Sand Dollars

Memorial Day Lemonade Stand

Written by Brian Tarcy


CENTERVILLE – This is a complicated, multi-layered  business story about a venture that has been passed from one family to another, all while utilizing the property of a third family.

The Old Stage Road Memorial Day Parade Lemonade Stand, going for a decade now, was started by Rob Rice’s daughters. “I’d spend $75 to make $50,” said Rice, of Marstons Mills.  “Then we’d take that $50 to 4Cs and treat everybody to ice cream.”

(See also Memorial Day Parade slideshow)

Rice and his family are friends with the Dewey family of Centerville, who have hosted the lemonade stand at the edge of their driveway for ten years. The Deweys have held a Memorial Day party for decades, said Susan Dewey. “It’s how we kick off summer every year,” she said.

The lemonade stand started about ten years ago.

Emily Rice, 14, said, “ I used to do it, until last year. Most of our sales were before or after the parade but if it’s hot sometimes the people in the parade buy lemonade.”

While spending $75 to bring back $50 may seem like an odd business model, it was apparently successful enough to be passed on to the Curley family, who live a few doors away from the Deweys.

“We’re guests of the Deweys,” said Mike Curley. “Our driveway is at the end of the parade. This is more in the middle of it.”

His daughters, Grace, 7, Caroline, 5, and Isla, 3, were doing their adorable best to attract customers. Still, Curley encouraged his daughters to “do some cross-selling” and get customers to buy cupcakes along with lemonade.

When asked her strategy, Grace said she focused on being polite by saying, “Excuse me, would you like to buy some lemonade?” Clearly, marketing was the strong point of this enterprise.


— Brian Tarcy



About the author

Brian Tarcy

Brian Tarcy is co-founder of Cape Cod Wave. He is a longtime journalist who has written for the Boston Globe, Boston magazine, the Cape Cod Times and several other publications. He is the author of "YOU CAN'T SELL RIGHT FIELD; A Cape Cod Novel." He is also the author or co-author of more than a dozen mostly non-fiction books, including books with celebrity athletes Cam Neely, Tom Glavine and Joe Theisman. His previous book was, "ALMOST: 12 Electric Months Chasing A Silicon Valley Dream" with Hap Klopp,who created the iconic brand, The North Face.
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Brian is a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan with a long-running NFL predictions/political satire column connecting weekly world events to the fate of his favorite team, now at

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