As parents, we want to ensure we are raising our kids to become successful in their adult lives by teaching them basic skills throughout their childhood. For LaSonja Polk, watching her daughter Zoe squeeze important life skills out of her simple lemonade stand has offered priceless opportunities.
Zoe, fifth grader at Harvard Elementary School in the Houston area, told her mom that she wanted to host a lemonade stand for National Lemonade Day back in April 2016. A baker at heart, Zoe wanted to make sure she had cupcakes and cookies to sell along with her lemonade, and set up shop early on a Sunday morning.
“Two years ago Zoe started watching Cupcake Wars on the cooking channel,” said LaSonja. “She was fixated. So her granddad would come over every other Sunday and teach her the basics of cooking, where Zoe quickly fell in love with idea of becoming a baker.”
On National Lemonade Day, Zoe had a line in her front yard before she was even ready to open. “The word about her baked goods had spread like wildfire,” said LaSonja.
Even after the rain started, the line didn’t let up, and all of her baked goods were sold. She made almost $300.
“I told her the first thing we needed to do was go get a bank account,” said her mom.
Shortly after her successful day, the Polk house telephone rang. It was a local church requesting Zoe’s baked goods for an upcoming event. Zoe’s first big baking order. Her mom and her sat down and talked about what was required for the job.
“I told her not only would she have to go to the store and purchase all of the ingredients with her own money, but she would also have to commit her time and get up extra early to get her order done in time.”
Zoe quickly agreed and got to work. One cake order slowly became two cake orders. The next thing you know, Zoe was receiving orders for seven dozen cupcakes. “That was a big one,” said Zoe. “I had to get up at like three in the morning and make five batches to make 84 cupcakes. They were chicken and waffle cupcakes for a women’s ministry at a local church. I sold them for $105.”
Her love for baking hasn’t stopped and she and her mom recently launched Zoe’s Sweet Shoppe website. “My older brother only easts my sweets because of my natural homemade goodness,” said Zoe.
Zoe continues to research new recipes as orders keep pouring in. Her goal is to one day save up enough money to buy her own food truck. “I think I want a gray and blue truck with a touch of purple.” In the meantime, her more realistic goal is to buy a new aquarium for her pet turtle, Skittles.