2017 National Entrepreneurs of the Year - Tropical Tiki Hut

Haily and Katie

We did Lemonade Day because we wanted to successfully earn money to donate to a great cause like Cedar Lake Lodge.  Another reason is that we wanted to learn how to become a great entrepreneur and one day run an amazing business of our own.  Hopefully as a result we could represent our city and our school by learning the way of an entrepreneur and giving back to our community.


First off, we chose our theme of Hawaiian.  We chose this theme because we thought it represented a tropical vibe that we could offer in our lemonade and spread our community with joy.  After that, we had to choose a recipe that consists of many tropical fruits such as pineapple, limes and pomegranate.  Those fruits were mixed in with the delightful lemonade base.  After many trial and error, we finally found our original lemonade we have today.

Next, we chose our slogan.  This was a challenge because we had to find a slogan that represents our lemonade and business.  Together we finally found a great slogan that represented both.

Finally, we had to discuss our advertising.  We first went to social media.  We created an Instagram account, Twitter account, and a Facebook account.  Then we decided to ask if we could be in our middle school newsletter.  After writing a long e-mail, we finally got an answer of acceptance.  This helped us persuade our teachers and fellow classmates to come and enjoy our delicious lemonade.  


The thing that we did well this time was that we really got the word out and advertised.  For instance, we created all of the social media accounts, and got our friends excited about coming to buy our lemonade.  We also created cute signage to draw attention to our booth.  We decorated our booth to resemble our theme of Hawaiian, and even wore Hawaiian matching dresses and flowers in our hair.  We also put drink umbrellas and pineapple garnish on every cup of lemonade.  Small kids especially loved the cute umbrellas which helped to drive sales.  

We also invited family and close friends who we knew would support us through purchases and tips.  We worked hard to write an article for our school newsletter which came out two days before Lemonade Day.   For instance, the whole 5th grade KCD Lacrosse team and several teachers came to buy lemonade from us and we know the newsletter helped get the word out!

We also used our charity partner to help gain sales.  Cedar Lake Lodge, our charity, advertised for us on its Facebook and Twitter page.   We even had some Cedar Lake Lodge residents and Board Members come and buy our delicious lemonade.  Our Cedar Lake Lodge contact has told us that its marketing department is going to write a story about Tropical Tiki Hut and our involvement in Lemonade Day.  In the near future, we are planning to serve our lemonade to Cedar Lake Lodge residents at Cedar Lake Lodge and present our “share†of $165.05!   

In selecting our site, we researched and discussed various high traffic areas.  We first approached Holiday Manor Kroger and the manager said that Kroger cannot host the lemonade stand.  However, we convinced the manager that it would be a good idea for Kroger to have our stand because people would come for our lemonade and then buy groceries from Kroger, and also because we were supporting a great charity.  To thank Kroger, on the day of our lemonade stand, we offered free lemonade to the employees (we also did this hoping that they would tell customers how good it was, which they did).  We followed up by sending a homemade thank you note to the Kroger manager. 

In addition, we did well by making extra sales through a free device we got in advance to accept credit card sales.  We did this through SquareUp which took only a small percentage of our credit card sales.  This way, even if a customer did not have cash, they could buy our lemonade and we did not take “no†for an answer!  We had $65.17 in credit card sales that we do not think would have been sold without the credit card device so the small percentage we had to pay to SquareUp was well worth it.

Finally, our original recipe was expensive and time consuming.  It involved a lot of fresh fruit.  After we learned what our original price per cup was ($.78), we tweaked our recipe to bring down our costs so as not to eat into our profits.  By making these changes, we cut our costs in half, but made sure not to compromise the taste of our lemonade.


Our original lemonade recipe was too complicated.  We will simplify it but ensure it is just as creative.

We will also try to find our location sooner this year so we can start our marketing campaign earlier.  This is what really drove sales.  

Another area of improvement is that the ice we used was too frozen and made it hard to scoop into cups.  We may consider crushed ice next year which would be easier to scoop.

Finally, we would like to add cookies or brownies so we can multiply our sales.  


We hope to continue with this lemonade competition and other competitions like this.  We have learned so much and look forward to participating again next year.  

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