The lemonade stand has become a sort of iconic institution in the American narrative: the kid on the side of the road peddling lemonade from a pitcher. A way to make a little extra change and stave of summer boredom while also picking up a thing or two about the fundamentals of entrepreneurship.
But the lemonade stand can be so much more. Not only a teaching tool but a way to help young people with disabilities learn entrepreneurship.
Case in point: Sherilyn Hayward’s business, Leroy’s Lip Smack’n Lemonade.
Sherilyn is co-owner of this local Baton Rouge lemonade biz, Leroy’s Lip Smack’n Lemonade, an enterprise she and her husband Dan started with their son Leroy in 2012, when Leroy was just 6 years old and participating in Lemonade Day Louisiana, a nationwide annual event that teaches children how to be entrepreneurs.
From that simple beginning the one-day lemonade stand expanded to festivals and pop-up locations, eventually growing into a full blown business. Today, Leroy’s Lip Smack Lemonade is sold in 40 grocery stores around Baton Rouge and beyond, as well as in Tiger Stadium.
But business success is not what makes this enterprise so unique. Rather it’s that Leroy is a special needs kid, and the real mission of the business is not just profit. It’s also to teach Leroy and other kids with what we think of as life-limiting -challenges that there are, in reality, no limits in life except the ones you put on yourself.
Leroy’s Lip Smack’n Lemonade employs Leroy and other young people with disabilities. The company is also helping Children’s Hospital, donating a portion of proceeds from every sale it makes to the institution
Kevin Whalen is the owner of Rally Cap Brewing Company, a Baton Rouge based micro brewery he founded in 2017, with friend and business partner Jeremy Brown.
In the years since, the business has grown to include a baseball-themed tap room, which opened in 2019 and features several different brews that vary by season, all brewed right here at its brewing facility in the Industriplex area.
Kevin Whalen is a self-taught brew-master. He’s had a passion for brewing for more than a decade and teamed up with Jeremy Brown when they met in business school at Duke University and decided that seeing they both wanted to own their own business they’d join forces.
Along the way, Kevin has had a varied and interesting career – has worked for the Montreal Expos, as well as minor league clubs, been Assistant Athletic Director at Lamar University in Texas, and served as vice president of casino operations at L’Auberge Casino.
In the heat of a South Louisiana Summer, there’s very little that’s more refreshing than a cold beer or lemonade. And if you’re in Baton Rouge that refreshment is made even better knowing your cooling libation is made from fresh ingredients not more than a handful of miles from where you’re drinking it.
Out to Lunch is recorded live over lunch at Mansurs on the Boulevard. Photos by Erik Otts.