Friday, July 18, 2008

Lemonade Stands

I try to live by the advice I was once given to stop at kids' lemonade stands. Today I happened to have two actual dollars in my mini-van. (Who carries cash around nowadays?) On my way back from the fitness center, I drove past a lemonade stand run by two 9-year-old boys. They had many varieties, and though it was just me, Melissa, and Nohea, I bought four 50-cent lemonades. They were very helpful and were planning on being there all week for the American Fork Steel Days. The parade route would be going right by their stand. They asked if I knew whether or not they needed a permit to sell their lemonade. I told them they probably didn't. They even asked if they could help me back to my car. I love that entrepreneurial spirit!

For years, I wanted to be an entrepreneur. My best friend Keri and I spent many a summer day thinking up money-making schemes. We tried selling lemonade, candy, Orange Julius, and even fruit roll-ups. Keri's mom had a recipe for fruit roll-ups, and we called Jim Brown, a neighborhood parent who was the produce manager at Smith's, and asked if he could secure us any old, discarded fruit the store couldn't sell. He even brought us a half box of peaches. None of our schemes generated more than a couple of bucks. (The candy stand operated in the negative, due to older brothers stealing our stash.) We were most successful at working on people's farms. We worked for Keri's dad picking rye from wheat one summer. Other summers we worked for Jana Baily's dad weeding in his sugar beet fields. Then we turned 16 and found jobs in the community: me as cashier at Kmart and Keri as a teller at the D.L. Evans Bank. Minimum wage beat $3/acre or whatever the rate was.

Kulani too once had an entrepreneurial spirit. He had a successful worm-farming business from ages 9 up. He was also a vice president for the Utah chapter of Future Business Leaders of America.

Though we won't be daring enough to try opening up our own business any time soon, we love to support local establishments. Our family theme is "Everybody eats when they come to my house." But another one of our themes could be "Stop at every shack." When in Hawaii, our number one goal each day is to find local food, local fruit stands, etc. The family I grew up in will stop at every hole-in-the wall possible. On their way to Blanding for my wedding reception, they stopped at three stores literally called shacks: The Jerky Shack, The Shake Shack, and the Shackity Shack. Okay, maybe not that last one. It used to annoy Kulani how much my family stops on trips, but he's starting to get more shackily inclined himself.

Not to preach, but if you happen by a lemonade stand today, stop and buy a cup, even if you aren't thirsty. You'll be making some kid's day.


mariann said...

My kids wanted to do a lemonaid stand last summer. You would think that it being 115 would have helped business, but we live almost to the top of the street and when it is that hot no one comes out of the house. One guy came and bought 1 glass and paid $5. He said keep the change and the kids beamed the whole day! Awesome. I try to always stop and support the kids when I have money. It makes you feel good!
I love the tradition of stopping at the shacks! You get the best stuff from those places!

go mom go said...

I agree with Mariann. you get the best stuff in shacky places. My daughter tried selling rocks in our driveway one year. Goodness gracious! I tried to tell her that nobody would want to buy rocks, but she has a bit of her father in her and she didn't believe me. She came to rub it in when someone (I think it was grandma) bought one.
Your Hawaii stories make me want to go back!
Oh, and about your comment on my blog: It's funny how much our husbands are alike, Cindy. Brad loves reading war stories. He'll read fiction, but usually only if it has something to do with the actual history of some kind of war.

Shannon said...

I love your writing. My kids had a lemonade stand earlier in the summer and have been dying to do another but I haven't helped them get there yet, this was a good reminder of what a good thing it is for kids to do!

MarySquare said...

Ah, the shack stops. There's a place here in Lafayette called "Budge's Drive-In" that everyone calls Budgies and I take Minnie there for ice cream sometimes. I inherited Mom and Dad's "must stop and buy/eat/look at the local attraction" gene. Especially if it involves ice cream. When Mom and Dad and Kathy were out here visiting me, we did in fact stop at any hole in the wall that advertised ice cream.