The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Bullies were shutting down America’s lemonade stands. These lawyers work for big lemonade.

“When life gives you arcane laws, make lemonade.”

And call Legal-Ade.

That’s the message Kraft Heinz’s lemonade brand Country Time is selling to young entrepreneurs and their summertime businesses.

That would be: children and their lemonade stands.

More specifically: children who get fined for running lemonade stands without a permit.

Take Autumn Thomasson, a 6-year-old California girl with long blonde hair and gold nail polish.

“My lemonade stand got shut down because I didn’t have a permit,” Thomasson said in a Legal-Ade video. “It was unfair.”

Now, Country Time wants to assure Thomasson and all lemon squeezers under 5 feet tall that this summer, things will be different.

“We heard a couple of these stories happening and frankly, didn’t believe that they were real,” said Adam Butler, Kraft Heinz’s general manager for beverages and nuts. “You look into it and, wow, this is actually real. We huddled up and decided we’ve got to do something about this.”

It may be surprising to learn that in many cities and municipalities, lemonade stands aren’t supposed to set up shop on public sidewalks or roads without a permit, which often come with applications and fees. Police officers and local officials often give kids and their lemonade stands a pass — but not always.

Country Time’s solution is to reimburse children who have been fined for running a lemonade stand without a permit, or cover the cost of a permit already secured, until Aug. 31, or until $60,000 has been awarded. All a parent has to do is upload an image of the child’s fine or permit and, in the child’s own words, include a description of what the lemonade stands means to them.

Parents can report fines incurred in 2017 or 2018. Country Time was sure to note: The company is not providing any legal advice or services.

For every retweet the Legal-Ade promotional video receives, Country Time will donate $1 to help bail out future kids in a squeeze. By Tuesday morning, the video had garnered 93,000 retweets.

For most, a lemonade stand conjures images of sunscreened children working together to hand people cups of joy. Apparently some see gross violations of law and order.

In Georgia, police cracked down on a lemonade stand run by three girls raising money to go to the water park.

“The girls are now doing chores and yard work to make money,” the AP reported at the time.

In Texas, two girls lasted one hour before the police shut their stall down. Donations poured in to help the girls get their father to a water park for Father’s Day.

“But the family says they will donate that money to scholarships,” Fox News reported.

In Legal-Ade’s video, a girl in overalls and a headband stands behind a lemonade stand adorned with hand-drawn signs and small glasses of lemonade for 25 cents each. She’s flanked by six stern-looking adults, dressed in suits, arms crossed and who appear to mean business.

One of the Legal-Ade defenders sips from a yellow plastic cup, then crunches it in his hand.

“Tastes like justice,” he says.

Read more:

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