Nanny State

Summer Has Arrived with the Annual Shutting Down of a Kid's Lemonade Stand

Texas regulations intended to improve the legal climate for home cooks invoked.

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The police considered their smiles to be a sign of aggression toward them, and the girls were subsequently Tazed.
Source: Sandi Evans

Technically summer doesn't begin for another couple of weeks, but southern states like Texas don't care when summer is technically supposed to start. It's warm down there, and two young sisters in Overton with the adorable, media-friendly names of Andria and Zoey Green (8 and 7 years old, respectively) decided to sell lemonade to raise money for a father's day gift (a trip to a water park, because summer!).

Cut to the "you can't do that"-ery from the government. From KTLV:

They had been open for about an hour and had already made more than $25, when police showed up, initially because they were set up near the curb in a residential street.

"A code enforcement officer and the chief, she called me to the side and said we needed a permit," [mother] Sandi [Evans] recalls.

The City agreed to waive the $150 fee for a 'Peddler's Permit," but the health department would prove a bigger problem.

Police Chief Clyde Carter explains, "It is a lemonade stand but they also have a permit that they are required to get."

It gets better, by which I actually mean worse. They can't get this permission that they need to get. Texas has legislation to regulate home cooks. Food that requires any sort of temperature control to prevent spoilage cannot be sold without inspection and a permit. Lemonade qualifies under this rule because it could grow bacteria if left out. (A quick Google search has not provided much information about whether this is a claim to be treated seriously. It is possible, but it seems the acidity of the lemons reduces the risks.)

I should point out that HB 970, passed in 2013, is intended to make it easier for home cooks. If the little moppets had been selling canned jam or homemade pickles, they would have been just fine. The kettle corn the girls' were also selling is covered under the rule. But lemonade is not. You can read Texas' home cook rules here. Keep Food Legal's Baylen Linnekin wrote about Texas' regulations positively in 2013 for Reason here. Believe it or not, Texas' laws on home food preparation and sales are actually better than they used to be.

This is getting lots of media attention because it's the government boot coming down on the necks of cute little children. If it were some filthy homeless man trying to raise money to pay for a night's sleep at a hotel, a lot people outraged over this incident would likely be cheering on the police.

More from Reason on regulations that crush the entrepreneurial spirit of little kids here.

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89 responses to “Summer Has Arrived with the Annual Shutting Down of a Kid's Lemonade Stand

  1. But there could be millions of people poisoned by lemonade stands every year!!! Nanny gotta save us from this scourge!!! Think of the chillllllllllllldrun!!!

    1. Also, this seems like a good time to point out the dangers of powdered lemonade. Someone could stick it up their butt and suffer a sugar overdose.

      1. Not to mention the chemical burns they would incur on their colon from all the citric acid.

        1. Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go? to tech tab for work detail,,,,,,,

          ????????????? http://www.pay-buzz.com

      2. What about lemonade soaked tampons ?

        1. Or lemon flavored Jenkem?

      3. My niece had a lemondae stand when she was 10. Used real lemons, no powdered stuff. Tasted great. Charged 2 or 3 dollars (can’t remember exactly)

        Cop comes up to the stand. No arrest, no shutdown – STILL an asshole. Pays his money, she gives him a 12-16 ounce cup of lemonade; he takes one sip and then throws it on the ground. Guess he thought powdered lemonade is the real thing.

  2. Land of the free. Home of the brave. How does anyone not cringe at the irony of those phrases?

    1. The sentence; “A quick Google search has not provided much information about whether this is a claim to be treated seriously. It is possible, but it seems the acidity of the lemons reduces the risks.” only added to my confidence that the West is doomed.

    2. “Land of the fee and home of the enslaved…”

    3. Hey.. I live here to ya know.
      It doesn’t say all our minds have to be free.
      Or all of us not squirmy at a little extra mineral in our lemonade.

  3. Nice alt-text Shackford. You’re giving 2Chilly a run for his munny.

    1. Since 2Chilli is leaving, Shackford will duke it out with Ed for the alt-text crown.

      1. Suderman was really on it at one point, but not so much lately.

        Heavy is the crown on the Alt Text king….

      2. 2Chilli is leaving?

        How did I not know? What is this bullshit? Easily my favorite reason writer.

        1. It was announced at 7:01.

        2. He’s no longer on staff, but he’ll still contribute writing. That’s how I understand it.

  4. When my younger brother and sister were like 11 and 9, they had sno-cone business.
    We grew up in a little town (still had the band stand in the town square kind of small town).
    They would go to the town picnic, the Memorial day parade etc.
    So goddam archtypical small town America you half expected Marian the Librarian to show up and burst into song.
    So when I read shit like this I really weep for what this country has become.

    1. my neighborhood still has lemonade stands and such – I make a point of stopping by.

      1. And….

        Demanding free lemonade?

        1. “Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho!
          Capitalist lemonade one-percenters got to go!

