Jason Schreiber and his friends planned to raise money for starving Africans when they opened their Agoura Hills lemonade stand this week.
But that was before the money started rolling into their sturdy, brightly painted wooden stand that is topped by a "hot coffee" sign in the morning and a "cold drinks" sign in the afternoon.
"Now, we might get things for ourselves," 11-year-old Jason said Wednesday as he served up cold drinks to customers next to busy Driver Avenue. "I'd like a remote-controlled car and motocross pads for my bike. And movies. One of my friend's older brother can get us 'Bachelor Party,' " a popular recent movie.
Indeed, the capitalistic instinct has taken over.
Jason is vice president of the lemonade company. Other officers are a president, a treasurer and a runner. The runner hurries back and forth with fresh ice and other supplies.
"The four of us drew pictures of what we wanted the stand to look like and then we voted and compromised. Some people wanted balloons and different colors and a sign saying the hours we were going to stay open," he said.
Not a 1-Crate Stand
This is no one-crate lemonade stand. It features a customer counter with an imitation-tile covering, shaded by a large umbrella. An electric fan may soon be added for customers' comfort.
Working 12-hour days, the partners, two boys and two girls, earned $60 their first three days of hawking coffee, juice and soda at 25 and 50 cents a cup. Business has been so good that they hope to branch out into candy and snow cones next week.
"We split up the profits among the four of us. We put 40% back into supplies. That comes to 10% per person," Jason said. "It's worked out pretty well so far."