Appleton police shut down lemonade stand

Jul 18, 2011

Appleton police shut down lemonade stand
City ordinance prevents sales near city events

Updated: Monday, 18 Jul 2011, 8:35 AM CDT
Published : Sunday, 17 Jul 2011, 1:39 PM CDT

* Reporter: Kristin Crowley

APPLETON – It’s a summer tradition, especially for two Appleton neighbors.

“The kids have been setting it up for six or seven years now,” said Margi Mann.

Two young girls sell lemonade and cookies every year near their house during Appleton’s Old Car Show. But this year that changed.

“We had a knock on the door from our local police officer who had to deliver us the news,” said Mann.

Because of a new city ordinance, Margi Mann’s daughter Lydia could no longer sell her lemonade. And their neighbor couldn’t sell her cookies.

“There were tears at first. There was big disappointment. When you’re nine and somebody tells you you can’t, you’re not happy,” said Mann. “It’s just a lemonade stand, so that’s the part that’s disheartening.”

“I’m sad that we probably won’t be able to do it anymore,” said Lydia Coenen, Mann’s daughter.

On June 1, the Appleton city council passed an ordinance preventing vendors from selling products within a two-block radius of local events. That includes Lydia’s lemonade stand. She lives just one block from the car show, held at Pierce Park every July. Mann says the officer tried to see if the department could make an exception, but was told they had to follow the ordinance.

“Since I had 20-some-odd jars of lemonade in my refrigerator, we made the decision along with our neighbors whose daughter is selling the cookies, that we would just give them away free today,” said Mann.

“My son went over there and saw what happened. He came over and chewed me out for 10 minutes because this is happening,” said Appleton Ald. Peter Stueck.

Stueck says he had no idea the ordinance would affect people like Lydia.

“It’s certainly not that Appleton is against little girls setting up their cookie and lemonade stands. But the overall intent of the ordinance was to protect the vendors at these events,” said Stueck. “To get a little bit of security to the vendors who were at the events.”

Stueck says this repercussion was an oversight, and it needs to be changed.

“Hopefully we will be able to get this straightened out,” said Stueck.

Meanwhile Mann and her daughter aren’t letting the circumstances get them down.

“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” said Mann.

As it turns out, many patrons of the lemonade and cookie stand were sympathetic to the girls’ plight and while the treats were free, nothing stopped them from offering tips.

The families plan on going to the city council to formally ask them to change the ordinance so their children can sell their lemonade and cookies in the future during nearby events


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