Bureaucrats Shut Down Your Kids' Lemonade Stands? Country Time Will Pay the Fines.

A summer promotion will cover fines and fees when your local code enforcers come calling.


Every summer, it seems, brings a parade of outrageous stories about petty local officials who shut down kids' front-yard lemonade stands because the little moppets don't have the right permits. But this summer things might be different as civil disobedience meets corporate marketing. Young lemonade entrepreneurs are getting some support against local bureaucrats from powdered lemonade manufacturer Country Time.

This morning the company launched an ingenious summer promotional campaign. Country Time wants your kids to open lemonade stands. If some stiff suit from city hall comes calling, Country Time will help you out by covering the costs of fines and permit fees:

This promo site provides the details. To take advantage of the offer, you need to be the parent of a child 14 or younger who has a lemonade stand. Country Time will cover fines or fees up to $300 per child. The company has budgeted $60,000, enough to help at least 200 kids, for the program, which runs through August. But the tweet says Country Time is prepared to create a fund of up to $500,000 to help more kids in future summers.

Country Time has an obvious agenda here: More lemonade stands potentially means more people purchasing and consuming its product. But the promotional stunt is a reminder that these meddling local officials are not protecting public safety but interfering in people's lives for stupid reasons and demanding to be paid for the service. Kudos to Country Time for trying to discourage this awful behavior, although in some cases $300 might not be enough to cover rapacious city permitting demands.

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  1. Wow a public relations announcement from a large company that is not just empty virtue signaling. This is so…90’s.

    Eat shit, Minute Maid

    1. On the other hand, Minute Maid lemonade actually has lemons in it.

      But this is pretty awesome. I want to see more corporate marketing that gives the finger to petty tyrants and busy-bodies.

      1. Amen Zeb.


        1. #suckLemonsPermitMongers

      2. What are they putting in their lemonade?

        Lemon scented alternatives?

        Lemon lysol?

        1. Yeah, pretty much that. Definitely not lemon juice.

          1. Country Time is pretty terrible stuff in my view, but hey it’s so simple even a ten year old can probably figure it out so it does have that going for it.

            Either way, a kid ‘operating’ a stand is probably learning more than they are in public school on a comparable day. Shit, they don’t even teach economics in any real way pre-college so this might be their only exposure for decades.

            1. Especially if their parents make them buy their own supplies, or give them a startup loan, it’s a great taste of real life and economics.

            2. We just the played the video game “Lemonade Stand” on the Apple ][ in middle school instead. No dealing with strangers or other unpleasantness.

            3. Fun fact: Country Time mixed with Everclear is a terrible idea.

              1. Two bad ideas that are bad together.

        2. Here’s what they’re putting in:

          The main ingredients in Country Time lemonade flavor drink mix include sugar, fructose, citric acid (of which less than 2 percent is ascorbic acid), natural flavor and soy lecithin. Other ingredients include artificial color, calcium fumarate, magnesium oxide, maltodextrin, sodium acid pyrophosphate, sodium citrate, tocopherol and yellow 5 lake.


      3. Well said!

      4. They are literally turning lemons into lemonade.

  2. Ah, Country Time. Good old fashion mixture of sugar, citric acid, and Yellow #5, just like great grandma’s recipe.

    1. Hey, i drank that stuff every day as a kid, and i turned out… well, bad example.

      1. I turned out. Let’s just leave it there.

        1. No, let’s not.

          [Pushes Citizen X’s turned out belly button back in]

    2. You sound like the progressive scolds on Twitter:

      Replying to @CountryTime
      Or maybe teach our kids that human bodies don’t need toxic sugar causing the obesity and diabetes epidemic we see all around us.

      1. Why would anyone want to go to a cocktail party with these people?

        Me: I’ll have a gin and tonic

        Progressive: Actually, gin and tonics are problematic. That cocktail was first invented by British colonialists in India. To get British soldiers to drink the bitter quinine (tonic) so to guard against malaria, it was mixed with gin.

        1. And gin was mainly distilled from batches of beer that went bad, with added flavoring to hide the taste… At least the soldiers had sergeants watching over them to ensure they didn’t poison themselves too badly. According to William Hogarth, the effect on civilians was much worse:

      2. Life gives some people lemons, and they make lemonade; life gives other people lemons, and they grouse about pesticides and citrus orchard labor practices.

      3. Lol. There’s always one idiot, eh?

        Please tell me people responded?

        Go Country Time. If anything, just to piss clown-nannies like that off.

        Yeh, lemonade causes obesity. Shut the fuck up already.

        1. Yeh, lemonade causes obesity

          Country Time isn’t lemonade, and yes sugar causes obesity. You gonna dispute that?

