GOSHEN —Saturday was a day for lemony refreshments.
Youngsters who were learning about creating and operating a business mixed up a variety of lemonade-based drinks, baked cookies and with the help of mom and dad in some instances, packaged up other treats to sell during the annual Lemonade Day.
“It’s been fun and hard at the same time,” Jack Gorski, 10, said. “There’s a lot of hard decisions to make.”
Decisions like how many cookies to make and how much to charge for lemonade. Learning about supply and demand first-hand.
His parents, Tom and Debbie Gorski, sat back and watched him sell his lemonade for $1 a cup in the parking lot of Das Dutchman Essenhaus. They helped him make banners and set up the stand, but they let him come up with his own ideas and business model.
Gorski also sold baked goods, including cookies and Rice Krispie treats, for a dollar. Fifty percent of his profits are to be donated to Riley’s Children’s Hospital.
The donation of a portion of the profits to a charity is part of the tripod of learning the young entrepreneurs engage in, according to Sheila Sieradzki, vice president of Centier Bank. The bank’s staff hosted a Lemonpalooza festival at their Goshen branch.
“The whole idea behind Lemonade Day is ‘Spend, Save and Share,’” she said. “So they all get workbooks at the beginning... They have a mentor that takes them through those steps.”
Junior Achievement volunteers teach school students about business and money management throughout the year and have taken on Lemonade Day as an extension of that effort, according to Sieradzki.
“What it does, is kids are either gravitated to it and it gives them a good direction in life to be an entrepreneur, and others maybe not,” Sieradzki said. “So they take another path.”
Participants could either find their own location for selling their lemon products Saturday, or join in the Lemonpalooza sites at the Goshen bank, Das Dutchman Essenhaus, Veada Industries in New Paris or Elkhart Indian Motorcycle. The Goshen location was also the designated site for the county’s Latino community.
The budding business owners discovered Saturday their lemonade stands are dependant on good weather, Sieradzki indicated. Twenty youngsters and their families had signed up to participate at the Goshen site Saturday, but when rain threatened, she said all but three of those decided to hold their events at their homes.
The Munson family of Goshen took a chance the spring showers would hold off and set up shop.
As Cooper, 9, and Lilly, 6, served lemonade with strawberry and pineapple puree options and sold cookies, popcorn and homemade Chex mix, their parents Josh and Deanna stood by.
“We thought it would be cool to teach the kids a little bit about running their own business,” Deanna said.
Deanna and the children utilized a work book handed out to families by the Lemonade Day volunteers to prepare for the event. It took a little time each day last week to create their products, she said.
Some of the kids’ earnings will be donated to The Window