By Anessa V. Cohen
I am always reading new stories of high-school and college-age kids coming up with inventions and successful businesses. All of us love to read these stories—somehow they seem so much more magical and amazing when the success stories are about kids.
So with these stories in the back of my mind, I decided to share the incident I witnessed when visiting a group of my grandchildren last week.
As I pulled up alongside the house, I saw they had set up a lemonade stand, something many of the kids in the neighborhood like to do to make some money and have a little business on the side. On the table was an empty shot glass with a sign in front of it that said “5¢,” and a regular-size glass next to it that said “$1.”
Sitting in two chairs in front of this table were two of my grandchildren, Eliana and Yitzchak, with a third grandchild, Rachel, standing next to Yitzchak and yelling at him that he’d taken her seat.
I came to the table and asked them why they were arguing. Rachel explained that she and Eliana had started a lemonade-stand business, and then when she went on a bathroom break, Yitzchak had stolen her seat and said that he was now Eliana’s new partner in the lemonade business.
Avraham, a fourth grandchild, said, “I told her she should start her own business half a block down, on the corner, and charge half price; then she could get all their clients and put them out of business!”
“Wow,” I thought. “This has become a very busy household today—and very interesting. I think I will stick around and see where all of this is going!”
“Why is Yitzchak so anxious to grab a piece of this lemonade business?” I asked Chaim and Elimelech, two additional grandchildren, both of whom had come out to give their input. Elimelech explained, “Rachel and Eliana set up the two glass sizes and the lemonade on the table with the signs yesterday. Today is the second day of the business. Yesterday, people kept stopping and handing them dollar bills, telling them how cute they are—and not even taking a glass of lemonade. They made $9 yesterday, and today they already made $6. Chaim and I offered to buy the whole business from them for $20, but they turned us down so we went back inside. When Rachel decided to leave for a bathroom break, I guess Yitzchak saw his chance to get in on this business and sat in her seat and made himself the new partner in her absence.”
I was very busy trying not to laugh because I thought this entire story was hysterical. I could not believe that these kids had been so busy with business, negotiations, and corporate raiding on this nice quiet day in front of my daughter’s house. Go figure!
“So how are we going to fix this?” I asked. Elimelech answered, “Avraham, Chaim, and I already told Yitzchak he cannot take over Rachel’s partnership just by sitting in her seat, and he has to get up and give her the seat back. We just came out to make sure that he gets up!”
It seemed like the kids had everything under control—even policing their own—so I figured I could leave and take care of my own business. I never realized what a find the lemonade business is. Support your local lemonade businesses—these kids are our future!
Anessa Cohen lives in Cedarhurst and is a licensed real-estate broker (Anessa V Cohen Realty) and a licensed N.Y.S. loan officer (FM Home Loans) with over 20 years of experience offering full-service residential, commercial, and management real-estate services as well as mortgage services. She can be reached at 516-569-5007 or via her website, www.AVCrealty.com. Readers are encouraged to send questions or comments to anessa@AVCrealty.com.