2030, BLS said.

About Optimae LifeServices

Optimae LifeServices Inc. provides health care and human services for individuals with disabilities and mental illness from nearly 40 central, eastern and southern Iowa counties. For more than three decades, we have equipped our customers with supports and services that encourage choice, empowerment and community integration. Our programs include community-based, behavioral health, home health, rehabilitation and residential care services. We advocate for the rights and needs of more than 5,300 Iowans each year, providing the quality of care we would want for our own family.

Updated - Scenic Fruit Company Recalls Frozen Organic Strawberries and Frozen Organic Tropical Blend Because of Possible Health Risk

This press release is updated to include the states that Aldi sold Simply Nature frozen organic strawberries.


Product Type:  Food & Beverages

Reason for Announcement: Hepatitis A

Company Name:  Scenic Fruit Company

Brand Name: Simply Nature, Vital Choice and others

Product Description: Frozen Organic Strawberries and fruit blend

Simply Nature StrawberriesScenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon is recalling frozen organic strawberries sold to Costco, Aldi, KeHE, Vital Choice Seafood, PCC Community Markets and frozen organic tropical blend sold to Trader Joe’s due to an outbreak of Hepatitis A illnesses.

Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from exposure to the Hepatitis A virus, including from food. It can range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness lasting several months. In rare cases, particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or are immune compromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to liver failure.

Kirkland StrawberriesIllness occurs within 15 to 50 days of exposure and includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice, abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool. Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness if given within two weeks of exposure to a contaminated food. Persons who may have consumed affected product should consult with their health care professional or local health department to determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care professionals or the local health department immediately.

The following products are subject to this recall. The lot codes and best by dates are found on the back of each bag (see attached pictures below):

Brand Name Product Name Net Wt. UPC Best By Dates
Best If Use Dates
Best Before Date
Distributed in States
Simply Nature Organic Strawberries 24 oz. 4099100256222 6/14/2024 Arizona,
Illinois, Iowa,
Missouri, North
Dakota, South
Dakota, Ohio,
Vital Choice Organic Strawberries 16 oz. 834297005024 5/20/2024 Washington
Kirkland Signature Organic Strawberries 4 lbs. 96619140404 10/8/2024 Alaska, Idaho, Montana,
Oregon, Utah, Washington.
Made With Organic Strawberries 10 oz. 814343021390 11/20/2024 Illinois, Maryland
PCC Community
Organic Strawberries 32 oz. 22827109469 10/29/2024 Washington
Trader Joe's Organic Tropical Fruit
Blend Pineapple,
Bananas, Strawberries &
16 oz 00511919 04/25/24

Trader Joe's StrawberriesAlthough Hepatitis A has not been detected on this product, out of an abundance of caution, consumers should stop consuming the product and return it to their local store for a refund. The company has ceased the production and distribution of the product as FDA and the company continue their investigation as to what caused the problem.

All inventories of the affected lot should be removed from sale. Consumers who have purchased the products are urged to destroy or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at

FDA Outbreak Advisory

Organic Strawberries Hepatitis A Outbreak | CDC

Company Contact Information

Scenic Fruit Company

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FDA Denies Marketing of Two Vuse Solo Menthol E-Cigarette Products

Company Must Stop Marketing Unauthorized Products

Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued marketing denial orders (MDOs) for two menthol e-cigarette products currently marketed by R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company under the Vuse Solo brand. The currently marketed products include the Vuse Replacement Cartridge Menthol 4.8% G1 and the Vuse Replacement Cartridge Menthol 4.8% G2. The company must not market or distribute these products in the U.S. or they risk FDA enforcement action. The company may resubmit applications or submit new applications to address the deficiencies for the products that are subject to these MDOs. 

The FDA evaluates premarket tobacco product applications (PMTAs) based on a public health standard that considers the risks and benefits of the product on the population as a whole. After reviewing the company’s PMTAs, the FDA determined that the applications lacked sufficient evidence to demonstrate that permitting the marketing of the products would be appropriate for the protection of the public health, which is the applicable standard legally required by the 2009 Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act. Specifically, evidence submitted by the applicant did not demonstrate that its menthol-flavored e-cigarettes provide an added benefit for adult smokers relative to tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes.

“The FDA is a data driven agency and science remains the cornerstone of our tobacco product regulatory activities,” said Brian King, Ph.D., M.P.H., director of the FDA’s Center for Tobacco Products. “The science has guided – and will always guide – the FDA’s decision making on premarket tobacco product applications, including today’s marketing denial orders.”   

