Texas police sure know how to suck the fun out of a summer afternoon. Andria and Zoey Green were told by police to close down their roadside lemonade stand for selling lemonade without a permit.
Reading this, especially for parents of our generation, is just ridiculous. I can vividly remember one of my best childhood memories: selling Kool-Aid (we were out of lemonade) for $.10 in the driveway of our house. We barely made any money, but the fun was in the fact that we got to be entrepreneurs and run our own business for the afternoon.
Police in Overton, Texas, forgot what this childlike fun was all about when they closed down these little girls’ lemonade stand for violating state health laws and operating without a permit. The real kicker is, as the girls’ mother Sandi Evans told KLTV, Andria and Zoey were using the lemonade stand to sell lemonade and kettle corn to raise money for Father’s Day. The girls hoped to raise $100 so they could take their dad to Splash Kingdom.
By the time the operation was shut down, the little lemonade stand had been open for about an hour with a total profit of roughly $25. The city agreed to waive the fee for the $150 “Peddler’s Permit” needed to keep the lemonade stand open. However, because of the police bust, the 7- and 8-year-old girls will need an inspection from the city health department if they want to open shop again.
Overton Police Chief Clyde Carter, responsible for the “lemonade crackdown,” is all about playing by the rules. He says, “We have to follow by the state health guidelines.”
Chief Carter is referring to the Texas House Bill 970 that prohibits the sale of food requiring time or temperature control to keep it from spoiling. Police say the girls need an inspection from the health department because lemonade needs to be refrigerated to prevent contamination and bacterial growth.
Thankfully, this “thems the rules” attitude is not enough to get the sisters down. There’s still plenty of time to meet their goal before Father’s Day. The girls plan to set up the stand again this weekend, skirting the law by giving away lemonade for free or for a donation.
I have the utmost respect for police officers and the work they do, but anyone can see this crackdown got a little out of control. Lemonade stands are a childhood rite of passage. Not only that, but there’s always the one kid on the block who masters the art of lemonade extortion and rakes in hundreds of dollars, only to grow up to run a Fortune 500 company.
It’s safe to say that running a lemonade stand builds character. Though the police were the wet blanket in this story, we can already see what these little girls are made of. They stuck to their goal of raising money for Dad and didn’t give up. They took the police bust in stride and looked for a new solution. They worked together to find a way around this minor legal setback by “selling” lemonade for donations. I can’t wait to see what they do next.