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