          1. Well, it contributes to obesity. I’m skinny as fuck and I have been known to consume lemonade.

            1. We drink and consume fruits and remain ‘skinny as fuck’ too.

              1. That’s because most of your calories are consumed by shivering.

                1. lol.

          2. yes sugar causes obesity. You gonna dispute that?

            I will. Sugar does not cause obesity anymore than handguns cause murder.

            Human behavior is responsible for both.

            1. Sugar does not cause obesity anymore than handguns cause murder.

              As in, when humans use them inappropriately…

              You know, because my argument was definitely that inanimate objects are not inanimate.

            2. #causality

            3. What if I told you things can have multiple causes.

              1. What if I told you that I never said they didn’t?

          3. I thought we all work from the point of yes it *can* but there’s something about, you know, keep in moderation and be active to offset that. We know people just scream like that tweeter did.

            1. People like simple, linear cause/effect relationships, but almost nothing really works that way. There are innumerable factors that contribute to almost everything.

          4. Reading stupid Reason comments causes high blood pressure. You gonna dispute THAT?

      4. Yeah, maybe you should teach your own damn kids that sugar isn’t great for you and not expect a company whose whole business is selling flavored sugar to do so.

        1. a company whose whole business is selling flavored sugar to do so.


          1. WHY DO U H8 TEH CHILDRENZ?!

            Because they are self centered little monsters.

            Actually, I quite like kids in spite of that fact.

            1. I know I agree, and the reason why I kind of like them is because they’re more honest about their monstrous nature. They haven’t learned to lie about how they feel yet.

      5. I was just making fun of the recipe of their “lemonade” and wasn’t scolding anyone about sugar. With that said, what’s “progressive” about scolding someone about giving kids a bunch of raw sugar? You gonna tell me it’s good for you?

        1. Just kidding, brah.

          *blows kiss*

        2. Progressive = busy body

          If they want to give kids sugar, it’s up to the parents to figure it out.

    3. Sticking it to miniature Maos merits a pass on selling citric acid and Yellow #5.

    4. I prefer pink flavored lemonade

    5. Ah, Country Time. Good old fashion mixture of sugar, citric acid, and Yellow #5, just like great grandma’s recipe.

      I wonder if actual water needs to be part of the equation. You think Country Time will cover the costs if my kid sets up a stand where you snort lines of lemonade?

      1. I snorted a Pixie Stick once. It was not fun.

        1. I snorted a Pixie Stick once. It was not fun.

          Regular or giant?

          1. …your mental issues were caused by snorting a giant one, weren’t they.

            1. I’ve never seen anyone finish a giant one through their nose. Not for lack of trying.

    6. In the old days, what you bought from adult lemonade vendors was said in some cases to be totally fraudulent, claiming to be lemonade but actually sugared hydrochloric or sulfuric acid. Country Time at least doesn’t say it’s lemonade.

  3. How about improving upon the hashtag?


  4. As a law and order supporter of our hero first responders, I will not be drinking any of the Country Time lemonade from the stands I’m about to turn over.

    1. Keep your mitts offa the stands my orphans are running. Those things are gold mines.

  5. I will always say it. It takes a special kind of asshole to believe they’re ‘just doing their jobs’ in busting up a lemonade stand.

    Some laws are meant to be ignored and broken and this is one of them.

    1. Some laws are meant to be ignored and broken

      Probably most of them at this point.

    2. What if that girl dissed your son? Or encroached on your daughter’s Girl Scout cookie sales territory?

      1. We have, er, remedies for that.

    3. If you don’t like the law, then change it. Elect someone who will change it for you, or run for office and change it yourself. If you can’t get it changed then boo fucking hoo. That’s what it means to live in a democracy. We don’t choose what laws we obey and which ones we ignore. We must obey them all. Without question or complaint. If you start ignoring health codes someone else will ignore laws against murder. So they all must be enforced with equal zeal. Why do you hate America?


        1. He’s getting too good at that.

        2. It isn’t just progressives. How many times do conservitarians talk about the “rule of law” in immigration threads?

  6. It’s all fun and games until the cops show up and somebody gets shot.

    1. Just make sure you don’t sell lemonade in Mesa, AZ.

    2. Rule number one of lemonade stands; do not let your dog near them.

  7. Not to be the naysayer, but how exactly is enriching the tyrants by paying fines and buying licenses punishing them?

    Pardon me if I’m not getting something. I’m abnormally sober today.

    1. That’s a fair point. But you could think of it more as letting kids keep their lemonade profits.

      Anyway, I still like it as a symbolic gesture.

