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Boy’s entrepreneurial spirit shines with lemonade stand

Oliver Madsen, 8, and cousin Ryker Lott, 11, manned the Main Squeeze lemonade stand at the Brigham City Farmers market.

By Loni Newby
Associate editor

Oliver Madsen, is an 8 year-old third grader at Foothill Elementary, he is also an entrepreneur with a licensed business and a food hander’s permit. Last year Madsen saw a few lemonade and koolaid stands and wanted to make his own. After pricing some pre-made options, his mother, Tamara, and father, Mike, worked together following some pinterest tutorials to create a stand on casters for him to use.
Mike Madsen has made a habit of always stopping at any lemonade or Kool-aid stand he passes, to support the children’s efforts for earning money this act has been observed by Oli and added to his desire to create his own stand.
“For the last few months, he has been asking me to help him make a stand but we never really took action until we saw a pre-made stand at Target, however it was a little out of our price range. We came home and started thinking about what we could use at home to built one since his dad has lots of scrap wood and building materials in our garage. Oliver’s dad and I started to put some of our old things we had lying around the house and to our surprise, it turned into this cute little push cart lemonade stand,” said Tamara Madsen.
Oli’s parents wanted to support his vision and with her interest in design, Tamara followed through with a stylish design, they created a name for branding “Main Squeeze” and even came up with some merchandise like baby bibs and t-shirts.
The motivation for this business might have started with a fun way to earn money, which is a short-sighted goal that most kids can envision with an end of day payout. The goal here was bigger.
Oli saw how many supplies are required for his favorite classes at school, especially art. After some conversations with his parents Oli also came to find out that there are students who have outstanding bills for their lunches that their parent(s) might not be able to pay. His family made the decision to donate the proceeds of his lemonade stand to schools in Box Elder School District to help out his peers.
“Over the next few days, he was thinking about where he could set up that a lot of people would be able to see, we live at the end of the street with not much drive by traffic, and he mentioned the baseball park. I told him that if he wanted to sell his lemonade somewhere other than our house, he would need to get a business license and make sure that he was in code with the health department,” said Tamara Madsen. Oli was a little nervous about the additional steps but was willing to put in the effort.
The family researched how to participate in the Brigham City’s Farmers Market. Working with David Walker, of Historic Downtown Brigham, the Madsens found that they could rent a weekly space and would be provided with a temporary business license for their participation. Tamara Madsen said, “We got the call the very next day that we were approved for selling at the Farmers Market. After seeing him go through the process of making sure he was a legitimate business, we were so proud of his hard work.”
Because there would be food handling involved Oli, and his mom, were required to attain their Food Handler’s Permits. The pair took the course online and had to complete the test in order to be properly permitted. They realized that it would be a much simpler process to pour pre-made lemonade than to deal with the extra requirements for preparation of a hand-prepared product. The goal was to provide a cool, refreshing beverage and that is what they would do.
Oli and his mom plan to participate each week this summer at the Farmer’s Market, it took a while for Oli to overcome his natural shyness and engage with the customers. They had to role play to give him experience interacting with customers, pouring drinks and making change. He even had his cousin Ryker Lott, 11, there for moral support on launch day. Oli was living up to the cleanliness standards outlined by the health department with his reliance on hand sanitizer.
Their first day was a big success earning $152, for selling 132 cups of lemonade, the stand sold out of pink lemonade.
Oli had been looking forward to participating for days and was really proud to be doing something to help students and teachers, he said, “My favorite part is making money.”
Tamara Madsen said, “The whole thing has been such an amazing learning experience for him so far. His dad and I wanted to make sure that if he really wanted to have his own business, he would need to do the hard work himself but we would always be there to support and guide him.”