Pucker up: Lemonade with a cause

Share Button

“Would you like to be a judge at Lemonade Alley?”


Kathy Sills leaned over her Aloha Pops cart. “You could judge the lemonades.”


“It’s a great contest,” Kathy said. “Kids set up …”

I know! I know all about it! I’ll do it!

12jul08_011-1958551452-oShe had me at ‘lemonade.’ As a sour fiend, being asked to judge lemonades from 29 teams competing to raise money for the charity of their choice is a no-brainer. And the fact that these teams run the gamut from kindergarteners to high school seniors? How cute is that?

Think of the possibilities! The tartness! All the different ways to up the pucker: “You can do li hing powder, lilikoi is popular, and there’s all different kinds of lemons and citrus,” says Steve Sue, Lemonade Alley’s founder and self-appointed Chief Lemon Head. “We’ve even had hot peppers.”

It turns out that Kathy, maker of pops like pineapple li hing, lilikoi, Green River and key lime, had coached the kids at a workshop on lemonade flavors. She’ll use the winning frozen lemonade recipe in a future Aloha Pop. A winning recipe from last year, shaken like a martini, was served at the Hyatt Regency Waikiki’s Shor restaurant for not just the stipulated one month, but six. You’ll find a new winning recipe there this year. And Uncle Clay’s House of Pure Aloha, the shave ice shop in Aina Haina, will feature a third Lemonade Alley winner.

12jul08_004-1958550156-oI will add that some teams are making more than one recipe. Sue says one team is entering seven. We’re already looking at 30-something lemonades. This will be a humongous day.

As for the kids? In addition to concocting a lemon-centric recipe, they also have to design, build and staff a booth, create a business plan and come up with a one-minute pitch on why you should buy their lemonade, which you can see them rap, recite, sing and act out onstage at 1 p.m. All profits go to the 501(c)3 non-profit of their choice.

“The world’s abundant enough so you can not only make a living doing business, but you can also contribute,” Sue says. “Our slogan is profit and share.”

It’s a good lesson for kids. If you want to contribute, or if you just like lemonade, Lemonade Alley happens at Pearlridge Center this Saturday.


When: Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (Pitches at 1 p.m.)
Where: Pearlridge Center parking lot between TJ Maxx and California Pizza Kitchen
98-1005 Moanalua Road, Aiea
• 29 Lemonade Alley teams, representing students in grades K-12
• Guest judges, including local business and community leaders
• Live entertainment, including EMKE, 247 Danceforce and beatboxer Jason Tom