Young Cottage Grove entrepreneurs test their juice on Lemonade Day

Body: 

If pub crawls aren't your thing, you could have gone on a lemonade crawl Aug. 25 in Cottage Grove.

Ten lemonade stands sprang up throughout Cottage Grove, the first city in Minnesota to host a youth education and empowerment program called Lemonade Day.

Each year, youngsters around the country are encouraged to learn financial fundamentals by opening their own lemonade stand. Each child who registers receives an Entrepreneur Workbook that addresses such topics as branding, creating a budget, controlling inventory and serving customers.

Everett Paylor, 11, did brisk business at his Vault 8105 Atomic Lemonade Stand. He offered four kinds of lemonade, including "Atomic Lemonade" with strawberries added, and boxes of lemon drops.

Lemonade Day participants also must decide how much of their profits they will spend, save and give away.

Paylor said he'll give some of the money to his school and use another portion to pay for his brother's bike.

Motorists passing on E. Point Douglas Road might have spotted Ayden Wesley, 8, holding a sign that said "Jedi Lemonade." His business partner and sister, Tenley, 7, served lemonade and cookies.

"I wanted to learn how you start a business," she said.

The Lemonade Ninjas stand sold Rice Krispies treats and potato chips along with their juice.

Siblings Holden and Lauren Grams served walk-up and drive-by customers. Lauren Grams, 9, said they considered setting up their stand in front of a football field but ultimately decided to stick to their front yard. That way, they wouldn't have to drive all the way back to their house if they ran out of stock.

"We used powdered lemonade because it's faster," Lauren, 9, said.

Holden, 12, said they also considered what size cups to buy. They opted for smaller cups since they cost less. But they also priced them accordingly, at 50 cents a cup.

"We just knew that you wouldn't want to pay a dollar for a cup that size," Holden said.

Some of their profits will go to an animal shelter, they said.

Cottage Grove Mayor Myron Bailey completed the entire lemonade crawl, visiting each of the 10 stands. So did Chris and Heather Carey, the local business owners who organized the event.

They stopped at the Engelstad Express, the lemonade stand on Janero Street that was run by brothers Jacob, 9, and Ben Engelstad, 14.

"Almost every stand has a different type of lemonade," Bailey said. "It's kind of interesting."

He said he wanted to get the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce involved in next year's Lemonade Day. He said he'd like to see local businesses offer their premises where kids could set up their stands.