Lemonade Day fills the streets with sweets
If you looked around the Central Peninsula this past weekend, you may have been under enough pressure to buy a glass of lemonade. Dozens of entrepreneurs dabbled in all manner of advertising, from spinning signs to undercutting prices, on the streets of Kenai and Soldotna.
All were children, and for many it was their first swing in running a business. The annual Lemonade Day event, hosted by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce, encourages kids to try their hand at business by hosting the most classic of early ventures – a lemonade stand. The weather did not play the game – Saturday was marked by rain showers and overcast skies – but many people still took the time to support small businesses.
Getting people to buy lemonade is one thing; it’s quite another when there are about 25 other companies doing the exact same thing, some even a few feet away. So beyond just selling a sugary drink, Lemonade Day is an exercise in marketing and branding, and many booths have really taken it and worked with it.
As you walked down the Kenai Spur Highway in Soldotna, you might have spotted a unicorn themed booth and a Star Wars themed booth, among many other decorations. The kids enthusiastically greeted customers, calling out their products, which ranged from fresh lemonade basics to intricate baked goods.
8-year-old Lexie Caswell spent the weekend running a bustling booth with a decorated wooden bar and tent inside Around the Corner Market on Kobuk Street.
“We have blueberry and lemon muffins, we have lemon cakes and we have classic lemonade and strawberry lemonade and healthy suckers,” she said.
Real business owners watch their accounts closely, and Caswell took a page from their book. Using a leaf covered in lemons and a highlighter, she figured she had served 100 clients between Friday and Saturday.
She said she wasn’t sure whether to own a business, but the market was doing well, and so far, she liked it.
Across the street, Allivia Grossl and Mia Hannevold were busy serving customers entering and leaving Trustworthy Hardware and Fishing. They made the lemonade themselves from fresh lemon juice and strawberries and attracted customers by adding baked goods like Reese’s Cup cookies, brownies, cake pops and fresh macaroons to their offerings. They handcrafted their tie-dye t-shirts and also printed their company name and logo on them. Grossl said she has been cooking for a long time and enjoyed the challenge, coming up with ideas from Pinterest.
“I’ve been baking for a few years, so whenever I see something I want to make, I just put it on it. [Pinterest] chart, and scroll down and choose four or five things, ”Grossl said. ” And that’s what we’ve done. “
“Almost every time we go to her house, we cook,” added Hannevold.
Like all new entrepreneurs, they said there were things they would do differently a second time around. On the one hand, they said they wished they had made more brownies because they sold them faster than they thought. Hannevold said a small key to their plans came from planning.
“All of our things, we had to freeze them for a week because [Grossl] went to a camp, ”Hannevold said. “Actually, she just got back from Solid Rock this morning, so we had to freeze everything. I made the lemonade last night. It was pretty easy, but it was very sticky. “
Although they have a competitor a few yards across the front door from Trustworthy, the girls said they think business is going well. Hannevold said they had a sponsor who helped them buy the bakery supplies and set their prices to help them make a profit. They said they plan to use the profits to buy school clothes for the New Year. Around the middle of Saturday, they said they were pretty sure they would make a profit – after all, they were already completely exhausted on brownies.
Contact Elizabeth Earl at email@example.com.