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For Sale: Lemonade! Cookies!

This afternoon, my girls had a few friends over.  Yes, I said "a few".  All of them, the whole lot, were looking forward to this day for a while, as they had agreed to have their annual lemonade stand today.  Three of them hunkered down and worked on their signage.  A couple of them worked on perfecting the recipe. We had walked by a neighbor's garage sale earlier, and the neighbors agreed to lend us their electric juicer for the day. Tomorrow, we'll return the the juicer, and they'll sell it off as originally intended.  My husband, two days ago, bought the girls six organic lemons for use today.  And, good thing I just stocked up on agave sweetener, as we were all fresh out of sugar.  A few taste-tests later, the kids were stocked with two pitchers of lemonade. Bonus: the girls had also found my emergency stash of homemade cookie dough; they made a couple dozen bite-sized cookies to add to the sale.

They set up shop on the sidewalk and started to sell their drinks and cookies for 25 cents a pop.  We didn't have any disposable cups, so they used plastic picnic cups and ran inside to wash them after every customer. The health department would think that was a major no-no.  In the end, each of the six kids made at least three dollars. They were quite happy.

I'm not here to talk about what you think about health inspectors shutting down little kids' lemonade stands. I'm here to talk about best practices, tricks of the trade, share a little intelligence on the juvenile commercial endeavor that has crossed generations:  Did you have a lemonade stand when you were little?  (I never did, so I support every effort for my kids to host their own.  I live vicariously.)  Have your children hosted a lemonade/cookie stand?  Do you set up shop right in front of the house, or perhaps a little bit down the street where there is more traffic?  (Next time, I am thinking that we will set up shop at the corner instead of right in front of the house.  Perhaps the kids can see more action.)  Any rules for the kids?  (One of ours is: don't ever leave anyone out on the sidewalk alone.)  What are the best marketing tips?  (I admit: I posted the sale on my facebook status and sent a quick email to neighbors).  Most of all: Do you use lemon concentrate, fresh lemons, or a package mix?  What is your secret recipe?


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I love this topic. The kids in my neighborhood discovered pretty quickly that the corner can be better than the house. Oh, but please don't let them run around ringing doorbells to announce they've got a stand set up; the doorbell sets off the dog, who wakes the napping baby, which angers the tired mama who won't be in the mood for that particular lemonade for a good long while.
Also, from a customer perspective, please don't let your kids try to sell me Crystal Light. I love your kids too much, and I'll end up giving them money for something I don't really want.

Things I'd Like to See
- fresh picked berry stand, after a kid trip to a U-pick
- Girl Scout cookie stand. Wrong time of year, maybe?

I would buy fresh made lemonade, but I have turned down kids who were selling something from a mix. I agree with the previous poster who would like to see a berry stand. Even better: Berry lemonade! YUM!
I tried it when I was a kid, but we lived on a gravel road, and there wasn't a lot of traffic. Combining it with a neighborhood garage sale is ideal.

We have a similar story, except we squeezed our lemonade manually and got our lemons and affordable regular sugar at Winco.
I know the benefits of your lifestyle and would love to live the same way but despite our knowledge the health food store prices cause us to overdraft.
Sorry, I'm just another Portland native who is bitter about being pushed out of Sellwood and into the burbs.

Fresh squeeze the lemon juice into a spouted container, make a simple syrup in a spouted container. Fill a cup with ice, pour both simple syrup and lemon juice "to taste" and fill with water. They make great disposable cups out of recycled material. Honestly, I wouldn't buy it if the kids didn't offer a fresh cup. I'm no germaphobe, but I wouldn't know your girls well enough to know that they were washing them properly and the last thing I need is to get sick with a new baby.

lemonade concentrate from trader joes topped with a few sliced lemons to make it look pretty. fresh cups, of course, and ice in a cooler with a scoop nearby. they make their own signs and have "jobs," i.e. money person, yelling/advertising person, pouring person, ice person. really, let the kids do it.....

my kids and the neighborhood kids have lemonade stands, or flower stands, or herb stands, or ziploc bags-filled-with-dirt stands weekly. we live near university of portland, so there are many college students who love to indulge the kids.

i always sit on the porch and observe while they're on the corner, and we've never had a problem with questionable situations. the big thing for me is that they're able to do it themselves...

to Jenna
Nobody is being "pushed out" of Sellwood. "Pushed out" suggests you lived there before and can't afford to live there now. Yes, I agree the house prices there are higher than Portland average and have gone up in the last several years. But if one already is a Sellwood home owner, the rising house prices won't affect them. They would already have purchased their house. If you were renting - well, there are still plenty of cheap appartments to rent in Sellwood. There are expensive options there as well. I just don't see how anybody would be "pushed out".

