by Laura Lakins
There are few things that taste better than an ice cold glass of lemonade on a hot summer day. If you, like me, have been searching for your fill, look no further than “4 Bros and a Sis Lemonade Stand.”
Located at 2443 E. Market St. in Ellet, the Knowles-Swain brothers serve up delicious lemonade four or five days a week. Troy, 14, Brandon, 12, Jordan, 10, and Chase, 6, are known for their large array of unique flavors, great customer service, and giving back to the community.
The idea for the lemonade stand came about in 2017 while they were living in West Akron. They would set up in their spare time during the summer, and business was decent. Then, during the summer of 2018, they moved the stand to an empty lot down the road where there would be more traffic. Business was better, but before long they were shut down after a complaint regarding their permit to sell.
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“That motivated them to move forward,” says their mother, Brenda Knowles-Swain.
The boys were even more determined to continue their lemonade stand after the incident, so Brenda jumped through the hoops to get a permit. Since then, business has been booming. With more time on their hands this summer due to sports and school being shut down, they have been able to expand their business. Three summers ago they offered one flavor of lemonade; now they offer up to eight flavors a day. They also added a sugar-free flavor per request of customers, as well as cups with lids for their customers on the go.
“The community has been requesting things, and we’ve been constantly adding on to make everyone happy. I know we can’t make everyone happy, but we try to,” Brenda says.
Though the lemonade stand is a lot of hard work, it has its benefits. Engaging with and giving back to the community are some of the highlights for the brothers.
“We get to experience different personalities, and we get to see people smile,” Troy says.
Brandon adds, “My favorite part is giving back to people.”
Their hard work this summer is allowing them to give back to the community in a big way on Aug. 23 when they will be hosting their “School Backpack/Uniform Drive Up.” They will be offering backpacks, school supplies, and school uniforms to those who need them. Any student, from preschool to college, is allowed to go through. You can find more information regarding this on their Facebook page, 4 Bros & a Sis Lemonade Stand.
You will also see on their Facebook page that they give back in more ways when they can. They post on random days to offer free lemonade to a variety of public servants. So far this summer they have given free lemonade to first responders, teachers, transportation drivers and delivery drivers. Keep your eyes peeled for your potential “free drink” day!
After scrolling through their social media or making a visit to their stand, it will be clear to you that these brothers have hearts of gold, and they also have big plans for themselves. As a lemonade stand, they hope to one day have a food truck that they can travel with, and also offer drive-through services. As individuals, Jordan hopes to have a football career; Brandon hopes to join the Navy; Troy hopes to earn an academic scholarship to college; and Chase hopes to be just like his dad. They make it easy for the community to want to support their business.
The lemonade stand will stay open as long as the weather cooperates, and the brothers also hope to work out something creative for the winter months. They require that their customers wear masks and practice social distancing while waiting for their drink. To stay up to date with their plans you can follow their Facebook page or their Twitter @4brosandasisle1.
Laura Lakins is an educator and freelance writer from Akron, OH.