Young entrepreneur uses lemonade, technology to raise money for her school

Brynn Baker poses by her lemonade stand outside her Champlin house. Baker raised more than $1,000 which will be donated to her school.

Brynn Baker isn’t the first young entrepreneur to have a lemonade stand, and certainly won’t be the last. That said, the 7-year-old Champlin girl wanted to raise money for her school in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic that she doesn’t fully understand.

Bottom line: she wanted to help.

Brynn’s mother, Christy, describes her daughter as a persistent talker and negotiator who wants to have the last word. Again, not an unusual trait for a curious elementary school girl. But Brynn took her lemonade stand to another level.

And that, she did.

A couple days of lemonade sales along with the help of a little technology led to more than $1,000 being raised – all of which will be donated to St. Stephen’s Elementary School in Anoka.

“Brynn is always telling me ‘should we donate this?’” Christy said. “Or she’ll pick up trash all the time if we’re at the park. She’s always thinking about making the world around her a better place. Brynn has such a big heart and she loves to make people happy.”

With the pandemic going on and her not being in school since March, she knew something was wrong and that a lot of people were sad.

“We were at our cabin one weekend thinking of ideas of what she could that would help her school,” she said. “Since she loves lemonade, we came up with the lemonade stand. We promoted it to other St. Stephen’s families to raise money for the school with a lemonade stand, and a few other families did one as well.”

The lemonade stand debuted on Aug. 7, with another edition on Aug. 17. Christy estimates about 25 people stopped by on each day.

“It’s nice to help people and give money to our school. I also met a lot of nice people,” Brynn said.

ONLINE OPTION, TOO

But with COVID-19 still prevalent, Brynn and her parents set up an online lemonade stand. Customers would purchase a glass of lemonade via PayPal, which Brynn plans to respond with a personal “thank you” card along with a powder lemonade packet.

The online option also was available for customers who weren’t comfortable with buying a glass in-person They also offered prepackaged snacks, though Christy admits that Brynn and her sisters possibly affected the business model with a little self-sampling.

“This sort of thing has really become second nature to Brynn — giving back,” Christy said. “It has really taught her to think about the world and the community around her that might need more help or more love.”

There was no predetermined price for a glass of lemonade. The donation amount was up to the customer.

Some put in a dollar to two. Then, they started seeing the occasional $5 and $20 bill. They eventually pulled a $50 from the stash of cash.

“It was pretty awesome to watch,” Christy said. “She loved seeing new and familiar faces. Her kindergarten teacher told her that she’s a fabulous saleswoman. Our next door neighbors told Brynn that she always has a smile and hug waiting, and getting a lemonade too was a treat.”

The secret to her success, Brynn said, was simply a tasty product.

“My lemonade was perfect — perfect sugar, perfect water, and perfect lemonade,” she said.

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