Existing evidence, including data from the 2022 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS), shows that non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes, including menthol-flavored e-cigarettes, have a known and substantial risk with regard to youth appeal, uptake and use. In contrast, data indicate tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes do not have the same appeal to youth and therefore do not pose the same degree of risk. Given these existing differences in youth risk, applicants need to provide robust evidence to demonstrate that using their menthol-flavored e-cigarette products are likely to promote complete switching or are likely to significantly reduce combustible cigarette use in adult smokers beyond that facilitated by tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes. NYTS data also found Vuse to be the second most common brand youth e-cigarette users reported “usually” using.

These products cannot be legally introduced into interstate commerce in the U.S. without risking FDA enforcement. In addition to ensuring that the manufacturer complies with this order, as with unauthorized products generally, the FDA intends to ensure compliance by distributors and retailers. Retailers should contact R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company with any questions about products in their inventory. 

Today’s actions are just one of many the FDA has taken to ensure any tobacco products that are marketed in the U.S. undergo science-based review and receive marketing authorizations by the agency. To date, the agency has received applications for more than 26 million deemed products and has made determinations on 99% of these applications. To date, the FDA has authorized 23 tobacco-flavored e-cigarette products and devices, which are the only e-cigarettes that currently may be lawfully sold or distributed in the U.S.; this includes the Vuse Solo e-cigarette device and two accompanying tobacco-flavored e-liquid cartridges. The FDA has also denied marketing applications for millions of products that did not meet the requirements in the law, including ten non-tobacco-flavored e-liquid cartridges under the Vuse Solo brand, Vuse Vibe Tank Menthol 3.0% and the Vuse Ciro Cartridge Menthol 1.5%

Related Information


The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Girl Scouts Need Community Help to Reach Care to Share Goal

Community members rally to help Girl Scouts collect 26,400 packages of cookies for military members!

Waterloo Iowa's Bravest Armory(1)
Cpt. Smith, SSG McWilliams, SSG Harrington, SFC Corell, and SSG Glew accepting Girl Scout Cookie donations at Iowa’s Bravest Armory in Waterloo, Iowa. In 2022, Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois donated 26,000 packages of cookies directly to military personnel and local essential workers through organizations like Iowa’s Bravest and Soldiers’ Angels.

Eastern Iowa, Western Illinois – Iowa’s Bravest and Soldiers’ Angels give out thousands of Girl Scout Cookies annually to military members through a program called Care to Share. Community members make $5 donations to local Girl Scouts, representing a box of Girl Scout Cookies that will later be donated. While cookie sales are strong overall, donations are lower in 2023 than usual, so local troops are requesting community support in reaching their goal of 26,400 packages of Girl Scout Cookies.

“We’re so grateful for the support of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois! With their support, we are able to provide a taste of home that helps make being away from home more bearable for deployed Service Members,” said Amy Palmer, President and CEO of Soldiers’ Angels. “This is a great way for general members of the public to come together and give back to those who sacrifice so much for their country.”

Community members who would like to donate Girl Scout Cookies to the Care to Share program can visit, where they can donate online or find a Cookie Booth to donate in person. After entering their zip code, a troop in their neighborhood will appear, and they can select “buy cookies” to make a donation online. Or, they will see a list of upcoming Cookie Booths to make a donation at in person.

The Girl Scout Cookie Program is the world’s largest entrepreneurial program for girls, and Girl Scouts’ newly updated Financial Literacy badges offer entrepreneurial playbooks for every age level. From the Cookie Goal Setter badge earned by Kindergarteners to the Entrepreneur Accelerator for girls in high school, the Girl Scout Cookie Program teaches girls financial literacy, planning, budgeting, teamwork, innovative thinking, and confident decision-making.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
Girl Scouts work together to build a better world! Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit   

Travel the World without the Jetlag

Girl Scouts invites all kids to a global celebration on April 15 at the Iowa Memorial Union!

Boll095Iowa City, Iowa – On Saturday, April 15, all kids are invited to Journey the World, an annual event hosted by Girl Scouts. Attendees will visit a variety of interactive booths that represent different countries. Through art, music, dancing, and more, kids will discover an appreciation for different cultures.

Attendees will enter a gigantic inflatable Earth! Thanks to the Stanley Foundation, a 19-foot globe provides a view of Earth from outer space on the outside and on the inside, an educational zone for kids to learn about continents and land formations over time.

CultureALL will have ambassadors at the event to share their heritages! Attendees can learn traditional Indian dance. Kids will try on Indian dresses and jewelry and then perform with musical sticks while moving and dancing. Artifacts from Kenya will also be shared by ambassadors as attendees learn about the tradition of beading by making necklaces. A conga dance line will bring kids and parents together to enjoy the vibrant music and dance of Kenya!

