Lemonade Stands

August 4, 2003

Lemonade Stands

Last year, around this time, Eli started bugging me to have a lemonade stand. He had never had one before and was, for some reason, dying to have one. As we currently live on a road with a decent amount of traffic for such an endeavor, we the parents conceded.

Now, since I had had plenty of experience having lemonade stands from when I was little, I gave him lots of advice. With four kids on our family and living on a busy side street, we had them often enough, that my dad had made us a wooden sign that could be attached to the side of a pole directly above our table of business. We would hang out our sign and we were open. We usually did pretty well.

Adam and I talked to Eli at length to help him understand the benefits of advertising, presentation, good product, pricing, and business in general. This would be a thorough learning experience. He decided, with our guidance, that he should put up a sign the day before opening, to let people know that he would be in business on the following day and when.

Eli’s dad, being an art director at a design firm, made a fabulous sign. He was really excited to hang the sign out, and helped with the preparation. I had just found a recipe for lemonade cookies and thought I’d whip up a batch in my brand new KitchenAid mixer. They would be a good addition to the stand, and perhaps would draw in some customers. It was one excited 5 year-old that went to bed that night.

We had decided that from 12-2 was a good time to have business open. By 10:30, the suspense was killing him and he had set up. He sat at the stand by the road, trying to patiently wait for the time to open and have customers. Soon some people walked by and bought some. That got him started and he was eager for more. Slowly neighbors trickled by to stop and buy a cup. Even Eli’s grandparents “drove by” (from 20 minutes away) and stopped, as did some other friends from somewhat nearby. (Okay, so we made a few phone calls the night before. We just wanted to make sure he had some customers!)

Eli worked hard at getting up and waving at people driving by in hopes that they would stop. Eventually, the nearby fire station had a call and a fire truck went roaring past. Well sure enough, on the return to the station, Eli stood and waved again to the fireman. To everyone’s surprise (there were quite a few people around by then), the fire engine stopped and out got a fireman. He fished around inside his fire gear, and produced some change!

At the end of the afternoon, after reimbursing me for all of the cost of the supplies, Eli had made over $20! He had a great time and even started plotting out his next business adventure. He wanted to know if it would be good to have a hot chocolate stand in the winter!

(I’ll add the photos to go with this story in the next few days, so check back)

Lemonade Cookies

Eli had these at his first lemonade stand. These are really good!! Kind of like lemon squares. They were the first thing I made in my KitchenAid mixer. From Family Fun magazine Aug. 2002.

2 sticks butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups powdered sweetened lemonade, divided
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar and 3/4 cup lemonade mix until fluffy.
Beat in the egg, vanilla, and grated lemon rind.
In a separate bowl, stir together the flour and the baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the batter, beating until thoroughly combined.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup of lemonade mix in a shallow dish. Form the dough into 1-inch balls and roll them in the lemonade mix, then place them 2 inches apart on a foil lined cookie sheet . Bake the cookies until the edges just begin to brown, about 10-12 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes on the foil before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Makes about 4 dozen + cookies

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