ST. GEORGE —A couple’s lemonade stand brings a whole new zest for life by using grandma’s recipe and squeezing it with love, benefiting humans and canines alike, one cup at a time.
Originally from Chicago, entrepreneurial couple Megan Roady and Alex Wisniewski started their lemonade business just three short months ago, and they couldn’t have picked a better place than St. George.
“Everyone has been super friendly, such a sense of community – something that you don’t get back where we’re from,” Wisniewski said. “People here love supporting local businesses. To live in a community that has a real sense of community is awesome,” Wisniewski said.
With a goal to open some type of food vendor business in the future, the inspiration behind their business came while attending the Tuacahn Saturday Market. Thirsty, they realized the only beverage options were bottled water and that gave them a sweet idea.
As a child, Roady said when her family had garage sales and other events, she would make fresh-pressed lemonade with her grandmother and set up a lemonade stand. They used an old lemon press, her grandmother’s simple syrup recipe and a bag of ice.
“It was like little janky kid things, but it was still the freshly pressed lemonade and a lot of great memories,” Roady said.
The couple decided to try a lemonade stand with grandma’s recipe as a fun hobby they could do together on the weekends. They never anticipated the amount of support they would receive from the community or how quickly it would turn into a full business.
“It worked out really well, with a special link to childhood that was able to assist us,” Wisniewski said.
Their lemonade got its first trial with the public when Roady, a volunteer at RSQ – a non-profit animal rescue – found out about a fundraiser the shelter was putting on. They volunteered to make and donate their signature fresh-pressed lemonade. The event went well, not only for the cause but as a great trial run for their business concept. The following week, they attended their first Tuacahn Saturday market as a vendor.
“It kind of blew up bigger than we ever thought it was going to,” Roady said. “It’s been crazy. In a good way.”
Roady said she calls her grandmother often to tell her about the lemonade business. She is overjoyed about all of it and thinks it’s “the coolest thing ever.”
“She calls me all the time and says, ‘I’m so proud of you,’ and I’m like, ‘It’s because of you grandma,'” Roady said.
Grandma’s simple syrup recipe is the basis of every lemonade made at Lemon Lab, with a variety of flavors mixed in to achieve their other lemonade flavors. Flavors include strawberry, lavender, Arnold Palmer (half tea, half lemonade), watermelon, mango, mixed berries (blackberry, raspberry and blueberry), mint ginger, and of course – their signature original lemonade.
“I’m big on no food coloring, all-natural. A lot of other lemonade stands that I’ve seen use the syrups like soda shops – corn syrup and food coloring. We don’t do that,” Roady said.
For example, Lemon Lab’s lavender lemonade is made with butterfly pea powder, a ground blue flower, but when mixed with anything acidic like lemons, it turns purple, resulting in all-natural food coloring.
A huge lover of animals and supporter of RSQ, the couple went on to do an additional fundraiser event, this time for a specific dog named Rascal. Rascal, who lived in Cedar City in a van with his elderly owner who had dementia, was part of a horrific accident that took place.
“The man didn’t realize Rascal was still tied to the back of the van and drove to the store with him still tied,” Roady said. “The cops caught him, pulled him over, and he felt horrible. It was obviously not on purpose, but a really sad story for everyone involved.”
Roady said the owner knew he couldn’t care for the dog any longer and wasn’t able to afford the life-saving medical attention he needed. RSQ was contacted about the case and took the dog under their care.
“RSQ is a little different than most rescues in the area, in my opinion. They take on major medical cases that maybe most rescues would shy away from due to costs and other things,” Lee said.
Despite veterinarians predicting Rascal would need to be euthanized, Roady said they all rooted for him and refused to give up. The couple put on a fundraiser specifically for the dog and raised a substantial amount of money for his care.
RSQ was able to get the dog into Best Friends Animal Society, and after a few weeks went straight into his foster-to-adopt family and on to a permanent, happy home. The couple plans to do additional fundraisers for RSQ, including the idea of naming flavors of the week after a specific dog in need.
“The lemonade has given us an opportunity to use as a tool to raise money for something that she’s passionate about. We can help rally the community and get something they like in return, which goes to a good cause,” Wisniewski said.
With the St. George Downtown Farmers Market back up and running, the couple divided and conquered the lemonade businesses by attending both markets, with Wisniewski running the farmers market and Lee the Tuacahn market every Saturday.
“We make everything fresh on-site, so we’re pressing the lemons right there,” Wisniewski said. “We don’t come with pre-pressed lemon juice to speed things up. People appreciate the fact that they know what they’re getting in their cup.”
Lemon Labs also offers half-gallon and 16-ounce lemonade for purchase. To place an order, message them on Facebook or Instagram. Visit their booth on Saturdays at both the Tuacahn Market and the Downtown Farmers Market. Lemon Lab is also available to cater events.
“When you attempt anything really worth doing, there’s so much more work that goes into it,” Wisniewski said. “And we’re doing it together, spending that time and supporting each other, which is the best part.”
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