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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Family Business

There is something irresistible about a kid’s lemonade stand. It’s such a sweet concept, so full of innocence and hope. You can see the excitement in kids’ eyes as you take a moment out of your day to take them seriously. They take such pride in telling you what they have and in carefully pouring a cup as you tell them how thirsty you are and how glad you feel to have spotted their stand. It makes them feel great but it also touches my heart, and reminds me what it was like to be a kid with a lemonade stand.

This morning as I was walking near home, I spotted a stand with a 21st-century edge. No lemonade here. Since it was 9am, they sold coffee, orange juice and homemade muffins. The stand was a few doors down from an elementary school where the summer session is in full swing and parents are bustling about, carrying kids’ backpacks, and still rubbing the sleep from their eyes. Coffee? Now there’s a smart idea!

I studied their menu. Yes, these kids had created a menu using a computer. They framed the menu and placed it atop their card table, which had a table cloth on it as well as organized stacks of napkins and everything else that might be needed. (These kids are pros--I may see if they can come over and help me set up the next time I have people over for dinner!).

Not being a coffee drinker myself, I bought a cup of juice and a muffin. A girl of about eleven poured me some juice into a paper cup, fit it with a plastic lid, and handed me a wrapped straw. Her brother, who looked to be nine years old, got tongs and took a muffin off the tray and put it into a small brown bag. He folded the bag and offered me a napkin. Honestly, these kids had thought of details I never would have considered, so clearly they are future entrepreneurs.

Their dad sat behind them on a folding chair. The kids were a little shy but Dad made up for that by waving a sign and calling “Coffee stand this way!” The kids were adorable. They took their business very seriously and I could tell they wanted to do a great job. This trio had it down. Dad took care of advertising and the kids provided excellent customer service. What a team.

Just before I left I commented that they had an excellent location. And isn’t location (almost) everything? The muffin was yummy, too, so they have a winning combination of good site and good quality.

It gives me a happy feeling to live in a neighborhood where people help find lost dogs, where my neighbor two doors down asks to borrow my vacuum and the family down the street gets our mail when we’re gone. We visit kids’ lemonade (and coffee) stands and people say hi as they pass on the street. There’s community here. The coffee stand is going to be open each Friday, I was told, and I’ll be back. I need a refill…


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