The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 50 - October 9, 2013


Stir it up at the shack

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

louise bolger | sun

Nicole and John Coleman will mix up your
choice of flavors in a yogurt or smoothie.

Looking forward to an after-beach treat has been a tradition since beach going became a recreational activity, and what’s better than something that’s cool, creamy and mostly guilt free. You’ll find out at one of Pine Avenue’s newest shops.

Three years ago Nicole and John Coleman relocated to Anna Maria with their three children and immediately became part of the young Pine Avenue business community. While working in their first business Poppo’s Taqueria, a partnership with John’s brothers, they learned that residents and visitors were looking for a yogurt shop along Pine Avenue. So to fill what was an obvious need, in July they opened Stir It Up Yogurt Shack.

The self-serve concept allows for you to create your own combination of premium frozen yogurt and toppings. Some of the flavors are peanut butter, triple chocolate, New York caramel cheesecake, dreamsicle, Tahitian vanilla, strawberry and more which change on a regular basis. With the holidays approaching look for pumpkin, eggnog and candy cane yogurt. The toppings bar contains fresh fruits, strawberry and mango Bobba’s, coconut, Reese's Pieces, chocolate pretzels, sprinkles, nonpareils, Oreo cookies, English toffee and way more.

You also have your choice of regular cups, cones and waffle bowls. When you’re done with your creative masterpiece it gets weighed and you’re charged 53 cents an ounce. They use Honey Hill Farms frozen yogurt an all natural non-fat or low-fat product which is certified gluten free.

Stir It Up can also prepare a healthy smoothie for you using their all natural nonfat yogurt, soy or almond milk, fresh fruit and patented probiotics. You can add a shot of your favorite supplement and they are also starting to incorporate some of Pine Avenue’s organic garden produce into their smoothies.

Nicole Coleman says that drinking a smoothie for breakfast is a great way to get a full complement of natural vitamins and minerals to start out your day and is a wonderful way to get your kids to eat natural foods. In addition their non-fat and low-fat yogurt is a healthy and lower calorie alternative to ice cream.

Stir It Up is also a fun place to visit. The Colemans have created a warm funky environment with oak tables, upside-down garbage cans for seats and have used recycled products to make the shop actually look like an old fashioned beach shack.

The Colemans are very busy with their young children who are the best promoters of their business as well as being involved in the community where John is coach for two soccer teams. Stir It Up will be participating in all of the Pine Avenue events including the Anna Maria Elementary School Fall Fest. They are also very happy to be able to provide part time jobs to their mostly young staff all of whom are Island residents, and appreciate all of their staff for helping to make their business a success.

Stir It Up is a fun place to indulge your sweet tooth and still feel like you did something good for your body whether you’re coming back from the beach or just enjoying all that Pine Avenue has to offer. Like the wall hanging at Stir It Up says, “Life Is Better When You’re Laughing,” so put a smile on your face at one of the Island’s new fun places.


308-C Pine Ave., Anna Maria

11 a.m – 10 p.m.
Every day

All major credit cards accepted


Anna Maria Island Sun News Story

End of year financial review

Investment Corner

Most people use the beginning of the year, perhaps motivated by New Years’ resolutions, to examine the state of their finances and investments. I suggest starting the process a bit earlier and the final quarter of the year is a good time to do so.


The final quarter is a great time to review the level of income you will achieve and the resulting tax liability. Estimating this now can help avoid a nasty surprise when filing tax returns in the early part of the next year. Making sure you’ve withheld a sufficient amount of federal tax from wages or paid enough in estimated tax payments may also help avoid penalties for late payment.

Rebalance Your Portfolio

2013 is a great example of the necessity of another process we encourage. Periodic rebalancing of your investment portfolio’s allocation helps keep your risk level on target and is a proven strategy to enhance returns. In a year where one asset class does quite well, like U.S. stocks have done this year, and other asset classes have done poorly, like bonds and emerging markets stocks here in 2013, you may well be above your target allocation for U.S. equities.

This works fine as long as the U.S. market continues to lead the way, but no trend lasts forever, and having too much of your portfolio in the asset class which will eventually turn into a laggard is not the best idea.

Retirement Plan Contributions

For those working and saving for retirement it is a good time to check your retirement plan contributions to 401ks and IRAs. Consider bumping up your contributions if possible to maximize your investment plan. Keep in mind that Uncle Sam is helping you save because most of the contributions to these plans are tax deductible. If you’re in the 28 percent tax bracket, each dollar contributed only costs you 72 cents after the tax deduction. For those in higher tax brackets, it gets even better.

Required Minimum Distributions

For those who are 70 ½ or older, you are required to take what are known as Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) which is a percentage of your IRAs and other retirement plan account balances on Jan. 1, 2013. The percentage is based on your age, and rises as you get older.

RMDs need to be taken by Dec. 31 and we suggest not waiting to the last minute. Penalties await those who fail to process RMDs by the required dates. For those with multiple retirement accounts, the total RMD is based on the total of all qualified retirement plans, and may be taken from one account or spread pro-rata across several accounts. The account custodian will issue a form 1099 detailing the RMD amount and any tax withheld so it can be accounted for next year when filing federal tax returns (and state returns if applicable).

As always, next year’s goal setting and resolutions will go easier with a little end-of-year review.

Tom Breiter is president of Breiter Capital Management, Inc., an Anna Maria based investment advisor. He can be reached at 778-1900. Some of the investment concepts highlighted in this column may carry the risk of loss of principal, and investors should determine appropriateness for their personal situation before investing. Visit


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