Archive for June, 2012

Just call me Dick Feagler. Or if you’re too young to know what I’m talking about with the Old Cleveland Media reference, just say Hey, Old Man!

Patrick, pushing lemonade to extremes

The reason you should do that is this: I’m about to tell you about how something went back in my day.

Back in my day we didn’t make real lemonade for our lemonade stands. In fact, we didn’t have lemonade stands. We had Kool Aid stands. We’d mix in cup after cup of Mom’s sugar, which of course we never figured into the cost of doing business. That sugar was Mom’s business. But I digress.

When we had Lemonade at our primitive little entrepreneurial ventures, we made it out of the powdered stuff that came in a big cardboard canister with a little plastic measuring scoop. In retrospect, it must have been terrible. We didn’t know it then.

We lived way out in the Suburban Boonies, where our Kool Aid Stands couldn’t couldn’t count on any foot traffic. So we’d sit all day in the sun to earn about seventy seven cents after taxes, and the only customers were the mail man and the three other kids on the street who weren’t presenting a Kool Aid stand that same day. It wasn’t a “walkable” neighborhood. And we hardly did any business.

That’s how it was back in my day.

These days the Lemonade stand has come a long way. My nephew and a couple of other guys are putting up a lemonade stand this weekend, and I think they’re probably going to net about twenty billion dollars. They’re offering what they’re calling “extreme” lemonade. But they’re keeping a secret of what makes the lemonade “extreme.” I expect some special ingredient to intensify the experience—perhaps a drop of vanilla. But it’s probably not that. What do I know from extreme lemonade? As I said, we used the powder when I was a kid.

But my nephew and his buddies are part of something much more evolved than just better lemonade. Their stand is part of National Lemonade Day, a project to help kids learn to be entrepreneurs. It steers them toward budget and marketing concepts, and encourages them to give some of the profits to charity. Markus, Patrick, and Zach, all age 10 and 11 years old, have a spot staked out in front of Geigers, at 14710 Detroit Ave in Lakewood. They’ll be there Saturday Morning, June 30th, from 10 a.m. to noon, selling what I’m confident will be some very fine lemonade and learning a bit about running a very small business.

You should go down there and plunk down a few bucks and treat yourself. Lakewood and the entire world needs more small business. This is a good start.



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