Several months ago, I was journeying with my fiancé on my neighborhood’s hike and bike trails. The trails led us to our neighborhood duck pond, where we came across a young girl selling cups of lemonade with the help of her mom. The day was warm and it looked like business was good for her. I had my druthers about the quality of the product, but I bought three cups anyway. It was good lemonade.
Selling lemonade in America is the quintessential introduction into the world of entrepreneurship for young children. Our city, always willing to support and encourage creativity, is taking lemonade stands to a whole new level through Lemonade Day Austin.
Who Has the Best Lemonade?
Austin’s Best Tasting Lemonade Competition is a lemonade brewing competition showcasing 25 young lemonadistas (new word), ages 5-17. The young group of Michael Dells and Steve Jobses will compete in categories like Most Creative Recipe, Best
Sales Team, Most Innovative, and so on and so forth. Thundercloud Subs, an event sponsor, will also present the Most Local award. This particular honorific goes to the lemonade vendor whose business best captures the spirit of Austin.
These young business people aren’t taking the competition lightly. Danni and Riley Hitt, ages 8 and 10, are making a return after famously winning the Most Creative Recipe at last year’s event. This time they’re bring the heat with a…ahem…top secret recipe. Suffice it to say, if they won last year, they’ll be strong contenders yet again.
Truman Hamad, age 7, is partnering with his sister Alayna in this year’s competition. He had this to say, “My lemonade is so tasty, it almost exactly tastes like summer-time. The lemonade I will make for the contest will be sweet and lemony and that’s the best way to make a lemonade for sure.” Who can argue with that?
Truman and Alayna, along with their fellow competitors, will be bringing their A-game to the Thinkery at 1830 Simon Ave. in the Mueller development on Sunday, April 13th from 8:30–10:00 AM. This one-day competition is intended to showcase the skills of Austin’s lemonade vendors and bring attention to Lemonade Day Austin.
Lemonade Day Will Tickle Your Tongue
Lemonade Day Austin is a citywide event on May 4th. Supported by the Entrepreneurs Foundation of Central Texas and Capital Factory, Lemonade Day Austin was started in 2009. Last year, over 15,000 kids participated.
The event is so popular that it has garnered sponsorship from local businesses and organizations like H-E-B, Ginny’s Printing, AISD, Con Mi Madre and ThunderCloud Subs. With so much support from the business community, Lemonade Day Austin participants have access to the resources they need to learn about what it takes to market and run a successful business.
Lemonade Day Austin doesn’t only showcase the marketing and lemonade-making skills of the vendors, it also encourages experienced lemonadistas to mentor new kids. Take Mikaila Ulmer, for example. This 9 year old Lemonade Day veteran has taken her homemade lemonade recipe to the next level, selling bottled BeeSweet Lemonade through Whole Foods. It’s no surprise that she has developed a strong fan base, and she shares her knowledge and lessons learned with some of the newer participants.
How to Participate
I think it’s cool that people are willing to encourage young entrepreneurs to exercise their budding business acumen. I think it’s even cooler that the city supports this type of activity. If you have a burgeoning lemonadista or a group that wants to participate in Lemonade Day Austin, go to austin.lemonadeday.org. If you want to help in other ways, they can always use mentors, partners, sponsors, and volunteers. So go out on the town on May 4th, find a vendor, and buy some lemonade. Support local business and get some refreshment along the way.
Editor’s Note, April 29, 2014: For those wanting to support our young entrepreneurs, here are some notable lemonade stands that will be active on May 4th for Lemonade Day:
- Mr. Nick’s Lemonade Stand at Austin Fire Station 38, 1011 Anderson Mill Road, Austin, TX 78750, from 1- 4 p.m., by seventh grade honor student Nick Bader, who will be participating in Lemonade Day Austin for the fifth time this year. As in years past, half of all proceeds will be donated to a local animal shelter, and Bader has chosen Texas Humane Heroes as this year’s recipient. In addition to donating half of all proceeds, he will also collect wish list items to donate including hand sanitizer, paper towels, new dog and cat toys, stainless steel food/water bowls, fleece blankets, and more. For more info, visit his lemonade stand Facebook event at www.facebook.com/events/
- The Luxurious Lemon Squeezers at ThunderCloud Subs, 2521 Rutland Drive, Austin, TX 78758 (at the Burnet Road intersection), from 11:30 a.m. until they run out of lemonade. This lemonade stand by Adam, Joseph, Mary and Abraham Alfar, will feature a mint lemonade recipe that is more than 100 years old and comes from a generations-long family tradition of lemon tree growing. The mint is hand-grown by all four kids in their backyard garden. According to the Alfars, not only does the lemonade cool you down in the heat, but it also has a refreshing minty taste.
- Cutie Patootie Lemonade at Ridgetop Elementary School, 5005 Caswell Ave., from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., by Kei Yarbrough, who won Most Creative Recipe at the Best Tasting Lemonade Contest this year. Yarbrough garnishes each cup of lemonade with a mandarin orange wedge and will donate all of the money she earns to her school, Ridgetop Elementary.
- Ninja-Ade at Lucky Robot Japanese Kitchen, 1303 S. Congress Ave., from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m., by 7-year-old Jacob Ulmer will feature ginger lemonade and will donate a portion of its proceeds to the YMCA. Ulmer’s older sister Mikaila, a Lemonade Day Austin veteran who now owns a thriving bottled lemonade business BeeSweet Lemonade, has helped him learn the best practices for launching a lemonade stand business.
- BeeSweet Lemonade at Marye’s Gourmet Pizza, 3663 Bee Cave Road, from 11 a.m.- 2 p.m. Nine-year-old entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer will participate in Lemonade Day Austin again this year by teaming up with Marye’s Gourmet Pizza to raise money for Sustainable Food Center’s new teaching garden and the installation of a new observation beehive during a fundraiser event. Ulmer will sell cups of her bottled lemonade product, which is available at locations throughout Central Texas, and will also talk to customers about the importance of bees to our local food system. More information about BeeSweet Lemonade and Ulmer can be found at www.beesweetlemonade.com.
Did you know about Lemonade Day Austin? If so, do you have a favorite vendor?