Two lemonade stands are operating on a fairly busy street corner in Miami Gardens at Northwest 191st Street and 33rd Avenue.
Nisha’s Lemonade is on the grassy swale. She’s 14 years old and constantly crunching her business’ numbers.
“If you’re not making as much as you’re putting into it, then you probably have to change some things,” she says. “You’re supposed to make more money than you’re putting out to buy the supplies.”
She holds up a sign with colorful cutouts that reads “Lemonade $1” and waves to passing cars.
Champ’s Lemonade is just a few steps away from Nisha's on the sidewalk. Steve Bass is the 13-year-old CEO of the enterprise, his nickname is Champ.
There’s some light banter over who started their lemonade stand first.
Steve says he would prefer not to have competition, but he’s found some loyal lemonade ambassadors in customers who are posting pictures from his lemonade operation onto social media.
“People who see us on Facebook and leaders in the community like the mayor and police chief come by,” Steve says. “It makes me feel good to know that there are people to support me.”
There isn’t much to differentiate the two ubiquitous summer lemonade stands. They both sell regular and pink lemonade and one cup costs $1.
Most customers buy a cup from each stand, Nisha says, but there are a few who pick just one. In those instances, both lemonade entrepreneurs try to outdo the other.
Steve says his recipe draws repeat customers. He won’t divulge his ingredients with the competition within earshot.
He drops his voice a bit and says, “ It’s secret, it’s a secret recipe with secret ingredients.”
Nisha for her part says it’s all about hustling to get to the customers before they get a chance to consider the competition. She’ll take orders straight from a car’s window.
Melvin Grace had been riding by the lemonade stands for some days now and recently decided to stop. Before he could get out of his car, Nisha walked over and took his order: one regular lemonade.
Grace said he was impressed by both of the teens who were working in the summer heat to provide some ice-cold refreshments.
“They’re doing something positive. It’s summer time, they ain't sitting around -- they’re making themselves a couple pennies,” he says. “Earning their keep.”