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Working the Squeeze

As if gas wasn’t bad enough, lemon prices have risen 35 percent over the past year, necessitating new insights into consumer behavior for sidewalk-stand proprietors.

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Stand 1
REBECCA HORWITZ, 8, AND ARI HORWITZ, 5, SIBLINGS.
Location: On the sidewalk outside their Dumbo apartment.
Price per cup: $1.
Who’s your typical Customer? ARI: Most are in their thirties or forties. Usually more boys than girls.
Do people give you tips? REBECCA: People will sometimes give you $10 and say “Keep the change.”
Why? Because the lemonade is so good and the service is so good.
Maybe also because you’re cute? No.
Has the price of lemons this year affected your stand? REBECCA: Last year, we charged 25 cents for a half cup and 50 cents for a whole cup. But this year, we had to double our prices. My mom said she was shocked at the price of lemons.
What’s the best age to have a stand? REBECCA: The best age to start pouring is 6. Or 5 or 4. Or 5 and 6. Or 7 and 8.
Do you enjoy selling? REBECCA: Sometimes I worry that the bakery across the street will get angry because we steal their business. ARI: Rebecca is freaking. We’re really not stealing their customers because we’re not taking them without asking.
Earnings . . . . . . . . . . $92 to $240



Stand 2
ALSTON BIGGS AND FISCHER BODWELL, BOTH 10, BEST FRIENDS.
Location: Outside Washington Market Park in Tribeca.
Price per cup: $1.
How do you make your lemonade? FISCHER: My family took lemons and squeezed and squeezed. We were sweating. But Alston’s family mixed powder with water. And the thing is, when you taste it, there’s really no difference.
Did you draw signs? FISCHER: Alston made signs and spelled some things wrong. ALSTON: When you spell things wrong, they say, “Oh, that’s cute.”
So you do it on purpose? We misspelled lemonade: LEMADE.
Does warm weather help sales? FISCHER: Last time, it got foggy. Not as many people came. They’d say, “We’ll come back in one hour.” One hour later, they don’t come back.
Do you share the profits equally? ALSTON: Last year, all his brother Henry did was sit back and eat cookies. He’s a sweet tooth. FISCHER: This year, we paid Henry to carry a sandwich board around the park. Like, slave wages.
Which are? FISCHER: We gave him $2.
Earnings . . . . . . . . . . . . about $20


Stand 3
SAM SCHILLER, 10, AND WILL SCHILLER, 8, BROTHERS.
Location: On their stoop outside their Upper West Side apartment.
Price per cup: 25 cents.
How did you lure customers? WILL: We made up a word that was Oreo and lemonade: OREONADEOL!
Does it work? WILL: Sort of. We have a lot of customers, and a few were hobos. SAM: No customers were hobos.
How did you know what to charge? SAM: My personal financial advice is 25 cents, because everyone can afford it. Even if your allowance is $1, you will be able to afford four glasses. Also, you can make a classy combo with Oreos, or do three glasses for 50 cents.
Do you have advice about giving good customer service? SAM: You might want to joke with them. WILL: But not a lot. Sam does it too much. SAM: You know it’s good if they point their finger at you, “Ahahahaha.” Laughing is contagious.
Do you enjoy having lemonade stands? SAM: If there’s a definition of fun, that would be the definition of it.
Earnings . . . . . . . . . . . . .$20 to $30



Stand 4
WALTER GOLDBERG, 7, ELINOR WEISSBERG, 10, SIBLINGS, AND OLIVER GOLDBERG- LEWIS, 10, COUSIN.
Location: On their stoop near Prospect Park in Park Slope.
Price per cup: 50 cents.
How do you make the lemonade? ELINOR: Real lemons, real sugar, and ice.
Do you sell anything else? ELINOR: We sometimes tell people’s fortunes.
What kinds of fortunes? ELINOR: We usually pick bad ones. Like this woman walked up and we said, “You’re going to grow a beard.”
Where do you put the money? OLIVER: In a jar, but you have to hide it under the table. Otherwise, they will say, “Oh, you already have too much money! We’re not going to buy lemonade!”
What will you do with the earnings? ELINOR: I like to wait for a rainy day. I’m saving for a car when I’m 16. I’ve never touched my piggy-bank money. Once I tried to count it, but it got away from me. I was like, “One, two, three, four, I’m tired.”
Do you go to other people’s lemonade stands? OLIVER: We’re not competitive. We’ll buy their lemonade.
Earnings . . . . . . . . . . $30 to $126


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