It’s summertime, and you know the ice cream man is going to come around later in the afternoon. The question is, how to earn a buck before he gets there so that you don’t have to go without? Answer – lemonade stand!
A lemonade stand was a great way spend a muggy Long Island summer day. It only took a few simple ingredients – ice, lemons, sugar – a sturdy table and some Dixie cups. And if you didn’t have the lemons, you just needed to find some Country Time or Wyler lemonade mix and you were good to go.
So, once the supplies are gathered, everything else falls into place. Set up the table, place the sign, wave to cars, watch the money roll in. Simple!
Okay, so maybe the money didn’t exactly roll in. To be profitable in business, one would likely pay attention to things like location, demand, marketing, profit and loss, etc…
We didn’t pay attention to any of those things, so what we ended up with was usually a few sympathetic parents and friends as our customers, and if we were very lucky, a handful of coins big enough to buy a Marino’s Italian Ice when the day was done. That’s all we had every really wanted anyway. That’s how we defined success in the lemonade business back in the 70s.
You still see lemonade stands today, but they are usually organized affairs with parents involved and fancy pre-built stands and signs. Often they are set up to raise money for charity, and often they run afoul of local food and beverage merchant laws and get shut down. Today’s lemonade business is a complex affair, not something you do on a whim. That’s a shame.
I’m happy that we didn’t things so seriously back then. We laughed and joked and drank our profits away under a blanket of golden summer sun. We had a great time, even if we didn’t have many, or any, customers. We were just enjoying being kids, and a lemonade stand was one of those simple childhood pleasures – the kind you remember for a lifetime.
Did you ever try your hand at a lemonade stand when those 1970s summers rolled around? I would love to hear your memories in the comments section below!