Josie’s first lemonade stand

This past weekend we finally accomplished something that Josie has been asking me to do for most of the summer, host a lemonade stand. She probably got the idea out of a book. We went for quality, fresh lemons squeezed the night before, mixed with sugar and water for a homemade sweet tart drink. The whole thing was a great way to bring up so many lessons, about business, math and customer service. We calculated how much her costs were (lemons, sugar and cups – $8.50, we spotted her the ice and non-used up items like the table and coolers), figured out how much lemonade we made and how much money she’d make depending on what she charged (50 cents a glass netted only 50 cents profit, less if there were a spill!). We settled on $1 per 12oz cup which Jordi felt was pricey, but the market seemed plenty hot enough to support that price, as did the ingredients. We made almost two gallons, enough for 18 cups and a predicted profit of $9. It was very good lemonade.

Josie's lemonade

We picked a strategic location on the bike path, thirsty people walking by. I did not want her standing in front of our house for hours making our neighbors feel guilty if they walked by and didn’t buy. It was a beautiful day and my parents came by to lend their support as well. After two mis-starts of forgetting the signs at home (one on the table and one facing each direction of the bike path) we were in business. My parents each bought a glass. At first Josie was very shy about announcing her wears. But the signs were quite effective, and most people can guess what’s going on when there’s a little girl sitting at a table selling something. (plus my awesome sign above, you’d think that a 6 year old drew it, but no, it was me) We had a very steady business of dog walkers, regular walkers and a few cyclists and the lemonade sold out in about an hour. Josie was an excellent server, asking how much ice people wanted, making change, saying thank you and successfully pouring every cup without spilling!

We prepared for the whole thing by play acting, pouring water and making change. Celia and Ewan were a bit frustrated to not be more involved. Ewan often tried to run off with the money container and rip off the sign. Celia wanted to drink the profits because she was thirsty.

In the end, Josie earned $16.25 after paying us back for the supplies, and giving her sister $1 for helping. She spent a good chunk of that money on the soundtrack to Frozen this morning. I have very bad earworms now that won’t go away when I do even insist that we turn the music off. Quite the haul when compared to her $1 a week allowance! Not sure if our math was off somewhere or if the cups just held 12 oz at the rim and that combined with the ice left less than expected in each cup, but she sold a lot more than 18 cups, more like 30. Once the lemonade got low, she decided she had earned enough and she was just going to drink the rest. We even had people show up disappointed because we didn’t get the signs down fast enough.

Overall it was a great experience with Josie learning about tips, pricing, market supply and demand, counting change, planning for errors, spills and sibling induced disasters. I foresee a cookie and lemonade stand in future years as I think Celia is ready to get in on the business soon too, she just needs to learn how to add and subtract so she can make change.

One Response to “Josie’s first lemonade stand”

  1. Abuela Says:

    Awesome experience and well done!! Go family!!!

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