Adventures in lemonade capitalism
Vail, CO, Colorado
Ask Hunter Honnessey his recipe for lemonade and you might get a wry smile, but it’s not likely the 12-year-old will reveal anything else.
“It’s a secret,” he said.
“People come up and ask, ‘do you boil the water?’ They try to get little things out of me but I don’t tell them. I’ve never told anyone the recipe.”
And why should he? He’s spent nearly seven years perfecting the lemon juice, water, sugar ratio. Hunter was a sweet faced 5-year-old when he first started selling fresh-squeezed lemonade from behind a false storefront stand at the Minturn Market. He sold his first cup to Minturn resident Randy Milhoan and proudly hung the dollar on the front of his stand.
What began as a lesson in capitalism turned into a family tradition ” Hunter’s younger brother Holden, now 10, opened his own stand when he was 5 years old. Together, the Honnessey brothers are the Minturn Market’s youngest entrepreneurs. First Holden sold popcorn, then he dabbled in brownies and one year, in ribs. Holden eventually found his rhythm with ice cream, and this will be his third year selling scoops of mint chocolate, cookies and cream, chocolate, vanilla and sorbet to market goers.
Hunter heard about the illustrious lemonade stand concept at age 5. Envisioning paper cups being exchanged for pocket change, he asked his parents to help him put a stand at the end of their driveway in Eagle. The problem was the family lives on a road that doesn’t get much traffic. His father, Joe Honnessey, is part owner of the Minturn Country Club, and with the Minturn Market picking up speed, he and Karen, the boys’ mother, recommended he set up the stand in the bright, busy market every Saturday instead.
“The whole thing is one big learning experience for them,” Karen said. “That was one of our motivations behind having them do it.”
Both boys are home schooled and the knowledge and first hand experience they’ve gained by filling out the booth applications, paying their own taxes, buying the product, and interacting with customers has been invaluable, she said. And, now that the boys are a little bit older, mom and dad don’t have to do nearly as much as they used to, other than drive the boys to the market each Saturday and help them set up.
Over the years Hunter has discovered that if it’s sunny on the 4th of July weekend, that’s usually his best money making day of the whole summer. The first year, Hunter sold the lemonade for a $1 a cup, partly to learn to make change, his mother said. Last year it was $2 a cup and this year, due to the rising cost of lemons and the bigger cups, he’ll sell the cups of lemonade, arnold palmers and ice tea for $3 each. Holden’s ice cream will run you $3 a scoop.
Through their lemonade and ice cream stands, both boys have also learned the true beauty of capitalism ” the profit. Hunter is the saver, Holden is the spender.
“If Holden’s not at his stand, he’s roaming around. He loves to visit the other vendors, especially the pesto man, and Kirby Cosmos,” Karen said.
This year Holden said he thinks he’ll try saving some of the money he brings in.
“Maybe,” he said, smiling.
Caramie Schnell can be reached at 748-2984 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If there’s one thing the valley does up during the summer months, it’s farmers’ markets. Vail, Minturn and Edwards each offer a weekend outdoor market filled with everything from organic produce, smoked salmon to homemade pesto and fresh baked pies.
Here are the details:
The Minturn Market
When: Saturdays, June 16- Sept. 9, from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Downtown Minturn.
Parking: Free shuttle rides into Minturn are offered from the Forest Service Parking lot, outside of town. Those riding the shuttle will receive a coupon for $1 off of a purchase of $10 or more at participating vendors.
Pets: Are not allowed at the Minturn Market.
Vendors: While some are present every week, about 40 percent will be new each week.
Live Entertainment: One music tent is located between Chilly Willy’s and the Minturn Country Club and features music from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The second tent is located on the deck of the new “Mollie G” building (along with multiple picnic tables for rest and dining) and will feature live music from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Information: Call event organizer Ashley King at 827-5645 or check out http://www.minturn.org.
When: Saturdays through Sept. 22, from 9:30 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Edward’s Corner in Edwards
Parking: Free on-site parking is available.
Pets: Pets are welcome.
Vendors: Everything from caviar, pet treats, fresh baked bread, salsas, organic produce and flowers will be sold at the market.
More Information: Call 479-1711 or check out http://www.rockymountainmarkets.com.
When: Sundays, June 17 – Sept. 23 from 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Where: Along Meadow Drive in Vail Village
Parking: Is free during the summer in both the Lionshead and Vail Village parking structures.
Pets: Pets are welcome.
Vendors: Along with organic produce, fresh pastries, cheeses, Colorado wines and ice cream. There’s also wild Alaskan seafood, brats, salsas and even dog treats.
Live Entertainment: Each week two live bands will play at the market. There will be face painting, a bouncy air castle, train rides and free balloons for kids.
More Information: Call 479-1711 or check out http://www.vailfarmersmarket.com.
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