Toronto woman works part-time to continue family business hustle

A Toronto woman actually worked part-time at her job to fulfill her family’s dream of running a business together.

And when it comes to a family business, what better idea than the best lemonade stand ever?

The idea for Bold Lemonaide began in 2017, when Nacile Sharpe made what she calls “dinner juice” for her family, and her husband Keifer had an instant reaction.

“My mum made a drink with similar ingredients years ago and I remembered how much I loved it, so one night I thought, ‘I have lemon, ginger and sugar , I’m just going to serve this with dinner.’ The moment my husband, Keifer, tasted it, he said, “What the hell is that? We have to sell it,” Sharpe told blogTO.

“I was surprised and told him to pump the breaks because it was just ‘dinner juice’. After harassing me for months and giving countless people a taste, I was sold.As our business and recipe evolved in its early stages, he took over sales and I continued to mix.

They call their product “lemonaide” because it’s supposed to be higher quality and better for you than the average lemonade. It’s made with alkaline water, fresh lemon juice, organic cane sugar, organic ginger and imported pear essence from Grenada to bring a Caribbean flavor. They also did features like strawberry lemonade.

“Ginger is tricky for most people because people instantly associate it with ginger shots, which, if you’re not prepared to spit fire, can be very unpleasant. When people taste our lemonade, they’re d “skeptical at first, but the look on their faces turns into euphoria. It’s such a pleasure for us to see,” said Sharpe.

“On top of that, we add a few drops of pear essence which adds a I do not know what to their palace. You can taste it, but you can’t associate it with anything you’ve ever tasted.”

Consumed hot or cold, the drink is so cool that it should be consumed within five days. Prices start at $12 for a 32-ounce bottle of their classic cane sugar-free ginger lemonade.

When the closings began in 2020, the family had to move in with Keifer’s mother to cut expenses, then a few months later he took time off from work due to an injury. Still, they decided to sue the company.

“I was the only one earning a full time income. What a decision. We have kids and bills and debts. We thought we could give it our all and go to as many events as possible while bringing it into stores and selling online, we’d be better off than having nine-to-five jobs,” Sharpe says.

“I went there part-time. We believe in our business. We have a great thing that deserves all the attention it could get, so I quit my office job and started driving cars. trucks between five and nine in the evening.”

Keifer now handles sales, distribution, in-person professional/business relations and ingredient collection. Nacile is the kitchen manager, but also takes care of digital communication, customer service, marketing, website development, contacts with other companies, integration of support staff, payroll, research and coordination of live events, invoicing and accounting. Their daughter Mia helps out with social media.

The family works together on manufacturing, packaging, content creation, communications, service and selling at live events. They also occasionally take on an extra helping hand at events and in the kitchen.

Although the business has been in the making for a long time, Sharpe says that due to the restrictions of the past few years, last summer was really their first opportunity to go out and sell their lemonade in person.

“The most memorable would have to be Gluten Free Garage at Wychwood Barns on May 29. Outdoor events can be nerve wracking as the spring weather is fickle. It was a warm sunny day, perfect for lemonade and we were We made hundreds of 32-ounce bottles and hundreds more 20-ounce tumblers, but we weren’t ready,” says Sharpe.

“As soon as the doors opened, we were off to the races. Our line was a constant 15 people for four straight hours. At that point, I only had a moment to look up. I said to Keifer, ‘I think that line is for us,’ and he said, ‘Isn’t that the line for the vendors next to us?’ We quickly learned that the customers were all ours.”

They worked non-stop that day without a break until everything they brought was sold, which they did with two hours left in the day.

“Some days it’s wild and we argue and get frustrated and keep placing orders. But most days it’s absolutely beautiful. We spend so much time together and watch each other get out of our zones of We do everything with our own hands and feel deeply accomplished knowing that we are at the forefront of our success,” says Sharpe.

“We also love having the opportunity to donate our time or lemonade to students or those experiencing homelessness. Relieve memorable moments like selling out at events or about the many things people say to us. encourages them to do it every day. More importantly, our girls get a first-hand view of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”

As for the future of Bold Lemonaide, the family hopes to continue to develop the business at events but also in restaurants and grocery stores, but also in cocktails, mocktails and smoothies. They also hope to continue to “give boldly” as part of their philanthropic efforts.

Bold Lemonaide can be purchased online for pickup, shipping, or delivery, or you can keep catching them at events. Subscription packs are available. You can also find Bold Lemonaide at Nicey’s Food Mart in Mississauga or Bonnick’s West Indian Grocery in York.

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