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Lemonade stand with Adopt-A-Class sparks young entrepreneurs

CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- When you think of kids and lemonade stands do you think of business plans, marketing strategies and graphics packages?

You probably don't and you probably don't picture a lemonade stand on a busy corner of Over-The-Rhine.  But that's what Joe Webb found at 13th and Main Thursday afternoon.

It's called "The Refreshing Lemon."  A start up, squeezed onto the corner of 13th and Main.  It is a lemonade stand but a whole lot more.  It's a business.  It may be run by 10 and 11-year-olds but they have their own consultant. 

David Mentzel from Sales Genesis said, "They did a complete business plan.  We've got a complete business model.  They created their own logo. Their own signage and marketing materials."
Mentzel's company, Sales Genesis, adopted the fourth and fifth grade classes as part of the Adopt-A-Class  program.  The boys originally wanted to start an NBA team but, as all good businessmen do, adjusted their goals.

They've been working with professionals for the last few months, posted ads earlier in the week and launched The Refreshing Lemon Thursday at noon.  Aedon Mattingly is in charge of sales and said his product really sells itself.

"Because it's refreshing.  Since it's kind of a hot day you could buy some and it would be good," Mattingly told Joe Webb.

There are four boys in the adopted class but Thursday they are much more than just 10 and 11-year-old kids.  On this day they are a CEO, a CFO, a COO and a Sales and Marketing guy.  Isaiah was chosen to be the CEO.  He's got the leadership role down.

"To help the other people in the business and when they want a break, take their job and help them out," Isaiah said.
And that's what the CEO did.  He and the other execs worked as a team.  Sales were brisk and money was made.  More importantly, a group of young guys learned they could interact with grown ups doing grown up jobs.

"They have the social opportunity to talk to other people outside the classroom.  There's so much you can teach in the classroom but getting this much more social interaction is wonderful for them," said a Refreshing Lemon patron.
The team cooled off  some parched throats and made a cool hundred dollars for their effort.  Like most successful business ventures, the management of The Refreshing Lemon wants to be a good neighbor.  They are donating the bulk of their profits to the Mary Magdalena House on Main Street.

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