While I may have learned to cook from my mother, it was my from my father that I learned about enterprise. Growing up in a family of five kids, I was his helper; perhaps because I was willing to listen, wanting to learn, or because I found it more interesting to be working than playing. Frequently, my father would take me with him when he worked, which often translated into me working long hours with low pay, often for peanuts, literally.
However, some of our endeavors were more classic-natured such as a lemonade stand. His father had owned a small soft-drink company in the late 1930s and my father was also a chemist by training so it was no surprise that my father knew how to make great lemonade. I can still recall (over 4 decades later) going to the SunMart grocery store and watching my father negotiate with the Produce Manager to buy lugs of lemons. Then we would clear the shelf of bags of sugar, empty the Dixie Cup shelf, and finally make a major dent in the bagged ice freezer. I was puzzled by the quantity that we were buying, but proud to push one heavy grocery cart, and it got lots of comments and smiles.
My father's scale of doing a lemonade stand had me wide-eyed and oh-my-gosh-looking. True to his and my dynamic, he put me to work in the sun and assured me I would sell more if he were out of the picture, watching from a distance in the shade. I set up my stand of homemade fresh-squeezed lemonade on the edge of our property, which was the edge of the golf course next to the Number 4 tee. I learned the fine art of balancing sweet and sour and water and ice. I learned customer service first hand. I had golfers lined up for a few minutes all day long. I did so well at selling lemonade that I was visited by the club house manager who bought a glass of my lemonade and then commented it was good but I was cutting into their revenue. By the third weekend I was doing great, but when I had not folded up shop as expected, the club house manger shut down my stand. My father and I enjoyed the small win of doing so well we were asked to stop.
While setting up an enterprise may not be in the cards this Father’s Day, perhaps a glass of lemonade, paired with a Chocolove Orange Peel in Dark Chocolate will be.
Happy Father’s Day.