08/23/12 — Entrepreneurs squeeze out 'profit'

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Entrepreneurs squeeze out 'profit'

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on August 23, 2012 1:46 PM

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Mary Archibald, left, and Ruthie Thompson wait for customers at their lemonade stand at Herman Park.

Her feet propped up on the cooler standing next to her, Ruthie Thompson waits.

She knows her 9-year-old partner, Mary Archibald, is rounding up some customers -- that she is making her way past the dozen or so vendors set up in the makeshift farmer's market at Herman Park promising "lemonade, as fresh as you can get it."

She understands that if business is as good as it was a few days ago, the two will net a significant profit -- that the girls' mothers and fathers will likely eat the cost of the lemons, sugar and materials it took to construct their stand.

So when Mary got a buyer on the line, when Emily Barsh made her way toward the 7-year-old, she straightened up and flashed a smile.

"I heard this is the best lemonade in town," Mrs. Barsh said, handing Ruthie $1. "Is that true?"

"Yeah," the girl replied, filling a colorful cup and topping it off with a slice of strawberry. "It is."

The flow of customers was far from steady.

In fact, the girls spent much of their time swatting at "a billion" flies -- and hugging the stand mascot, Ruthie's stuffed puppy, Samson.

But what started Saturday, and continued Wednesday, with dozens of lemons and "a squeezer," turned into a profitable experience for a pair of little girls from Goldsboro -- even if their plans for spending their take were ambitious at best.

In two days, they had only made a little more than $100.

"We'll split it," Mary said.

Ruthie was more than satisfied.

In her mind, $50 was enough to do anything.

She is, after all, only 7 years old.

"I'm going on a cruise," she said. "And I'm gonna use it for Disney World, too."