Lemonhead, played by Terri Burdick, supports the kids of the Midnight Sun FFA Chapter at their lemonade stand inside Fred Meyer during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Lemonhead, played by Terri Burdick, supports the kids of the Midnight Sun FFA Chapter at their lemonade stand inside Fred Meyer during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Sidewalk entrepreneurs set up shop

Kids turn out for Soldotna’s Lemonade Day

In the heat of the summer, even Alaskans need a way to cool off. On Saturday, as temperatures reached nearly 80 degrees, dozens of resourceful kids from around the peninsula parked their roadside stands all over Soldotna for Lemonade Day and offered fresh-squeezed lemonade and homemade snacks to thirsty residents and tourists.

Organized annually by the Kenai and Soldotna Chambers of Commerce, Lemonade Day aims to give young entrepreneurs the opportunity to learn the ins and outs of running a small business — from idea to execution, Sara Hondel, tourism and education director for the Soldotna Chamber of Commerce, said.

To get involved, parents register their kids online either at the chamber websites or on the Lemonade Day Alaska website and receive a yellow backpack from the chamber full of information on financial literacy, how to seek investors, how to build a business plan and everything else they need to start a successful venture. Hondel said that the kids also participate in two workshops at the end of the school year. One workshop focuses on teaching them about running a business, marketing and food safety. The second workshop is hosted by Home Depot and teaches kids how to actually build their lemonade stand. Children are encouraged to donate a portion of their profits to a charity of their choice. In addition, the kids are responsible for reaching out to local businesses to host their stands.

On the day of the event, Lemonhead — the Lemonade Day mascot — goes all around town to visit each of the booths registered with the chamber. This year the Lemonhead mask was donned by Hondel’s mom, Terri Burdick, who put her experience with the Kenai Performers to good use while entertaining the kids.

Due to the competitive nature of the lemonade business these days, the young entrepreneurs of Lemonade Day have come up with creative and unique offerings for their customers over the years, going way beyond just lemonade.

Paxton McKnight had a stand set up inside the Fred Meyer in Soldotna and took a sweet-and-salty approach to his venture, offering red licorice and popcorn alongside his homemade lemonade. McKnight has set up lemonade stands at other locations in the past, and he said that although business was good this year, his best year was when he was able to set his stand up in the KeyBank parking lot on the day of the Soldotna River Festival.

“It was pretty easy to catch people on their way across the street to the park,” McKnight said. “So we made a lot of money that year.”

McKnight said he plans to donate 30% of the profits from Saturday to Samaritan’s Purse, an evangelical humanitarian aid organization.

On the other side of Fred Meyer was another lemonade stand, this one run by a few kids from the Midnight Sun Chapter of the Future Farmers of America. In addition to offering lemonade made with “TLC” and organic lemons, the FFA kids also had homemade Rice Krispie treats and snickerdoodles for sale. Sam Festervand, JaLeen Gattenby, Michael Boatright and Nathaniel Boatright are using the profits from their lemonade stand to help fund future FFA trips and projects.

Outside of First American Title, the Lervig Brothers Gunnar and Ryder were trying their hands at the business for the second year in a row. The Lervig Brothers gave their mom credit for actually making the lemonade — which they offered in the traditional and strawberry varieties — but the two boys had the salesmanship down to a science. Ryder’s calls of “Come get your lemonade!” could be heard from across the parking lot and didn’t fail to draw a crowd. The Lervigs had popsicles, chips and water bottles, as well as an assortment of fresh fruit to add a touch of class to each glass of lemonade.

Gunnar said that most of their profits from Saturday would be going toward equipment for their football team.

“And some toys!” Ryder quickly added.

From their stand — dubbed Lemony Spigots — at the entrance to Sportsman’s Warehouse, Bri Havrilla and her daughters Addison, Isabella and Emma sold blueberry and strawberry lemonade, Arnold Palmer iced tea and lemonade, and homemade lemon cupcakes with buttercream frosting. Addison said that business had been good so far, so good in fact that a few people had come back for seconds. For Addison, the biggest challenge of starting a lemonade business from scratch was actually making the lemonade. It took a few trial batches to create the perfect recipe, she said. The Havrilla’s planned to donate 10% of their profits to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

Over at the Liquid Sunshine booth on Binkley Street, 6-year-old Ava McCaughey was serving up her lemonade in style, sporting a pair of sunglasses and a pink tutu while asking her customers “strawberry or regular?” McCaughey offered fresh fruit with the lemonade as well as banana creme cookies and muffins. McCaughey said they hadn’t decided yet on how to spend or save their profits from the day, but her business partner Zoey Stone had suggested putting some of it toward a trip to Disney Land.

Outside of Kenai Kids Therapy on the Kenai Spur Highway, Avery and Nathan Powell had their 907 Sibling Rivalry stand stocked with homemade Rice Krispies treats, Red Vines and two kinds of lemonade. They said the name came from the fact that they offered two types of lemonade and wanted to see which one sold better. Nathan said that the pink was winning at that point in the day, but added that last year the traditional yellow had sold out fast. This year the Powells will be giving half of their profits to the local Soldotna Whalers Wrestling Club.

Local Girl Scout Troop 210 also had their Hello Sunshine! stand on the Kenai Spur Highway just down the road, outside of Sweeney’s. Soon-to-be first graders Brooklynne Timm and Kinley Clack were running the stand for the lunch rush. As well as homemade snacks, they offered frozen pineapple lemonade blended while you wait.

