With the success of the Lemonade Kids stand that Zach and dear friend Ana set up in Williamsburg last month, Zach was eager to get his subsequent pursuit up and running in London as well. Keep in mind, in an effort to help launch the Lemonade Kids business across the pond, there were numerous props and supplies that were consciously packed in our outgoing 700-pound allotment of air freight back in Virginia, including a large beverage dispenser, lemonade powder, and of course, the handy-dandy cash register–hey we’ve got our priorities straight 😉
This morning we woke up to a rather unusual weather morning–IT WAS SUNNY in North London! And with that, Zach’s first words that came out of his mouth were, “Mom, we’re doing the lemonade stand today!” While I tried to convince him that maybe Saturday morning might be a better day than a Thursday, this determined (and observant) young impresario quickly pointed out that it was sunny today and that we might not be so lucky on Saturday. Surely he had a point, as we have barely seen a dry spell since we arrived, so with that, the set-up began.
Zach’s business sits on the corner of a fairly busy main road connected to a small dead-end side road (what the British refer to as a “close”.) right in front of our house. A permanent wooden bench is conveniently situated right behind his stand, which allows tired legs to rest when business gets slow. He is outfitted with a yellow markered “Lemonade Stand” t-shirt, and a hand-made sign taped to our embassy-issued coffee table reads, Lemonade! Stand! 20p (that’s 20 pence which is equivalent to approximately .30cents.)
The first ten minutes was slow-going. Mind you, we are in the U.K. and I quite honestly think that this just isn’t something they see very often, if at all, much less on a Thursday morning! After all, this is an American past-time for sure. Cars whizzed by with no sign of stopping, ladies ran by in their spandex and Ipods, and then…. along comes Mr. Scottsman and his Labradoodle dog named Murphy. “Lemonade for sale. Would you like a cup?” Zach hopefully vocalizes from across the street. “Why SURE, I would LOVE a cup of lemonade, lad!” “20p?” he questions. “Is that all? I might as well take two please!” In a blink of an eye, 7-year old Lemonade Kids founder, Zach White, had successfully launched his new franchise in Hampstead Garden Suburb.
It was as if it was all he needed for that boost of confidence; a stroke of luck and that first interested customer…becasue after Mr. Scottsman’s purchase, the stream of customers was virtually constant. Amazingly, cars slowed down, glanced over, and STOPPED, one by one! Each time a person stopped, a stream of business followed. Rob, husband of Jackie who organized a lovely neighborhood get-together on the green last Saturday, slowed down in his convertible and yelled out remembering our names, “Hey Krista! I love to see this American entrepreneurial business spirit that Zach has! I’ll have a cup of lemonade please, sir!” A few more people walking their dogs, two gardeners in their company van, Interlink Express-a global service parcel company, all stopped to support the Lemonade Kid. (see corresponding photos below) And then, the BIG shocker…..no sooner did the infamous”hopper bus” stop in front of our house to let off a few passengers (who also bought lemonade) than the driver, yes the hopper bus driver, put the passenger filled bus in neutral, got our his wallet, and requested some lemonade from Zach!!! My mouth dropped…Zach quickly dispensed the beverage into a cup and delivered it up the red bus stairs. A Hungarian lady named Annie, who was already more than amazed and intrigued at this foreign business concept, was in awe. Even the passengers on the bus were cracking up. It was an absolute riot!
“Business is booming!” exclaimed Zach with a huge smile on his face. And indeed it was. In the end, Zach made about 7 pounds..equivalent to a little over $10.00 in about an hour. It was great fun and a real hoot to observe from my VIP seat on the bench behind his stand. With part of his earnings, he plans to purchase some sort of Ninjago lego toy which I happened to deny buying for him the other day in Hampstead. At the time, he wasn’t too happy about my refusal of his desire for instant gratification. But as the old saying goes….”When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” And SO HE DID! Now go enjoy yourself a glass today, too 🙂