Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer Fun: Making Lemonade

We always have lemonade stand on our summer to-do list and usually we get to it.  This year, we arranged to host the stand with our friends Miss B and her daughter J.  Daughter J volunteers for the local cat rescue and so we decided to donate all proceeds to that charity.  We chose a date, made brownies and rice krispie treats, secured supplies (including a new jug with an infuser, which handle broke within the hour, but the store took it back for a full refund), and announced in on FB, only to wake up that morning to one of the rainiest days forecasted.


Still we watched and waited and the sun cleared late afternoon.  We rushed to set up the official stand (a gift from our neighbor Miss K, when her kids outgrew it), mixed up the lemonade--a pitcher of regular and a pitcher infused with defrosting raspberries--and, for two hours, we sold lemonade and treats.  Lots of our friends came by, alerted via FB, and supported the cat cause.  The kids had a great time . . . and raised $100!

We've hosted several lemonade stands now and will probably have another one this summer.  So I don't forget, here are some tips:


Beforehand

  • lemonade supplies--we used powdered mix with added fresh lemon slices and, this time, raspberries.  One year, we sold Zinger Punch--Sprite and a few Red Zinger teabags.   The grown-ups liked it.
  • pitchers--glass is risky. 
  • treats, if selling--brownies, cookies, rice krispie treats--in closed containers, because there will be flies
  • cups, napkins, paper towels
  • garbage bags
  • ice (morning of)
  • donation jar
  • singles or change, depending on your price points (we usually do $1 for everything--it is charity after all--and then we don't need coins or a price list.  Most people give more anyway.)
  • posters, esp if you are donating the proceeds (otherwise, passersby seem to recognize a lemonade stand without much of a sign.)
  • folding chairs for the grown ups (set way back--though, I'm usually talking to the parents of our customers)

For the sale:
  • Bud really likes our special lemonade-stand gimmick:  a sugar rim!  We dip the lips of the cup in a little bit of lemonade and then into sugar.  Extra-good!  It's something special we can offer our customers.  (You'll need a dish of lemonade and a dish of sugar.)  He happily told everyone about it--and enjoyed making them.
  • The trick is that kids either overwhelm a customer or get distracted doing something else.  Remind them beforehand to greet each person and take his or her order with all their good manners.  And then I just sit back and let them handle it. (Well, I don't know how far back I get.  I usually chat with anybody.)
  • This year, in addition to posting it on FB, we tagged a number of friends in the area by name as soon as we opened--and all of the available ones stopped by, going out of their ways to come see us!  This was a special treat for us.  In fact, the majority of our customers were friends, not random strangers or even neighbors (boo on our two immediate neighbors who didn't come over, though they saw us clearly.)

Afterwards:
  • Clean up (wipe down that lemonade stand!)
  • Disperse the leftovers.
  • Take out garbage and recycling.
  • Count the money and make the donation.
  • Post photos of the fun we had!

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