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Did you have a Kool-Aid or lemonade stand as a kid?

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By Chuck Woodbury
I’ve had a few businesses in my life, but the most profitable was a Kool-Aid stand when I was a kid. Actually, I had many Kool-Aid stands and I believe a lemonade stand on occasion.

It was a great business. The raw materials were free, courtesy of my mother, and no business license was required. Signage was easy to create — some crayons and cardboard, again free, the latter repurposed from a cardboard box. And no rent — just pick a spot along a busy street, unfold a card table and you were ready to go.

My profits — 100 percent of the gross revenue — went into my pocket, with no need to put aside 30 percent for Uncle Sam.

I mowed and watered lawns for neighbors on their summer vacations, too. But I enjoyed the Kool-Aid stand the best.

How about you? Did you have a Kool-Aid or lemonade stand? Or maybe another childhood business? After you respond, please leave a comment.

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Don
1 month ago

I had a lemonade stand and cut grass as a kid too! So funny!

Vanessa
1 month ago

No, I had a honey stand…my dad was a beekeeper and I had a table on the side of the road to sell from.

Lee Ann
1 month ago

We lived in a small midwestern town of 1200 in the sixties. One Summer a work crew was repairing our streets. When I asked about a lemonade stand, my creative, smart Dad decided I needed to be mobile to go to the crew and through the town. So he built a wooden lemonade stand that fit on my wagon and painted it bright pink with a sign above that announced Lemonade. Mom made lots of lemonade that I carried in my wagon along with cups. Off I went down the sidewalks pulling my stand!

Trish
1 month ago

In addition to the beverage stand, I picked strawberries, blueberries and cherries. I wish we would bring all these jobs mentioned throughout the comments back.

Yeah, it was work but we all still remember it and it didn’t hurt any of us. It help create work ethic and appreciation for the buck earned.

Last edited 1 month ago by Trish
Bill
1 month ago

I fell for one of the ads in Boy’s Life magazine for selling Christmas cards door to door. Added personalized stationary, greeting card for all seasons, birthdays, etc. Used one of my mothers dress boxes as a sample case; when I wanted money I went around the neighborhood knocking on doors. I also did paper routes for other kids when they went on vacation, etc. Did that until I was old enough to get a job in a gas station, back when there were five guys on the job to check your oil, radiator, battery, tires, and clean your windshield while they pumped your gas.

MattD
1 month ago

As kids we used to go up in the foothills outside L.A. and pick mistle toe a couple weeks before Christmas, tie up the bunches in red ribbon, then go door to door with our wagon and sell a small bunch for 25 cents or a large bunch for 50 cents. Always had Christmas money! Never did lemonade stands…

Phil
1 month ago

Had a paper route and then took a new route that had more customers. Then I discovered that it was 15 miles round trip from my home and back and mostly on a busy road with no shoulder. Gave it up when there were too many customers that were hard to collect from. Then worked for a TV/music store going with repair men to deliver new and repaired TV’s. That’s when they were wood cabinets and tubes. Always worked after school, Saturdays, and summers from about 12 to getting out of college. But no stands.

Bill Fisher
1 month ago

I did not have a Kool-Aid or lemonade stand, but I mowed a lot of lawns, cut a lot of weeds out of beans and baled a lot of hay as a kid. A buck an hour.

Last edited 1 month ago by Bill Fisher
KellyR
1 month ago
Reply to  Bill Fisher

Bill, add milking cows to that and we lived the same kid life. For me the worst was hoeing beans. Each row got longer and longer. Three dollars a day on my uncle’s farm. Made a dollar and hour when I went to college and pumping gas. I would not trade one minute of it.

Neal Davis
1 month ago

Grew up in the country. On a typical day only the mailman and a milk tanker truck, which picked up milk from the many small dairies along our road, passed by our house. Perhaps another car or two passed as people went into town to work or returned home. Having a lemonade or Kool-Aid stand was something they did on television. It never occurred to me to erect one.

Herman
1 month ago

Morning and Evening paper routes. Shovel snow in winter, mow yards and tend to flower gardens the rest of the year. Umpire for baseball and softball. No time for a stand…

Drew
1 month ago

Yes, I sold home made lemonade a few times. People really liked it and many bought 2 or even 3 @ 25 or 50 cents apiece (I don’t remember which). I’ve helped my Grandkids set up their own stands as well.- Very successful when you live on a busy street with a park next door.

Thomas D
1 month ago

My parents had a very large freezer, in 1945 that was unheard of. So they started an ice cream store.we sold pints and quarts and novelty ice cream.They called it Tommys sweet shop. Even had a neon sign. Worked very well until refrigerator s came along. Remember, ice boxes before refrigerator. In the early 50’s it was done. By then everyone had at least a little freezer

Marilyn M
1 month ago

The summer I turned 11 I babysat 2 young kids Monday thru Friday from 8am – 4pm. My days were full! Started working after school when I was 14 and didn’t stop until I retired from the Cdn military at 48 after almost 29 years of service. 14 years later and I’m still loving retirement down in Baja California! Without putting a lemonade stand out front for pin money.

Richard
1 month ago

No, I shoveled snow and put on and took off chains at chain control sites going over Donner Summit. Summer time worked at a Chevron Station pumping gas, cleaning windshields, checking oil levels and tire pressures and of course cleaning the restrooms.

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

No sitting down on the job for me! We had several older folk living nearby. By the time I was 12 I was cutting yards and shoveling snow from sidewalks. At that point, my dad bought the mower gas. Doing a good job and reliably showing up when the work needing doing got me additional work via word of mouth. My route grew to bicycle distance and the customers supplied the equipment. I wanted a motorcycle when I got my DL. My dad told me no way, then made the mistake of telling me I would have to buy it myself. I found the bike but at 16, needed my dad’s signature on the contract and insurance. He repeated his statement and I shocked him when I pointed out I HAD the money, just needed the signature. He wasn’t happy but kept his word. With the motorcycle my customer base grew and I quickly recovered the cost of the bike. One customer literally cried when I took a W-2 job and had to abandon my route. I understand that better now as it is nearly impossible to find a teen willing to work.

TexasScout
1 month ago

One Christmas my folks gave me a kinda “erector set” but it was plastic and you could build an “Oil refinery out of the parts. It had tanks and pipes and hoses and pumps, all kinds of cool stuff. So I build one up and fixed it so I put Koolaid powder in one tank, pump water in to it an made Koolaid. I set it up as a Koolaid stand. It was really cool, but a total mess to clean, only did it once.

TScott
1 month ago

No, we had a farm that had to be tended to and paper routes.

Cindy
1 month ago

My parents were from rural Tennessee, and moved to Michigan for work. When I was 6 years old, our house was in a city, but we had a 1 acre lot. We had a large productive garden. There was a large subdivision at the end of our street, and I used to load the wagon up with fresh produce, and go door to door selling produce.

Micheal Whelan
1 month ago

I grew up in the country. I had a strawberry stand, a blue berry stand, and even a worm stand for the fisherman. All profit was from the earth (really true in the case of the worms).

Rich
1 month ago

of course but I also sold cookies and old comic books alongside the lemonade!