Labor Day means the unofficial end to summer and, for some, like Abby Hamilton, her brother Jake Hamilton and their friend Taylor Johnson, the end of vacation and the beginning of the school year. But the gradually cooling weather has not ended the trios laboring over the lemonade stand that they have now operated for three years in a row on the corner of Braddock Road and Ramsey Street.
For $1, 12-year-old Abby, 10-year-old Jake and Taylor, 11, serve homemade lemonade with an old-fashioned squeezer and a special ingredient cinnamon to neighbors, commuters and friends from their cartable storefront, Fresh Squeezed Lemonade and More. It may seem a steep price for a cold cup of lemonade during a recession, but its for a good cause: A percentage of the profits go to Brain Injury Services, Inc., a Springfield organization that helps individuals whose lives have been affected by brain injury.
Three years ago, Jake and Abbys father was diagnosed with a brain tumor and [Our family] wanted to distract us from his health and stuff, said Abby, a seventh-grader at George Washington Middle School. So the entrepreneurial siblings began selling lemonade from their cart to the neighborhood.
The sales quota on Tuesday was $100 and at 6 p.m. the lemonade stand had made about $25.
We always try to stay till we make our goal, said Jake, a fifth-grader at Maury Elementary School.
Once we stayed out here till 10 at night.
The three friends are also competitors in The Best Lemonade Stand in America Contest 2009, a nationwide competition put on by Inc. Magazine, an entrepreneurial resource publication. Winners are based on both profits and the story of how the stands began. First prize is a $500 savings bond.
The three Fresh Squeezed Lemonade and More owners say they are among the leaders. To comment on their story and rate their stand, visit www.inc.com/lemonade/2009/.