A lemonade stand in Acushnet was a hot spot over the weekend when two siblings decided to kick their business up a notch. Their parents gave them a challenge, and the children rose to the occasion when they found out a new puppy was on the line.

Tom and Tammy St. Michel live with their two children, Ella and Cole, on Hamlin Street in Acushnet. Ella and Cole have been very vocal about wanting a family dog.

“They have been bugging my husband and I forever,” joked Tammy, “But we always say no.”

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Ella, 15, and Cole, 9, are well beyond their years when it comes to the art of negotiation. Once every few weeks, they will prepare a presentation, defending and explaining their case for a puppy.

But Tom and Tammy wouldn’t budge. The parents would throw every excuse under the sun at their kids.

“We would tell them our yard is too small, we travel too much, we don’t have enough,” Tom said. “But honestly, we were running out of excuses."

Finally, mom said, “Save up some money, then maybe you can get a dog.”

After some brainstorming, the Hamlin Street Lemonade stand was born. However, this wasn’t your average lemonade stand. These young entrepreneurs understood the importance of wowing the customer.

With a little help from mom and their cousin Donovan, Ella and Cole offered small, medium, or large strawberry lemonades with puréed strawberries, accompanied with a berry garnish and paper straw.

Courtesy of Shannon- Melvin Souza Rodriguez & Tammy St. Michel

These kids knew they needed to do more than just mix water with some lemonade powder packets. A new dog was on the line.

“We had one lady come to the stand, and she was so impressed that she took a selfie with her lemonade and posted it online,” Tom said. After that, the stand was booming.

“For the rest of the afternoon, we had three to five cars in the driveway,” he said. “We even ran out of product. I had to run to the store and replenish.”

Online posts began circulating about these two Acushnet children who were selling lemonade to buy a dog, and that’s when reality kicked in for Tom and Tammy – the lemonade stand was working.

“They raised a good amount of money and now we’re looking at a dog website,” Tammy said. “They enjoyed (the lemonade stand) so much, and I was all for it…my little entrepreneurs.”

The Hamlin Street Lemonade Stand won’t be a brick-and-mortar business any time soon, but the kids plan on setting up shop again in hopes of getting that much closer to a new puppy.

Cheers to the next generation of businesspeople and to the dogs that motivate us.

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