Sunday, May 2, 2010

Lessons From A Lemonade Stand

Sunday afternoon, I helped my kids run a lemonade stand, part of annual event. While it was a little rainy, business was good. Much more successful than any lemonade stand I had as a kid!
I was surprised by the generosity and support by the customers, some of whom were friends, family, and clients. I think the kids learned a good bit about business, or at least it was a good early introduction to business for a kindergartener and a first-grader.

I was reminded why we buy and eat so much processed food: it is affordable. Fewer people would be willing to pay $2.00 for a cup of organic, fresh-squeezed lemonade. Though, $0.50 is acceptable for a cup of cold lemonade from a powdered mix. When we were calculating cost of goods sold (ok, just me, a little too much for the kids to understand at this age), I realized that at $0.70 per lemon, for real lemonade was not cost-effective for this type of business. It is understandable why restaurants and food manufacturers look for cheaper ingredients. As long as the food item is tasty, satisfying, and cheap most people are happy.

Only when we view quality food as a central factor in our health, rather than just another variable expense, will we not mind spending a little more money and time on it (that requires delayed gratification, not easy for us to accept). It is more than just limiting empty Calories. Quality nutrition is regularly delivering abundant nutrients to our bodies (nutrient-dense foods, not just low-Calorie).

Luckily, today was about two young kids getting, what I feel is, invaluable real-world business exposure and not about nutrition. It was about happily supporting and acknowledging the young entrepreneurs initiative and hard work. Hopefully, setting the stage for them to learn essential business and community leadership skills for the future. Maybe next time we can set a new trend and combine business and nutrition. Anyone up for an iced organic green tea stand?

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