Secrets to lemonade stand success

The second annual Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium will raise funds for cancer with this classic summer kids’ activity

lemonadeIt’s one of the most popular summer activities for entrepreneurial kids: hosting a lemonade stand. And on June 21, many kids across Ottawa will take part in the second annual Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium.

The event is part of a fun fundraising campaign for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Last year, The Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium raised more than $53,000. Those funds helped support a cancer breakthrough in a local lab.

Participation is easy, fun and open to everyone. Just register your stand at and you’re on your way.

Once registered, each child participant has their own personalized online headquarters to track their progress, accept donations, and be eligible for great prizes.

Parents – help kids kickstart their campaign by recruiting family and friends for support.

And on Saturday, June 21, Ottawa youngsters will host their own lemonade stands in their neighbourhoods.

So get creative and ask your local grocery store to host your stand in front of their location, or team up with a baseball or soccer game and provide refreshing lemonade for the players and fans – all while raising money for local cancer care.

If you can’t host a stand before or on June 21, please stop by a lemonade stand and enjoy a glass.  Look for the stand closest to you at and help us put the SQUEEZE on cancer.

Meanwhile, here are some useful tips to help create a fun, successful lemonade stand.

Make the Stand

It can be as easy as a table, two chairs and some shade. The kids and I have turned our puppet theatre into a fun and functional lemonade stand. We have also created a mobile stand using our wagon. Need more inspiration? Recycle items from your home to create a unique stand!

Quick tips:

• Paint and decorate with bright colours.

•Consider using chalkboard or paint to make an instant sign on the stand.

•Paint large letters that stand out. Remember, kids’ lettering and handwriting are much cuter than adults’. 

•Attach pinwheels, streamers, balloons or other moving decorations to draw attention.

Help Spread the Word

Make sure people hear about your stand well before June 21. This will allow them to make time to drop by your stand that day or to make an advance donation. Be sure to let people know that you are raising money for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Quick tips:

• Create a flyer and deliver it to neighbours.

• Make a “Coming Soon” sign for your lawn.

• Tell you teachers and school friends.

• Hang up posters around your neighbourhood.

• Call your relatives, near and far.

• Have mom and dad send an email to their contacts. Include a link to your online stand with your advertisement.

Stand Out to Attract Customers

We are hoping for great weather for the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium and for your lemonade stand, but we cannot rely on sunshine alone to bring out customers. We need to make some noise to get their attention. Remember: the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium takes place rain or shine!

Quick tips:

•Display a basket of colourful lemons on your table to get attention.

•Make great signs. Use large letters, arrows and eye-catching colours. 

•Put out a bowl of water for dogs. This will help attract people out walking their dogs.

•Play music and get your groove on. Dance, dance, dance.

•Offer baked goods or seasonal fruit for sale at your table as well.

•Bring out your pom-poms and shout out a lemonade cheer.

Stay busy, keep it fun!

Stay busy between customers; it will make the day fly by and attract people to the activity at your stand.

•Make crafts: friendship pins, bracelets and keepsakes

•Chalk drawing• Skipping• Cheering

• Hopscotch• Jacks

Customer Service

Young entrepreneurs and community builders gain valuable experience by participating in the Great Canadian Lemonade Standemonium. The core principles of marketing and good customer service are essential to fundraising success, so:

•Be polite and cheerful.

•Smile at your customers and thank them for stopping by, even if they don’t buy anything.

•Give the customer your full attention when they arrive.

•Engage the customer in small talk: “How is your day going? Did you have a lemonade stand as a kid?”

•“Upsell” by suggesting baked goods.

Julie Findlay is an educator and mom who truly enjoys sharing solutions and resources for busy parents and caregivers. From family recipes to creative ideas and on-the-go tips, she’s always topical, she’s always trendy, she’s Mom in the Know. Twitter:@momintheknow,,