It’s my custom at the end of each summer to do a seasonal review of all the lemonade stands I’ve visited. This is my offering for the summer of 2012.
Donnie’s Lemonade Stand
It’s hard to know where to start in critiquing this atrociously run operation, so I’ll just begin with the lemonade. Stale powder dumped in lukewarm water, it was an utter disaster that featured clumps of lemon mix floating about the surface like little islands. Could Donnie have bothered to stir the drink a little? No, Donnie could not, because Donnie was a sausage-fingered brat with a bad haircut. Inattentive and lazy, Donnie got his nanny Malaya to do all his work, handing out Styrafoam cups (like you get in hospital) to the customers and collecting the money, the small change of which Donnie then threw at squirrels roaming about his parent’s estate. Donnie’s Lemonade Stand is an ugly and entitled money grab vacant of any sense of customer service, and could not come with a lower recommendation.
Most Lemonade stands show no imagination. They follow a boring and predictable formula with the child’s name, followed by “Lemonade Stand,” scrawled in barely legible crayon on a piece of paper that’s been taped to a piece of Ikea furniture the parents no longer need. But Lemonade Amy promised something different. I should tell you that I loved the name, not only did it personalize the operation but it playfully conjured a counter-cultural spirit. When I arrived at Lemonade Amy’s Stand I was pleasantly surprised to find that Amy was using a reclaimed moving box, which she had decorated with painted flowers and butterflies. It was homey, like a fort you’d make from a chair and a blanket. Not only that, but Amy offered freshly squeezed lemonade, as well as pink lemonade and bottled water. Classy. Amy, a precocious six year-old with a splash of curly hair, was born for “front-of-house” work in the service industry, and her knock-knock jokes were awesome.
Me: Who’s there.
Amy: You took a poo!!
Very funny stuff.
The lemonade may have lacked complexity, but it delivered a tart sincerity that was well appreciated on a hot summer day, as was Amy’s natural charisma and charm. Come for the lemonade, but stay for the knock-knock jokes!
Sammy’s Lemonade Stand
When I got there on a blazing hot day, Sammy had run out of lemonade. This was the height of unprofessionalism, and when I told this to the boy, raising my parched voice to make my point clear, he began to cry. This simply served to underscore my observation, which I forcefully pointed out to him. His mother—who was not a MILF and had a voice like rust—intervened and offered me a warm apple juice box, if I would just, and I quote, “Stop bullying my son and get off my property before I call the police!” The first rule in the service industry is that the customer is always right, and as I’m not a man to be bullied I called her a fascist and threw the apple juice box at her before leaving. In short, Sammy’s Lemonade Stand is amateur hour and I’d never recommend it to anyone.
Boris Lemon Drink
Boris was big for his age. Although he was only 11, he could have easily passed for 19 and he had the sophistication and entrepreneurial spirit to match. Not only was he serving premium brand lemonade, but he also had a reserve stock for adults that he had spiked with vodka. The vibe at Boris Lemon Drink was of a lawn party, with Daft Punk playing out of an old school ghetto blaster and his sister, Grusha, and a few of her other high school friends, conducting a kind of improvisational yoga class in the driveway. After making an inquiry about this to Boris, I was told that private yoga lessons were available in the garage. Boris Lemon Drink is an intriguing business very much worth a second visit.
Charlie’s Lemonade Stand
Although Charlie served competent lemonade (no ice cubes, this, a consistent failure in almost all of the stands I visited), his communication skills were completely inadequate due to the goalie mask that he wore. I could barely make out a word he said, and as I couldn’t see his face, I didn’t feel any sort of sincere connection. His mother told me he wore the mask because he was shy and once bitten on the face by a dog, but if Charlie wants to succeed, he’s going to have to get over his social anxiety.
Kelly’s Lemonade Stand
Kelly was crying when I arrived with my guests. Business was not going as well as she had hoped and she wanted to close for the day and go play. Her parents, insisting that she “learn a lesson about real life,” were forcing her to adhere to her posted hours of operations, which is merely a common courtesy to the customer. As it turned out, her lemonade was excellent and those little girl tears might be the elixir that elevates an average drink to an extraordinary one. This lemonade stand is highly recommended. A real foodie find.
Photo by adwriter