Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Minnesota Faces: The Kool-Aid Kids August 14, 2015

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 5:00 AM
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Portrait #35: Kool-Aid vendors Quinlan, Jazmyn and William

Quinlan, left; his sister, Jazmyn; and friend William sell lemonade on March 17, 2012. The boys were the primary sellers. Jazmyn assisted occasionally and popped in for the photo.

Quinlan, left; his sister, Jazmyn; and friend William sell Kool-Aid on March 17, 2012. The boys were the primary sellers. Jazmyn assisted occasionally and popped in for the photo.

They—youth selling Kool-Aid or lemonade—settle into the landscape of a Minnesota summer, drawing us like moths to a porch light. We can’t resist cute and industrious kids and the offer of an icy beverage on a sweltering summer day.

The kids photographed here, though, were peddling Kool-Aid on St. Patrick’s Day 2012, when the temperature soared to an unbelievable 80 degrees in southern Minnesota. Kind of like the weather we’re experiencing now, minus the humidity.

Friends Quinlan, then 12, and William, then 10, were experienced entrepreneurs having sold Kool-Aid the previous year on the same busy street corner in Faribault. Sometimes it’s all about location, location, location.

Usually, it seems, these pop-up business owners have a plan for their profits. The summer prior, the boys had reinvested their money in the business and then spent the rest at the local Aquatic Center and Rice County Fair and on video games. They had yet to allocate the new season’s funds, although some had already been spent on Hot Wheels at the next-door garage sale.

I hope you’ve stopped at a kid’s lemonade or Kool-Aid stand this summer and dropped a quarter or more. Kids who take the initiative to set up a stand and then sit for hours vending beverages show determination and gumption. They’re also learning the value of working for their money. That I’ll support.

The Minnesota Faces series is featured every Friday on Minnesota Prairie Roots.

© Copyright 2015 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


23 Responses to “Minnesota Faces: The Kool-Aid Kids”

  1. Beth Ann Says:

    Who can resist a kid and a drink stand any time of the year?

  2. True Entrepreneurs – Great Capture – love that they are working the logo shirts too for Monster Energy Drinks and Fairbault Foods plus football – 25 cents is a good deal too for a glass of kool drink! Happy Weekend – Enjoy 🙂

  3. Jackie Says:

    Looks like they even have a few flavors to choose from. I almost alway give them a buck, I love the reaction they get when you tell them “no change”. I great way (in a small way) to teach them generosity and kindness which hopefully they will pay forward as they grow. Enjoying your “Minnesota faces” as always Audrey 🙂

  4. Sweet Posy Dreams Says:

    Wonderful photo. I can’t think when I last saw a lemonade stand.

  5. The other day I drove by a lemonade stand run by our neighbor kids. I always feel guilty when I do. In a sense, with all the changes that have happened with child rearing over the years it’s amazing that kids still do this kind of thing.

    • I agree that it’s surprising kids still have lemonade stands. My youngest daughter, when she was about four, sold dandelions on Mother’s Day. I was sitting nearby on the steps to supervise, especially given her young age. You would not believe how many people bought “bouquets for Mom.” Especially humorous were the neighbor kids who purchased dandelions. They had an entire yard blooming in yellow “flowers.”

      Ah, next time stop and buy from the neighbor kids…

  6. treadlemusic Says:

    It’s been a while since I’ve paid only .25!!!! The last glass (earlier this Spring) was a dollar!!!!!! Having a stand like that was not done in my neighborhood growing up.

  7. Cute kids and what a sale. I am pretty sure we paid a dollar a glass for Lemon aid

  8. I just love how you capture the beauty in every day things, darling! xx

  9. Littlesundog Says:

    We do no see refreshment stands much anymore. My sister and I did stop by a lemonade stand last year – oddly it was in a residential area and not on a busy street. It was weak lemonade from a powder mix, but those kids were serious and had marketing skills… and best of all, smiles and a “thank you” of appreciation! Great photograph, Audrey!

  10. It’s adorable. My neighbors can never resists my kids. LOL

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