Home News Local Lemonade Stands Shouldn’t Be Subject To Police, Fines

Lemonade Stands Shouldn’t Be Subject To Police, Fines


Growing up, I have
fond memories of my
makeshift lemonade stand
I would place near the
sidewalk to catch thirsty
walkers or drivers. I was
six or seven at the time,
rather shy, but pretty darn
engaging when I attempted
to sell my five cent solo
cups of lemonade.
How times have
changed. Six or seven
year olds has become big
business, or at least sev-
eral overbearing city and
county officials are trying
to make it so. I can cite
dozens of incidents where
local police and code
enforcement officials have
demanded in unfriendly
terms, the closure of a
child’s lemonade stand
because the children were
unable to produce proper
permits and health depart-
ment licenses.
Just recently sisters
Zoey and Andria, in Texas,
had their lemonade stand
shutdown by police when
they couldn’t produce
a $150 city permit of
meet state regulations on
refrigerated beverages.
In Oregon a 7-year-old
was forced to close here
stand by the County.
They claimed she did not
comply with local health
codes and would have to
purchase a $120 temporary
restaurant license. And in
Maryland, county officials
issued a ticket to parents
because their child’s lem-
onade stand posed a safety threat in an area where
pedestrian and car traffic
was supposedly heavy.
The citation was written
for a whopping $500.
Now I don’t know
about you, but I find these
money grabs by local
municipalities as disgust-
ing. I call them money
grabs because requiring a
lemonade stand to pay for
permits (in one municipal-
ity the permit costs were
more than $500) is well,
just downright indecent.
Do our municipalities
really need the money that
bad that they need to send
cops out to close lemonade
I ask, what’s next? Are
we going to start demand-
ing babysitters have a
license? What about good
Samaritans that mow
lawns for a paltry fee?
Are purveyors of bake
sales going to need a food
handling license? The list
could go on and on, and
realistically, the aforemen-
tioned could probably put
up the money a lot easier
than a 7-year-old with a
lemonade stand.
Back to my early days,
if I cleared a $1 on a given
day I was ecstatic. That
would have meant I sold
20 cups of lemonade, and
that I considered good.
Nowadays, the typical cup
of lemonade goes for 50
cents or a $1, thus those
20 cups in a day might
clear your youngster $10
or $20.Imagine how long it
would take your young-
ster to clear the $150 city
permit or $120 temporary
license fee? They would
have to sell a couple
hundred cups of lemonade
just to break even. I know
in my neighborhood that
wouldn’t have been pos-
sible- even over a week’s
Local law enforce-
ment shouldn’t be used
to shutdown lemonade
stands created by six-year-
olds. Instead of hassling
kindergartners they should
be capturing the bad guys.
City ordinances shouldn’t
be interpreted to include
temporary sales by young-
As a nation we need to
lighten up. If I had been
confronted by the police
or code enforcement of-
ficers, and told I would be
fined if I continued to sell
lemonade, I know I would
have been traumatized
for a good long time. Let
the budding entrepreneurs
be. Stop the nonsense.
Lemonade stands are as
American as apple pie
and trips to grandmother’s