FALMOUTH – First came the attempt at a hostile takeover. “They came over and said we want some money from you guys,” said Kaelin Trombly, 11, of the six boys who tried to join her refreshment company. “But we didn’t need them, really.”
However, Joe Trombly, 9, told a different version of what happened when six boys tried to join a refreshment stand run by six girls. “They kicked us out of their lemonade stand,” he said.
And that’s how two competing refreshment stands ended up within a few hundred feet of each other on King Street on Sunday afternoon. In fact, Wall Street has nothing on King Street.
Joe said his business, “King’s Smoothies,” started “right after they kicked us out.”
And rather than open in a completely different geographic location, Joe and his partners decided to take on the other stand right where they live. Well, it’s where they all live.
There was only one question. “We were looking through our houses trying to come up with an idea, what to make, when Joe walked in and held up an empty pitcher and said, ‘Smoothies,” and we all jumped on that idea,” said Drew Lawrence, 10.
“My mom has really good smoothies,” said Joe.
Timothy Agneta, 12, seemed to be working on a jingle when he said of the smoothies, ”Ours is delicious, nutritious.” And he added, “It’s homemade.”
And Drew, who appears to have a future in marketing, said, “I had never had his mom’s smoothie before. They are very sweet, sort of wild, a very big combination of different flavors.”
Marketing was very important to King’s Smoothies, and the entire staff seemed to have a well thought-out strategy. “We made up these signs” said Jackson Gage, 9, while pointing to an 8-1/2 x 11 sign taped to a tree. “We also use our vocal cords for screaming.”
Meanwhile, Kaelin’s business sold lemonade, ice tea and Coke and was taking a more subtle, understated approach to marketing. It’s so understated, even the name of the business was murky. “I think it’s like Lucky Lemons,” said Kaelin.
The marketing of the girls, according to Lilly Gage, 11, is way better. “We don’t pick our nose,” she said.
“They’re boys,” said Kaelin. “They do what they do.”
“They’re a different species,” said Lilly.
During this, the boys were yelling to cars passing by that the girls were selling “poison.”
Linda Trombly, mother of Kaelin and Joe and a primary investor in both businesses, said, “The girls approach is a little more customer friendly. The boys use the ruthless salesman approach.”
Merideth Agneta, 6, pointed at some flowers next the pitcher of lemonade and said the girls’ stand was more popular than the boys’ because “We have more pretty stuff.”
Hannah Lawrence, 7, said the girls stand was more popular because the girls were more polite.
They were polite to each other as well. Lucy Gage, 5, said she loved that “We all take turns doing things.”
Molly Sykes, 13, helped draw a 20-foot banner advertising their stand. She said she has learned a lot about business, especially customer service. “You have to be calm and listen to your customers and not upset them by yelling at them.”
While there were differences in marketing, there were also differences in expectations between the two businesses. Max Gargurevich, 10, said, “We get to shout for smoothies and relax after and hang out and talk.”
And Zach Gargurevich, 7, said, “I like that we we get to hang out on King Street.”
When Joe was informed that he appeared to be the CEO of King’s Smoothies, he replied, “I have no idea what that is, but okay.” And though the marketing was brash, Joe said the expectations were realistic, hoping to make $2 each.
Across the street, Kaelin dared to dream a bit bigger. “Once we get a million dollars, we’re gonna spend it on mansions and things.”
“And ice cream at the beach,” added Lilly.
— Brian Tarcy