          Hey! Hey! Ho! Ho!
          ……”

    2. It’s really emblematic of the mindset that’s what’s dragging the economy into the shitter, ever faster. Wanna run a business? That’ll be fifteen permits, a dozen licenses, ten thousand dollars in application fees and bonds, a handful of environmental impact assessments, and that’s just to open the doors. Once you’re actually in business, there’s 18 linear feet of shelving of special business regulations you have to comply with, from the height of handicapped accessible counters to the quarter inch, and all the various regulations to comply with if you dare employ anyone…

      Is it any wonder that lots of people say “Oh, fuck that. Nevermind.”

      1. I’ve been waiting for the backlash against that shit for decades, but there’s virtually none, and the rule books just keep gettin’ thicker.

        THAT makes me lose hope.

  5. This is getting lots of media attention because it’s the government boot coming down on the necks of cute little children. If it were some filthy homeless man trying to raise money to pay for a night’s sleep at a hotel, a lot people outraged over this incident would likely be cheering on the police.

    Principals, not principles.

  6. This was 2012:
    “Bid to Ease the Squeeze on Business
    San Francisco Aims to Simplify Rules, Lighten the Burden on Entrepreneurs”
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB…..?mg=id-wsj

    Must have worked as well as fixing the NHS, since there was a nearly identical headline in the Chron this morning, with a note from the mayor that getting the permits to start a restaurant could take several weeks!
    Actually, it’s far closer to a year, so if those gals want to sell lemonade in SF in 2016, they’d better start now.

    1. Getting the permits is gonna be like getting your kid into the right pre-school. You’ll have to apply before the kid is born.

  7. The state has to teach them at a young age that they must get permission from the state for everything they do. How else will they learn?

    Remember, if it isn’t explicitly permitted, it’s banned.

    1. And if it is explicitly permitted, it’s required.

      1. and if it’s measurable in any way, it can be taxed… no other criteria.

  8. Overton, TX has a population of 2500 people. Why does a town of that size need a code enforcement officer?

    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

    1. I think you just answered your own question!

    2. Overton, TX has a population of 2500 people. Why does any town of that size need a code enforcement officer?

      FTFY

      1. Well,yes but I meant the question more as a practical one. Usually you don’t see the accoutrement positions in a small town. Do they have meter maids too?

        1. used to live in a small town in N California. Maybe 1000 folks total. Ugly tennant “reported” low ceiling height in the bedroom of the house she happily rented from me for super cheap…. county condemned the entire dwelling for it. ONE INCH too low!!! Had to fis it before I could rent Went to City Hall, the mayor herself was there, asked if she could help. Yeah, I need to see about a building permit. Oh, you need to see Scotty. He’s down on Third Street trying to fix a leaky water main. I walked the three blocks, saw the city truck parked, blocking the hole he had dug in the lane (no flaggers or barricades, they cost too much for the city’s budget) Scotty sees me and says HOWDY, how ya doin? Fine, looks like you’ve got a job of work going on down there. Yeah… so, what’s up? Well, I need to see about a building permit/ BUILDING PERMIT< what for? well, I gotta raise the ceiling a bit in my rental chack. Aw, heck, I’m too dang busy to mess with thet. You tearing out any bearing walls or anytiung like that? Nope…. you know what youre doing, you won’t do anything stupid. Just go home and get busy. And let me gat back to finishing this/ OK, thanks, Scotty.

          1. THAT was the end of it all. I just pulled the joists and nailed the sheetrock onto the bottom of the rafters… “vaulted ceiling” effect. Took me four hours and cost a total of twenty bucks. Had the place rented in a week. Now THAT is how it oughtta work. Same with lemonade stands. Anyone gets sick, word spreads, folks won’t go there any more. Kids will have to grow up and leave home before they can open another stand elsewhere, smarter this time. Yeah, government is the cure for everything.. except government. And THAT is the terminal disease afflicing us all.

  9. Nothing left to cut.

  10. My grandfather would be appalled to learn that *this* is what he spent time in a German POW camp defending.

    1. You know, that’s actually disturbingly thought provoking. Props to grandpa.

      1. I wish that I could pass them along, but he passed away about ten years ago. He was a fantastic guy. I highly doubt that, if asked, he’d have agreed that this kind of crap, and the nannies who came up with it / morons who enforced it, were what he nearly died fighting for.

        1. if he fought in the Second German War, he also lived through at least part of the Great Depression. He KNOWS how life works.

  11. I guess this illegal deal…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …just went sour.

    1. YEEEEEAH !

      1. *guitar chord*

  12. It looks like they had too much…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …zest for crime.

    1. That joke was a lemon.

    2. I AM NOT GOING TO EVEN WASTE A NARROWED GAZE ON YOU, YOU MONSTER!

      1. YEEEEAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

        1. I love you guys. *slurps coffee*

          1. I know I’m not supposed to talk about the war, but…

            yeah i love how this group can go from juvenile humor and silly movie references to the most erudite discussions of history, literature, politics you name it.