Kids will also learn about sustainability in our community with groups like Linn County Conservation, 100 Grannies, and Climate Action and Outreach through Iowa City. Create an art mural with recyclables with Eastern Iowa Arts Academy, program robots to maneuver a Milkweed forest, and stand up for Mother Nature by creating a PSA with Girls Who Code.

“We are so excited to bring Journey the World to our community,” says Diane Nelson, CEO of Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. “Girl Scouts have looked forward to this annual event for decades, and we are excited to expand our reach to showcase the global Movement of Girl Scouts. Thanks to our local Girl Scout troops and community partners, kids will have the opportunity to explore our world.”

All kids and families are invited to Journey the World on April 15, 2023, from 12:00-4:00 p.m. Sign up in advance at Tickets are $10 for kids and $5 for adults. Walk-ins are welcome at $15 per person! Call 800-798-0833 with questions.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois
Girl Scouts work together to build a better world! Through programs from coast to coast, Girl Scouts of all backgrounds and abilities can be unapologetically themselves as they discover their strengths and rise to meet new challenges—whether they want to climb to the top of a tree or the top of their class, lace up their boots for a hike or advocate for climate justice, or make their first best friends. Backed by trusted adult volunteers, mentors, and millions of alums, Girl Scouts lead the way as they find their voices and make changes that affect the issues most important to them. To join us, volunteer, reconnect, or donate, visit   

Celebrate National Burrito Day at Fuzzy's Taco Shop

Fuzzys Taco Shop -Queso Smothered BurritoIn honor of National Burrito Day on April 6th, Fuzzy's Taco Shop will offer a free Smother with all burrito purchases for Fuzzy's Rewards Members at all participating locations. The Smother includes the guest's choice of queso or fire-roasted salsa smothered over a giant burrito. The National Burrito Day promotion is available for dine-in, to go and online ordering but not valid on third-party delivery orders. To become a Fuzzy's Rewards Member, download the Fuzzy's Taco Shop app and start earning points towards free food! For a full list of locations and hours, please visit

Daylight Savings Time, Sunday, March 12, 2023

Adjust Your Clocks
Move clocks ahead this weekend

Don't forget to move your clocks ahead an hour this weekend.  We'll lose an hour of sleep Saturday night so we can, "Spring Forward." 

Officially, the period starts at 2 am Sunday, March 12, so if you're still up, turn your clocks to 3 am.  Otherwise, move your clocks forward an hour before going to bed (about half of you will) Saturday night, or you can wait until you wake up Sunday morning and move your clocks forward then (the other half of you). 

And as you "Spring Forward" as the saying goes, it's also a good time to replace the batteries in smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, and any clocks around the house.

Get ready for darker mornings and renewed calls to get rid of the twice-yearly, start and stop of Daylight Savings Time.  The debate rages on, but nothing ever seems to change.  And here's an FYI:  While most of America participates in the ritual, Arizona and Hawaii do not.  Arizona permanently opted out of Daylight Savings time in 1968.  Hawaii, along with US territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea are so close to the equator that there isn't a big difference in sunrise and sunsets over the course of a year, so there is no benefit to changing the time.

What Daylight Savings Time costs the U.S. in going back and forth on time changes twice per year:   Several studies have been conducted on the negative financial impact of Daylight Savings Time, with cost figures ranging from $430 million a year to $1.7 billion.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

About Shopping, food, and service reviews, cost comparisons, and more

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022Being a bachelor and living life well but with a budget in mind, I review products and services and report on the best deals.  I post my shopping experiences online, benefiting customers and businesses alike.

On this site, you'll find shopping and service reviews, food reviews, bar reviews, product reviews, cost comparisons, hacks, tips, recipes, product recalls, and much more!

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Mike Thayer, writer, blogger, foodie, grillmaster, shopper, lifestyle & leisure influencer

Hiawatha Alert: SNOW ORDINANCE IN EFFECT AT 12:00 PM Thursday, March 9, 2023.


Hiawatha Snow OrdinanceThe National Weather Service is predicting three inches or more of snow for March 9, 2023. The Snow Ordinance is in effect starting at 12:00 PM Thursday, March 9, 2023. 

As the Snow Ordinance is in effect vehicles parking on city streets are in violation of the City Ordinance and will be ticketed and towed.

The Snow Ordinance is in effect until the snow has stopped falling and City streets are fully cleared.

Please direct questions to Hiawatha Police Department at (319) 393-1212.

Thank you for your cooperation.