Continuing south on the highway, Autumn Bass, Aries Lyons, Logan Amaya, Tucker Challans and Alexa Menzel sold strawberry and traditional lemonade while Yo! Tacos owner Nila Sanchez set up her taco shop just a few feet away. Sanchez has sponsored kids and their lemonade stands through her Next Generation program for the past two years in order to encourage and develop youth entrepreneurial and leadership skills for the future. The kids were in charge of running the lemonade stand, but Sanchez was always close by to give them a quick pep talk or break into dance while holding signs on the side of the road.

Below is a full list of the lemonade stands that registered with the chamber for Lemonade Day and their host businesses:

Kerley Boy’s Lemonade at Pad Thai Cafe

Beyonce’s Lemonade at AAA Alaska Cab

Hello Sunshine! At Sweeney’s

Rainey Day Lemonade at Shucks O’Reilly Auto Parts

Everett’s Lemonade Stand at the Kaladi Brothers on Kobuk Street

Northern Lemon at Allen Sisters Coffee

Next Generation with Yo! Tacos on the Kenai Spur Highway

Lemony Spigots at Sportsman’s Warehouse

Melon Girls at the Kenai Peninsula Harley Davidson

Lilly & Sister Lemonade at Spenard Builder’s Supply

Auntie Iris’ Lemonade at 4-D Carpet One

Liquid Sunshine at Safeway

The Midnight Sun FFA Lemonade Stand at Fred Meyer

Squeeze the Day at Fred Meyer

Hotspot Lemonade at AT&T

Lervig Brother’s Lemonade at First American Title

Lemonade Under the Big Top at Jumpin’ Junction

TNT Dynamite Lemonade, Sweets and Treats at Six States Distributors

Brothers Gunnar Lervig, back, and Ryder Lervig, front, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside First American Title during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Brothers Gunnar Lervig, back, and Ryder Lervig, front, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside First American Title during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, Addison, Isabella, Bri and Emma Havrilla smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Sportsman’s Warehouse during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, Addison, Isabella, Bri and Emma Havrilla smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Sportsman’s Warehouse during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Ava McCaughey serves a customer at her lemonade stand on Binkley Street during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Ava McCaughey serves a customer at her lemonade stand on Binkley Street during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Ava McCaughey, left, and Zoey Stone, right, smile for the camera in front of their lemonade stand on Binkley Street during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo courtesy Taylor Cochran)

Ava McCaughey, left, and Zoey Stone, right, smile for the camera in front of their lemonade stand on Binkley Street during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo courtesy Taylor Cochran)

Nathan and Avery Powell, right, serve customers at their lemonade stand in outside of Kenai Kids Therapy during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Nathan and Avery Powell, right, serve customers at their lemonade stand in outside of Kenai Kids Therapy during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Avery Powell, left, and Nathan Powell, right, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Kenai Kids Therapy during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Avery Powell, left, and Nathan Powell, right, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Kenai Kids Therapy during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Kinley Clack, left, and Brooklynne Timm serve some customers at their lemonade stand outside of Sweeney’s during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Kinley Clack, left, and Brooklynne Timm serve some customers at their lemonade stand outside of Sweeney’s during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Brooklynne Timm, left, and Kinley Clack, right, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Sweeney’s during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Brooklynne Timm, left, and Kinley Clack, right, smile for the camera at their lemonade stand outside of Sweeney’s during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, front, Aries Lyons, Logan Amaya, Autumn Bass, Alexa Menzel and Tucker Challans pose with the Yo! Tacos crew during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

From left, front, Aries Lyons, Logan Amaya, Autumn Bass, Alexa Menzel and Tucker Challans pose with the Yo! Tacos crew during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Nila Sanchez, left, and Alexa Menzel, right, advertise their lemonade business along the Kenai Spur Highway during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Nila Sanchez, left, and Alexa Menzel, right, advertise their lemonade business along the Kenai Spur Highway during Lemonade Day in Soldotna, Alaska on June 29, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

More in News

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska is seen here on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly to consider declaring 2nd Amendment ‘sanctuary’

The proposed ordinance opposes legislation restricting rights protected by the Second Amendment.

Bikers participate in the Fourth of July Parade in Kenai on July 4, 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, officially sanctioned events for July 4 — including the parades in Kenai, Seward and Homer and the Mount Marathon Race in Seward — have been canceled. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
A quiet 4th of July

With public events canceled, officials urge residents to practice caution.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
Seward takes emergency measures as cases rise

Alaska has had 1,226 cases of the disease since the state began tracking the pandemic in March.

COVID-19. (Image CDC)
38 new resident COVID-19 cases seen

It was the largest single-day increase in new cases of COVID-19 among Alaska residents.

Anglers practice social distancing on the upper Kenai River in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in late June 2020. (Photo provided by Nick Longobardi/Kenai National Wildlife Refuge)
Exploring the Kenai’s backyard

Refuge to start open air ranger station

The entrance to the Kenai Peninsula Borough building in Soldotna, Alaska, is seen here on June 1, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
Assembly approves plan for COVID-19 relief funds

The borough is receiving $37,458,449, which will be provided in three installments.

‘We need to make changes now’

Millions in small business relief funds remain unclaimed.

Brian Mazurek / Peninsula Clarion 
                                Forever Dance Alaska performs for the crowd during the 2019 Fourth of July parade in Kenai. The team will not be performing in the parade this year due to the new coronavirus pandemic. They will instead perform during an outside July 4 production hosted by Kenai Performers.
The show must go on

American icons to take stage in outdoor July 4 performance

Soldotna’s Chase Gable, a customer service agent with Grant Aviation, prepares to load and unload baggage from a plane at Kenai Municipal Airport on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Airport sees decline in traffic in wake of pandemic, Ravn exit

Passengers leaving Kenai this year through May are down 18,000.

Most Read