It's OK Jenna, I totally agree with you. I'd -gladly- support the NON organic (oh the horror!!) regular sugar laced stands.
Are my kids going to be questioned that their lemonade isn't organic now? Give me a break!
I'm glad OR is green, but I'm tired of feeling so frickin guilt tripped all the time for not being this "earth mama."
I also feel very pushed out and excluded for not living that particular lifestyle.

Just a side note, Winco also sells agave. The same brand as Fred Meyer, for less than half the price. You can make alternative/organic food choices on a budget. We are a family of 4 making it work on less than $45,000 a year. I would love to see mamas be healthy AND frugal, no matter their income.

Love lemonade stands, and I'd buy a cup no matter how it was made - it's about the whole experience, effort, and imagination by the kids, for me. But I probably would prefer a clean cup. (-:

(And yes, ajy, people do get "pushed out" of neighborhoods. It's called gentrification.)

Touche, on both points. :-)

ajy, I'm not trying to pile on, but I can envision a couple of "pushing out" scenarios. One is a middle income kid who grew up in any one of Portland's great city neighborhoods and can't afford to get back now she has a middle income family of her own. Or maybe a woman who got divorced, and finds that prices or rents have escalated dramatically in the years since she was first a married homeowner. Or maybe a woman who owned or rented a small place, started a family, and found prices had risen too much to get a family-sized place. Or maybe just a renter who really did get pushed by escalating rents.

Wasn't this post about lemonade? Well, as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons.....

I am no longer a home owner either, due to a bad business investment ... immediately followed by gentrification. The upside of gentrification is better restaurants and parks.

We make 45 a year too. And I use stevia when I make lemonade.

ok, Neither of the examples above were related to "pushing out". for example: a homeowner who got divorced and can't afford to stay in the neighborhood: the main issue here is lower household income after the divorce (one income vs. two before) and not the neighborhood prices. I could give a few arguments to support my "nobody was pushed out" position, but instead I will say this: People who usually complain about gentrification are the same who believe that a house is an investment and who expect their house value to go up more than, let's say, a savings account would. I, on the the hand, don't think of a house as an investment but rather a stable place to live for my family. What good is an investment that I can't cash until I die? (reverse mortgage and second mortgage aside) Yes, my children would inherit the"investment" but I'd rather provide them with opportunities for good eduction and expect them to earn for their own house and their children's college fund and not have them plan to get money/house after I die.

As for gentrification: I would never argue it doesn't exist. My argument is: it does not "push people out" of a neighborhood. Instead, it causes barriers for entry for families/individuals with income levels comparable to those who already live in that neighborhood, but who entered it earlier. What pushes people out is events such as divorce, birth of a child, moving out of parents house etc, as some of you stated above.

ajy, gentrification -- and personal identity with a place -- is about a lot more than home ownership. It's about the entire socio-economic character of a place, and accessibility for "native" residents. For instance, my family (multiple households) lived in a neighborhood for four generations. But due to gentrification, the fifth generation has been unable to stay local (home prices, rents and cost of living are higher), the family is more dispersed, and a huge part of our family culture is diminished. And it wasn't just the grown children -- it included elderly relatives who've lived in the same neighborhood their whole lives, and who needed to live with a family member, but now familial resources don't stretch far enough in our former neighborhood. It is really painful for some families who have tremendous historic ties to a place, who can no longer afford to live in their established corner of the world. So yes, gentrification does cause groups of a certain socio-economic class to move away, and some culture and identity is lost. There is a very real feeling of being "pushed out."

And I will now stop hijacking this very nice thread about lemonade stands.

Yay, lemonade! Go, kids!

"(H)er mother had always told her to never pass up a kid’s stand. Her mother must be a wonderful person."

I do indeed feel pushed out. I grew up in Multnomah Village, rented and later bought a condo in Sellwood and then moved to the suburbs when it came time to get a 3 bedroom place for our growing family. My husband is in the same line of work as my father was and my mother stayed home just as I do. If they could do it why can't we? I think I have a right to feel bitter because I don't like it out here, it's not my style.
P.S. I pride myself on my frugality and eat a very healthy wholegrain/vegetarian diet but we still can't afford to buy very much organic stuff.

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