Outrage After Cops Shut Down Lemonade Stand, But Reports Left Out Some Details

The media reported that police shut down a kids' lemonade stand but left out some important details about the incident.

Stapleton, CO – People were outraged after they heard that police shut down a kids’ lemonade stand on Memorial Day in Colorado, but initial reports about the incident left out some important details.

The media broadly reported that a disgruntled neighbor had alerted police that the children were operating a business without a permit in a park across the street from their home, and officers showed up and put them out of business.

“The police officers, they couldn’t have been nicer, but someone complained about us,” the children’s mother, Jennifer Knowles, told KCNC. “It makes me sad that someone would do that.”

Knowles said she had fond memories of making and selling lemonade at her own stand in the summer as a child, and that she wanted to expose her sons, ages 2, 4, and 6, to the same life lessons.

“I want to teach my kids about being an entrepreneur and having your own business,” she told KCNC. “My 6-year-old got his little toy cash register out…and he was learning how to interact with customers and about customer service.”

But just 30 minutes after their stand opened, someone called the police to report that the children were operating a business without a permit.

“The police officers came over and they said that because my boys and I did not have permits for a lemonade stand they shut us down and we had to stop immediately,” Knowles told KCNC. “My boys were crushed. They were devastated.”

What Knowles failed to mention to reporters initially was the fact that the “park” across the street where she chose to set up her small children’s lemonade stand was actually Coors Field, a giant stadium which was hosting the Denver Arts Festival, according to The Washington Examiner.

And the “neighbor” who complained to the authorities about the competing lemonade stand was a beverage vendor who had an actual permit to sell lemonade at the event, and was losing business, The Washington Examiner reported.

The kids were selling their lemonade two for a dollar, while the commercial vendor who had paid for his permit to be there was charging $7 a glass, KCNC reported.

“We had never thought that the other lemonade vendor could feel threatened by our little kid lemonade stand,” Knowles told KCNC. “I can understand why someone would get upset.”

“They got a lot of people coming and praising the boys and telling them that they were doing a great job,” Knowles said. “That was so good for my boys to hear and for them to interact with people they’ve never met before in a business way.”

Communications Program Manager Alexandra Foster said that the department doesn’t generally enforce permit rules in cases of child entrepreneurship unless they receive a complaint.

“If our inspectors go to a lemonade stand, it means we’ve received a complaint, and generally complaints stem from high levels of activity or noise that disrupt neighbors,” Foster told KCNC. “So generally, as long as the impact is minimal, we’re happy to let kids have fun in the summer.”

Knowles told KCNC that the boys earned $200 before police shut them down, and that they had planned to give their proceeds to a charity called Compassion International. The $125 permit she failed to purchase would have cut their profits by more than half.

“In hindsight we would have never set up where we did, when we did, and we would have just done it another time. Lesson learned,” she said.

According to KRDO, when Compassion International in Colorado Springs learned about the boys’ thwarted business venture, they invited them to come open a new lemonade stand at their property.

The kids’ Colorado Springs stand will be open on Thursday, from noon until 2 p.m.

Comments (19)
No. 1-19
Marxest
Marxest

It's a cutthroat world that businessmen live in. Take heed young entrepreneurs. Any threat, even from young children is SAVAGELY dealt with.

Cstuartsr
Cstuartsr

This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. Those little boys were learning a live’s lesson and grown people got jealous because they were stealing by charging $7.00 a glass and the little boys set a more realistic price. It’s ashame society knocks down even the little people. Karma will answer to them!

johnnycab23513
johnnycab23513

Anyone charging $77.00 for a glass of lemonade should also be shut down. You can bet none of their profits to go charity!

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

He's charging $7 for a glass of lemonade......they were @ 2/$1 . No wonder the rip off artist called and reported them. Whatever happened to free enterprise ? If he'd been charging a more reasonable price, he could have done better. Sheesh

Officer Cynical
Officer Cynical

At $7 a pop, there better be more than just lemonade in that glass.

Buzz17
Buzz17

I understand the business side of this situation. You may not like paying $7.00/glass for lemonade, BUT--& here's the important legal issue--this was an organized arts festival & the kids did not belong there with their lemonade stand as even their mom recognized! If they had been selling it in front of their own home, fine, go for it, kids!! No problem! But, it would be like an adult setting up a liquor stand outside a bar! Would you fault the owner of the bar if he called the police when someone is underselling his product immediately outside his door? I hope not! I'd think everyone here can understand the situation! The problem wasn't the kids' lemonade stand. The problem was its location at an arts festival where business owners were forced, by law, to purchase a permit to sell. The kids hadn't done that.

QueuedLogic
QueuedLogic

Government over reach run a muck. Glad the kids learned this lesson early.

TheDude
TheDude

Just buy the permit next time. Is it better to teach your kids they don't have to follow the law if they want to make money?

Memere
Memere

Put the shoe on the other foot! Even though the man was overcharging and probably wouldn't sell that much, he was doing it accordingly and he has a business to run. This is a great lesson for those kids to learn and mom seems to get it...so what's the problem?!

HCD_is_my_bitch
HCD_is_my_bitch

This is no different than the guys hustling ear plugs for $1 a piece outside of the stadium when there's a monster truck show, 4 wheeler or dirt bike race. Vs. buying ear protection inside the event for $25. And no different than people selling vegetables on the side of the road. Why hurt kids?

Ferox45
Ferox45

Rules are rules.. By disobeying the rules, you're teaching your children to be dishonest. Kids, adults, it doesn't matter. If you set up a business you need a permit. Especially at a major event. If this was in their neighborhood, then fine. But it wasn't. Also, this is why I have ZERO faith in the media. Media LIES.

KPOWROCKS
KPOWROCKS

She wanted to teach them a life lesson... Lesson 1- follow the law.

Sixpacksack
Sixpacksack

Hey Marxist watchout im gonna call upon Pinochet from the grave to get you boo hahahaha

HCD_is_my_bitch
HCD_is_my_bitch

As long as the kids are aware it wasn't the cops' fault, someone complained.

Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

@HCD_is_my_bitch Nice screen name! I look forward to your commentary.

However the hero worship and latent homosexuality inherent in a name that not only mentions another man but alludes to sexual relations with said man is something you're going to have to deal with on your own.

GetReal.
GetReal.

$7 per cup. Included in price: Cost of supplies, cost of booth rental, cost of buying ice from the venue at higher than normal prices, cost of insurance, plus other hidden cost from permits and add something so the lemonade stand could make a profit. The kids got off easy and Mom should be handed a bill for what the permitted stand lost during that period of time.

GenXConservative
GenXConservative

My beef here is not with the cops at all. My beef is with the business vendor who thinks that the appropriate way to handle a perceived loss of business from a little kids' lemonade stand is to sic the cops on them. That reflects very badly on the maturity of this "adult," who should be disciplined for bullying and harassing young kids.

SandyMalone_is_$2
SandyMalone_is_$2

GenXCon Was complaining to the police about a illegal vendor wrong?