Lemonade hustlers across America should take heed, Big Brother is watching. No permit, no lemonade stand.
We’re overwhelmed by the support you’ve shown kids’ lemonade stands. Now we’re inspired to do more. Follow us & share a photo of your family’s lemonade stand by 6/18 using #SaveLemonadeStands #Offer to receive a coupon for $3 off Country Time. Meaning your first pitcher is on us! pic.twitter.com/q8ZBBH2rtV— CountryTime (@CountryTime) June 11, 2018
Most of the players in America’s fledgling lemonade stand industry operate under-the-radar of local authorities, with stands popping up on residential streets one day, only to disappear the next. Prices for lemonade also vary by locale, and authorities have mostly given up trying to collect sales taxes.
Maybe that’s why some local governments are cracking down – ordering the stands to close unless the operators have obtained the required permits. Those permits generally cost tens of dollars – or several gallons of lemonade sold at 10 cents a glass.
Scrutiny on the illegal lemonade trade came to a head when, as reported by the Washington Examiner, Jennifer Knowles helped her three sons set up shop near Coors Field in Denver. It was a spot with high foot traffic, but they unintentionally picked a spot near another beverage vendor – who was selling lemonade for $7 a bottle! The police were called and the boys were forced to close shop.
Kids across the country are getting busted for operating lemonade stands without a permit. We're taking the lead to #SaveLemonadeStands by paying for kids' fines + permits this year. For every RT this gets we’ll donate $1 (up to $500,000) to help kids next year + beyond.— CountryTime (@CountryTime) June 7, 2018
But the Coors Field watering hole bust is not an isolated incident. Police in Georgia shut down a lemonade stand run by three girls who didn’t have a business license or the required permits. Even on residential property, the girls were told, you need a business license, peddler’s permit and food permit to operate. The permits cost $50 a day or $180 per year.
Overton, Texas, (near Houston) police and code enforcement officers shut down a stand opened by two sisters hoping to raise money to take their father to a waterpark on Father’s Day. (The water park has since donated tickets to the family.)
Last year, Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld (yes, that Jerry Seinfeld) said they encountered the lemonade Nazi at their summer home in the Hamptons. (“No lemonade for you!")
Police confirmed to The East Hampton Press that they received a complaint last August about illegally parked vehicles near the stand and had to put a stop to it because the Seinfelds were violating a village code that prohibits “peddling.”
Apparently, Jerry and his 12-year-old son were having fun raising money for the nonprofit Baby Buggy. Jerry’s wife posted on social media, “Lemonade dreams crushed by local neighbor but not before raising lots of money for @loverecycled. Thanks to all of our customers and big tippers!”
But what is one child’s crushed dream is a corporation’s public relations bonanza. CountryTime Lemonade says it will be distributing “refreshing justice” with a team it calls “Legal-Ade.”
Country Time’s parent company, Kraft Heinz, wrote in a press release:
“But this summer will be different. The CountryTime brand is taking a stand by introducing Legal-Ade: a crack team ready to straighten out lemonade stand-related permits and fines. Legal-Ade will defend kids’ right to a lemonade stand and all the benefits they bestow.
… Go ahead, kids. Run your lemonade stands. CountryTime Legal-Ade is on your side and will protect you. When life hands you outdated laws, make lemonade, and get Legal-Ade.”
CountryTime is offering parents the chance to apply for reimbursement of up to $300 for either permit fees to run their children’s lemonade stands—or the cost of fines associated with those penalized. Applicants must include their children’s descriptions of what the stands mean to them.
You can apply through www.countrytimelegalade.com.
So, kudos to CountryTime for taking a stand and offering to help kids. It’s good PR and the right thing to do.