Kid-run lemonade stand back in business after sour setback

Two Ottawa sisters who gained national attention when a federal agency shut down their lemonade stand will be back in business this weekend, but they won't be keeping the profits.

Proceeds from this Sunday's sales to go to camp for children with cancer

The Andrews sisters can re-open their stand this Sunday after getting a special permit from the National Capital Commission. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

Two Ottawa sisters who gained national attention when a federal agency shut down their lemonade stand will be back in business this weekend, and they'll donate their earnings to a summer camp for children with cancer.

The National Capital Commission issued a special permit on Wednesday to seven-year-old Eliza and five-year-old Adela Andrews, with the condition that the girls donate all their earnings this Sunday to charity. 

The family said they'd already decided to turn the pint-sized business venture into a fundraiser in response to an outpouring of support after the NCC shuttered the stand last weekend. 

The permit issued Wednesday comes with a long list of conditions, including "that 100% of all revenue on Sunday, July 10th, 2016 will be devoted to Camp Quality ... and a portion of the revenue from subsequent days will be donated to a charity of the proponent's choice."

Business, life lessons

The family said the girls originally opened the lemonade stand to learn the ins and outs of business, and to raise money for summer camp. After the NCC shut the stand down and their story gained national attention, the family received several offers to cover the cost of camp.
The Andrews family outside their home, where Eliza and Adela's lemonade stand is currently stationed. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

The girls' father, Kurtis Andrews, said he turned down the offers because the family can afford to pay for camp. Andrews said he just wanted his daughters to learn that everything in life isn't free, and that they can achieve their goals — and a few dollars — through hard work. 

Camp Quality is a non-profit organization that offers free, week-long camping experiences to children with cancer and their families.

Andrews said it's still important that the girls be allowed to run their stand as a business on subsequent Sundays.

"I want my girls to be able to make money they can keep and use for their own desires," said Andrews. 

Some conditions apply

"Mr. Andrews has confirmed that he and his daughters wish to use the opportunity this Sunday to raise money for a very good cause," wrote NCC spokesman Jean Wolff in a statement to CBC News. 

"The NCC has been working to foster greater animation on our land and as part of these ongoing efforts we will be reviewing our processes to facilitate philanthropic and other youth entrepreneurship activities going forward," added Wolff.​

According to the special permit, the sisters will be allowed to operate their lemonade stand during Sunday Bikedays at an assigned spot on a grassy median along Colonel By Drive, between Clegg Street and Mutchmor Road. 

They'll be required to carry a copy of the permit at all times while on NCC lands and "produce it on request" to avoid further complications, according to the conditions. Any signage — including, presumably, the hand-drawn "Lemonade" sign that currently adorns the stand — must be "in both official languages, English and French of equal prominence."

Cyclists stop to buy lemonade at a stand on Colonel By Drive that was later shut down by the National Capital Commission for failing to have a permit. (Kurtis Andrews)


  • An earlier version of this story stated that the special permit issued by the National Capital Commission stipulated all future proceeds from the girls' lemonade stand must be donated to charity. In fact, the permit only stipulates that all the proceeds from this Sunday's sales go to Camp Quality, and that "a portion" of future revenue be donated to a charity of the Andrews family's choice.
    Jul 06, 2016 10:07 PM ET