      1. I thought the profits were confiscated when the stands were busted up.

        1. If not they should be. Otherwise we’re teaching kids that it’s OK to make a profit off of making other people fat and giving them diabetes. /prog

        2. The smart lemonade stand operators have runners to remove the money to a more secure and secret location.

        3. The stands, and the profits, and the base register funds, and the parents house and cars are asset forfeited.
          No locality wastes time with fines anymore.

    2. I get that, but I bet the negative publicity for little petty tyrants could influence them to just leave the kids alone.

      1. What it will do is give the petty tyrants probable cause to arrest the kids, parents, and Country Time representatives for Conspiracy, Criminal Solicitation, and possibly contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    3. This was my sentiment as well. The gesture is nice, but ultimately they’re funneling money into the system.

      In Country Time’s defense, I can’t come up with an obvious/translatable “We’ll provide a T-bond or start a 529 plan in the child’s name.” that provides the same sort of ROI in terms of ‘fuck you’/$.

      1. Oh, duh! Just compensate them in ?

      2. This is the proper response @CountryTime
        We’ll put our whole corporate legal team on the task of taking down the LEO that does this stuff to our lemonade stand owner-operators. And then we’ll file so many FOIA requests that we’ll bog down the police with paper work. We’ll make it so that the LEO, DA, and judge can’t get a decent glass of lemonade within the entire state.

        You know, beat them at their own game.

        1. Brilliant. It also occurs to me to use the FOIA requests to start an online lemonade offender registry. So that kids and parents alike in any given neighborhood know not to open a lemonade stand around any given officer or petty bureaucrat’s house. Additionally, it will notify younger kids as well as older teens not expect nor even solicit any candy from those houses around Halloween.

    4. OT, but I finally figured out your handle. Nice.

      1. Welcome to the revolution.

  8. Powdered lemonade is disgusting. But good on Country Time for doing this. It would be better if they provided the kids with woodchippers though…

    1. Add more vodka

  9. Hate to rain on this parade but how do incentives work? Every code enforcement officer will be hitting these stands harder knowing they can get some of that Country Time money.

    1. That’s why I suggested Country Time give the kids woodchippers instead. After a few code enforcement busy bodies get ran through a ‘chipper the rest will get the message.

      1. The image of three eight year olds shoving a code enforcement asshole into a woodchipper made me smile. Thanks.

        1. Someone with artistic talent should make a painting or something.

          1. It would’ve been a great subject for Norman Rockwell.

        2. Some of those kids grow up fast. I bet you’d only need two eight-year-olds to do the job.

        3. Anybody here ever give serious thought to how many of those it would take before the police surrendered? Judging by New Orleans, it wouldn’t take MDC. I think maybe just 100 or so, and the entire gov’t would abdicate, even jurisdictions you weren’t assassinating them in. Seriously, I think they’re sustained on bluff.

        4. Three eight year olds amped up on sugar is a powerful thing

    2. They’ll get the money whether it’s from Country Time or the kid’s parents.

  10. Good for Country Time. It would be nice if more companies would stand against unjust laws.

  11. Will they pay Crusty’s bail for selling his lemonade (with his secret proprietary recipe) near that playground?

    1. Roofie flavored lemonade?

  12. Of course Big Lemonade wants to keep hooking kids on sugary drinks under the guise of helping out little Timmy and Katie’s lemonade stand. Even worse, these children are not required to post calorie counts at their stands, our employ union labor, and they are using public property for private business-how dare they!

  13. Reads like a conspiracy to violate the law.
    Country Time, meet RICO. RICO, meet Country Time.

  14. Now governments will fine more because they know corporations will pay them

  15. I hope they aggressively contest every fine with attorneys and force court dates to run the cost up for the municipalities the do this. Make it so they lose money on the fines. Motions, briefs, delays, paying in quarters, bringing in local, state or national media for a spectable. Just annoy the hell out the petty tyrants.

  16. “When life gives you lemons, don’t make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back! Get mad! I don’t want your Damn lemons, what the hell am I supposed to do with these? Demand to see life’s manager! Make life rue the day it thought it could give Cave Johnson lemons! Do you know who I am? I’m the man who’s gonna burn your house down! With the lemons! I’m gonna get my engineers to invent a combustible lemon that burns your house down!”

    h/t Cave Johnson

    1. +1

      My friend has a cave johnson poster.

  17. More lemonade stands potentially means more people purchasing and consuming its product.

    Uhm, doesn’t a lemonade stand imply selling lemonade and not dehydrated Pledge?

    1. Also, isn’t this just Country Time contributing to the delinquency of a minor?

      1. Criminal Solicitation.

  18. Big mistake. Petty tyrants all over the country will step up their harassment of children just get money from a deep-pockets corporation.


  19. This will last until a dirty police chief lies in wait for representatives from Country Time to show up to pay the fine or license fee, and arrest them for Conspiracy and Criminal Solicitation.

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