How to plan a winning lemonade stand

We’re at it again…the 1213 Bellevue Lemonade Stand is open for business!

1213 Bellevue Lemonade Stand

A lemonade stand where everybody wins:

  1. The customer gets 16 ounces of real home-made lemonade for 50 cents;
  2. The kids have fun, earn money and learn real-life business skills;
  3. A charity benefits from the money raised;
  4. Bikers get free lemonade – we support green commuters;
  5. Get to know new residents in the neighborhood and the music box keeps everyone dancing for a little while.

Just a heads-up before you read on…this is serious business.  If you want to make a lot of money (like the $1,000 we raised for the ECC Play Park), you have to put in real work effort.  The money doesn’t just appear because the kids are so cute in their little lemonade stand. 

Are you ready to crank it up?

Step 1. Find a charity to support. 

Raising money for charity is a real winner.  People are much more generous and willing to buy and the charity gets to benefit from the net profits.  The kids are excited about how much lemonade they sell and this keeps them motivated to give it their best effort until all the lemonade is sold out.

I give the children choices of local charities to support.  Two years ago we raised $1,000 for our new school playground and this year we are supporting Friends of Kids with Cancer in honor of Katelyn, Seppi’s classmate who has a rare form of cancer.  (Site note: last year the kids sold lemonade for totally selfish reasons, a Nintendo DS, and the sales were pitiful.  Go raise money for charity, the kids still earn money as you will see.)

Step 2.  Lemonade stand set-up.

Like in any business, you will need to set up shop, hang out a shingle, create visibility, publicize your enterprise, purchase ingredients and supplies, provide excellent customer service and practice good sanitation practices.  Money needs to be collected, change made, counted, accounted for, bills paid and net earnings deposited at the bank.

Note to parents: this is a fantastic learning opportunity for your children in line with the Earn My Keep program.  David and Seppi started at ages 4 and 5, but in hindsight, I recommend ages 6 and up to make it easier on  yourself.  This still requires a lot of parent involvement, though and you need to plan for about 2 hours of hands-on assistance per session.

Here’s what you need:

  • 2.5 or 5 gallon cooler for the lemonade mix
  • ice chest to hold about 25 16-ounce cups with ice
  • fat straws
  • 16 ounce plastic cups
  • ice by the bag
  • lemonade
  • a LARGE sign
  • apron with pockets for cash and 8 quarters in the starting till

Additional equipment for a super stand:

  • A large, colorful umbrella.
  • Boom box playing upbeat, kid-friendly music.  We like Putomayo CD’s from the library and today we played Jump with Jill’s Get me Goin’ – awesome rock music for kids about healthy living!
  • Multiple signs leading up to your stand around the neighborhood.
  • More signs to hold up and wave or attach to kids’ bikes.
  • Balloons and streamers.

    Bikers get free lemonade


    The charity we support: Friends of Kids with Cancer


    2.5 gallon cooler and fat straws

    16-ounce cups filled 1/2-full with ice cubes and placed in ice chest

    In the next post I will share our recipes and explain the book-keeping part. 

  • Are you in?


About chefmomrd

Chef, Mom, Registered Dietitian
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2 Responses to How to plan a winning lemonade stand

  1. This is amazing!!! Thanks for the business lessons! Keep up the great work 🙂

  2. Karen Nevins says:

    The girls have been wanting to do a lemonade stand for some time now. We’re going to have to come up and help you with yours so they can see what it’s all about!
    Thanks for inspiring me Almut! A day doesn’t go by without your advise or wisdom whispering to me.
    Love you!

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