Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Summertime in Minnesota: A boy & his lemonade stand July 29, 2015

Cooper Soderberg opened his lemonade stand in Faribault last week.

Cooper Soderberg opened his lemonade stand/snack bar in Faribault last week.

THERE’S SOMETHING INEXPLICABLY grassroots wonderful about a kid and a lemonade stand.

Lemonade stand details, misspelling and all.

Lemonade stand details, misspelling and all, and likely intentionally.

Last week, 11-year-old Cooper Soderberg decided he wanted to earn a little money for a new computer and also contribute to the Wounded Warrior Project. Half of his profits are going to help soldiers’ families.

Cooper is selling chips, candy and lemonade.

Cooper is selling chips, candy and lemonade.

So he and his grandma dug a handcrafted Kool-Aid stand—the one his mom used 37 years ago—out of her basement, spruced it up and set up a snack shop. His first day open on Division Street near the Faribault Senior Center, Cooper made $30. He got lots of tips.

Cooper tends his business while the Lakelanders Barbershop Chorus performs in the Central Park Bandshell.

Cooper tends his business while the Lakelanders Barbershop Chorus performs in the Central Park Bandshell. His grandma assists.

Thursday evening he parked his stand at Central Park for the weekly Concerts in the Park performance. Business didn’t appear especially brisk. But that didn’t seem to phase this young entrepreneur vending lemonade, chips and candy.

Preparing for customers.

Preparing lemonade for customers. You can find Cooper’s business along Division Street by the Faribault Senior Center.

I interviewed him and photographed him. Then, after I shot my last frame, Cooper strode over and shook my hand, a sure sign of a confident businessman destined for success.

BONUS PHOTOS from the concert:

This year's concerts also feature en plein air artists. These are Pat Johnson's brushes.

This year’s concerts also feature en plein air artists. These are Pat Johnson’s brushes.

Irina Mikhaylova created this pastel of a concert going couple.

Irina Mikhaylova created this pastel of a couple at the concert.

In the casual atmosphere of the park, some concert goers bring their dogs.

In the casual atmosphere of the park, some concert goers bring their dogs.

Dana Hanson's oil paints.

Dana Hanson’s oil paints.

A concert goer poses with a caricature created by Irina Mikhaylova.

A concert goer poses with a caricature created by Irina Mikhaylova, right.

FYI: Click here to read an earlier post about the artists who were part of the July 23 Concerts in the Park evening.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling

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16 Responses to “Summertime in Minnesota: A boy & his lemonade stand”

  1. Almost Iowa Says:

    That lemonade cart is exceptionally cool. But did you notice something about the wheels? They are “baby buggy” wheels. Back when I was a boomer kid, there were a lot of baby buggies and oh, when they were abandoned, we descended upon them like ravenous vultures to build “chugs” (push go-carts).

    Love the bonus photos.

  2. treadlemusic Says:

    A very special event made even more so by all the others who participated “off stage”!!!!!! Love the lawn chair couple and the “Lemon Aide” stand (that was Mom’s!!!!).

  3. Mike Says:

    I’m so happy to see that there are still kids out there who are willing to do something to not only make money for something they want but also to help others out. I hope this young man is as successful as I think he will be. I do notice that the 25 cents we charged has gone up though haha.

  4. Beth Ann Says:

    Fun post about a great young entrepreneur. That is what it is all about and I guarantee that this young man is going places. 🙂 Even if he has a quirky way of spelling lemonade. I suspect that is why it is in quotes. Favorite pic has to be the dog in the post. Perfect.

  5. How SWEET Is That – love the story of the Cart 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing – Happy Day – Enjoy!

  6. Jackie Says:

    You dont see the lemonade stands around as much anymore, and this one is the coolest I’ve ever seen with the wheels and all. Even better that he is sharing in his proceeds, God bless that little boy and his goodness!

  7. Fabulous photos, dear!
    That little boy may be the next Donald Trump. NOOOO! Scratch that!
    He’s adorable.
    Love the dog, too! xx


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