            I mean there are people posting here that have actually read Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, fer chrissakes.

            1. I’ve looked at the some of the pictures…

  13. But without government who would shut down children’s lemonade stands?

    1. Government is just another word for the lemonade stands we shut down together.

    2. street gangs?

  14. When life gave these two lemons…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …they made off like bandits.

    1. Forget it – he’s on a roll….

  15. It seems for some a life of crime is just…

    [dons sunglasses]

    ..too a-peel-ing.

    1. It seems your little jokes

      (dons sunglasses)

      ..are running out of juice.

  16. It’s a shame these girls tried to…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …juice their profits.

    1. Dude…..srsly…..

  17. My favorite David Caruso role is “The King of New York” – especially the scene at Wesley Snipes’ character’s funeral, where Christopher Walken’s character drives by in a limo and shoots “David Caruso’s character in the face with a shotgun.

    YEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-OOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!

  18. Well, to answer your question, Scott, just about anything exposed to air for long enough will decompose to some degree. Lemons are an acid, which retards spoiling and is hostile to mold and most bacterias, as is sugar. This is how jams used to stay preserved even when only topped by a lid or sealed with paraffin (common canning methods for jam, not everyone used to use the water bath method). Modern store jams use less sugar, and thus need refrigeration, but even they will take a week or so to mold at room temperature once opened.

    So yes, if you leave an glass of lemonade on the counter, after a week or two, it may grow mold. Whether it takes one week or two depends on your recipe – how much sugar and lemon, diluted by how much water.

    If it were some filthy homeless man trying to raise money to pay for a night’s sleep at a hotel, a lot people outraged over this incident would likely be cheering on the police.

    Thank you for saying out loud what shallow, appearance-based assholes most people are. It can’t be said often enough, in my opinion.

    1. *as is sugar

      By which to say, sugar also acts as a preservative. Not that it’s an acid.

  19. These dealers found the black market…

    [dons sunglasses]

    …wasn’t such a sweet deal.

    1. What the hell is all this stuff about Don’s Sunglasses?!

  20. cop: “You have to stop selling lemonade, little girl.”

    girl: “why mister?”

    cop: “[redacted] you, that’s why little girl.”

    1. You’re missing stage direction. When does he don his sunglasses?

      1. Beat cops wear those wrap around sunglasses all the time.
        Goes well with the shaved head and porn ‘stache.

      2. [girls dons sunglasses to hide tear-filled eyes]

  21. What, no SWAT team?, no puppies killed? Doesn’t sound like Texas!

    1. Actually 9 girls died in a lemonade gang shootout that started when cops decided to start shooting little girls running lemonade stands.

  22. Fucking police chief is strangely proud that no law goes unenforced under his goddamn petty nose. The law and order crowd are the real sinners here even as most of their ilk decry shit like this they have pens in their hands scribbling even more onerous caps on free movement. Fuck this shit, man.

  23. My classmate’s step-aunt makes $61 hour on the internet . She has been fired from work for nine months but last month her pay check was $12801 just working on the internet for a few hours. try this out.
    GO TO THE SITE TEC NEXT TAB FOR MORE INFO AND HELP
    ????? http://www.workweb40.com

    1. I bet she had all her permits.

  24. I have this crazy idea:

    Let the girls sell the beverages and let the potential customers decide if they want to buy it.

    Compromise idea:
    Require the girls to post the following sign:
    “Drink this at your own risk”

    1. Stick This Up Your Butt at Your Own Risk

  25. Speaking of shut-downs, NPR article regarding the current unpleasantness. Interesting perspective re: commenters on a news site as sources.

    http://www.npr.org/sections/th…..l-subpoena

  26. I WANT MORE GOVERNMENT!

  27. Apparently the girls found a way around the system. They are now giving away the lemonade and accepting donations for their Father’s Day fund*.

    * Donations to the fund don’t increase your odds of getting a free drink. However, wearing a city uniform or badge will now increase your odds of being told to Fuck Off.

    1. I *guess* working for free at the state’s insistence is a better lesson/outcome than forming a union and demanding $15/hr.

      A good Dad would’ve stepped in and showed them how to open a front business, pay off the cops while pissing in their lemonade, and get the scratch for the trip to the water park on the side.

      1. That is so cynical.

        He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

      2. “A good Dad would’ve stepped in and showed them how to open a front business, pay off the cops while pissing in their lemonade, and get the scratch for the trip to the water park on the side.”

        They could move some dope under the table at the same time, or make book!
        Great idea, m.c!

  28. What used to be a hyperbolic joke has become an all-too-common reality. Next they will give kids who sell lemonade jail time and permanent criminal records.

    Because “it’s for the kids!”

    1. You know who else turns hyperbolic jokes into cruel reality?

  29. I for one am glad to see little Andria and Zoey receive a solid civics lesson.

  30. Texas Messed Up!

  31. Apparently when lufe gives you lemons and you live in Texas lemonade (for profit) is no longer an option.

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