If you’ve been following my social media at all for the past couple of weeks, then you may have noticed all the Lemonade Day posts. I remember when I first heard about Lemonade Day, I was more than a little confused. Parents who excitedly shared their kids stands spoke about Lemonade Day as if I already knew what the whole gist was, and I was completely clueless. Our besties participated last year, and even won First Place in the Best Tasting Contest, and we were happily, cluelessly their first customers at their stand last year. When she shared that registration was open for this year, I asked E if he would be interested in participating and he said YES with all capital letters in his voice, with an enthusiasm that shocked me. My E isn’t a joiner. He’s an observer, and so very content to be everyone’s number one supporter, but he’s not one to put himself out there. But here he was, EXCITED to be putting himself out there. So off I went to register!
Lemonade Day is a national program that teaches kids all about entrepreneurship through the experience of starting, owning, and operating their very own business – a lemonade stand! Participating cities choose a community-wide Lemonade Day for their region, and involved youths set up their businesses and get firsthand experience with entrepreneurship. There’s a workbook (all digital) that takes kids and parents/mentors step by step through the entire process of starting, designing, and operating their business, teaching youths business skills, responsibility, financial literacy, goal-setting, teamwork and more along the way. It is completely FREE for kids to participate (minus the cost of purchasing their own supplies and materials).
Our youth need a mindset that equips them to recognize opportunity, take initiative and innovate in the face of challenges — in essence, to dream and achieve.– Lemonade Day
On March 30, we attended the official Lemonade day Jefferson County Kick-Off Party at the Beaumont Children’s Museum. Kids were given a check-list/scavenger hunt to make sure they visited every single sponsor booth, and then they could turn their check-list in to get their free t-shirt at the end. I think this is the night I realized that maybe I had underestimated the depth of what I had signed up for – sponsors were asking where our stand would be located and all kinds of questions I hadn’t even begun to think about, but E was still so enthusiastic and excited and it was so contagious and sweet that I couldn’t help but be excited too.
There was a Best of the Zest business pitch contest that was explained to us as basically being Shark Tank for lemonade stands, but we weren’t able to participate in that due to scheduling issues. So we set our sights on the Best Tasting Contest. Because our besties had won with a strawberry flavored lemonade, E was set on also trying a flavored lemonade. I gave blueberry my best sales pitch, but E loves all things cherry, and he’s the boss of this little endeavor. We spent a Sunday afternoon juicing lemons and creating different flavors. We even got family involved and had them vote on which flavor they liked best – and wouldn’t you know, that cherry lemonade was everyone’s favorite!
Our mission is to help today’s youth become the business leaders, social advocates, community volunteers and forward-thinking citizens of tomorrow…one lemonade stand at a time!Lemonade Day Jefferson County
April 27, the Best Tasting Contest took place. This was such a hectic few days – I had a doctors appointment in Houston that morning, so we’d made the lemonade the day before. That morning before heading out for Houston, E suggested we try the lemonade. I poured us both a glass and we both spit it out – it was awful. I have no idea what happened! I spent the drive to Houston stressing over not knowing how long the appointment would take and worrying that we wouldn’t have enough time to remake the lemonade. Thankfully, I was in and out of my appointment within 45 minutes, and we were back home in the early afternoon. I had explained the lemonade saga to my husband over the phone, and he ended up making it home before us. Curiosity got the better of him and he poured himself a glass – and it was great! He already thinks I’m crazy, so I’m not worried about losing any ground there. His theory is that we tried it that morning too soon after brushing our teeth, so that’s what I’m going with. Long story long, we didn’t have to remake the lemonade after all!
I’m not 100% sure but I think there were 9 participants in the Best Tasting Contest (of the 18 total who registered for Lemonade Day). Each of us were assigned a number during check-in so that all the lemonades could be blind taste-tested by a panel of judges. E quickly bounced off to play with the other kids while I sat watching the judges. I noticed them go back for seconds of several of the other lemonades, but not E’s. I thought that was it, it was over and done and I was preparing myself to have to help him deal with his disappointment. I didn’t even get my camera out when they started announcing the winners. When they called his name as the 2nd Place winner, he screamed so loud in excitement and literally jumped for joy! Still kicking myself for not recording that! Thankfully, the Beaumont Enterprise was on hand and they got some great photos that came out in an article the following day. (They got E’s name wrong in the photo captions, but it’s correct in the article.) And our besties are reigning champs second year in a row for their strawberry lemonade, so it was a great night! They got some great prizes from Raising Canes and Christus HWC – plus cupcakes!
Part of Lemonade Day is finding a location for your stand for the day, and Pour Brothers Brewery was gracious enough to agree to host E’s stand. (Be looking for a post on this place soon – it was already a favorite!) They even created an event on their Facebook page just for his lemonade stand and invited all their followers to come out for him! When we arrived the morning of May 2 (National Lemonade Day, if that isn’t too cute for words), the owners met us at the car and made sure to treat E like he was the boss, helping him to make decisions about where to place his stand. Seriously, all the love for this place.
The weather forecast had been horrible, but we woke up to clear blue skies and a zero percent chance of rain! How amazing is that! There was even a beautiful breeze to keep us cool. We had customers lining up before noon, and it was the perfect day to grab a lemonade or a beer and hang out in Pour Brothers amazing, family friendly beer garden. It was such a great day, and my E did such an amazing job greeting customers, filling orders, and being a fantastic little business owner!
One of the questions I’ve been asked most often is – “what happens with the money they make?” They get to keep it! They are business owners and they earned that money! The workbook helps them calculate their expenses and pay back their investors (parents or mentors) who bought their supplies and then the profit is theirs.
The Lemonade Day workbook has the kids set specific Spend – Save – Give goals, so they allocate a dollar amount ahead of time that they get from their profits for spending money, money that goes into the bank to be saved, and then money to donate to a charity or organization. E chose Boys Haven of America, Inc after learning of this organization during a fundraiser at Cub Scouts. His heart was so touched by the idea that some boys just like him don’t have stable families, or comfortable lives. As we counted the money and calculated his profits by subtracting his expenses, he was so careful and adamant to set aside the amount of money he had promised to Boys Haven before taking out his own cut for spending money. We don’t deserve the sweetness and purity of kids, y’all.
There’s still more to come – there’s a section in the workbook where he turns in all of his numbers and reports his final numbers, and there’s also an Awards Ceremony still to come at Urban Air. So I’ll be back to update once both of those things have taken place! But this is an amazing, FREE program for kids that teaches so many life skills and prepares them for the future in a fun, engaging way – and yet another example of the good in Southeast Texas that isn’t getting near enough press! Let’s get people talking about the good stuff!
Hopefully this helps answer some of your Lemonade Day questions!
Did your child participate in Lemonade Day? I’d love to hear about their stand!
Think you’ll participate next year? I’m hardly an expert, but ask me anything and I’d love to help you out!