Child's lemonade stand in Ballston Spa gets shut down

July 30, 2018 10:29 AM

For years lemonade stands and summer breaks go hand in hand for so many kids across this country.

"I wanted to have a lemonade stand so we could save enough money to go to Disneyland," said Brendan Mulvaney.


For the last three years, 7-year-old Brendan has been working toward that goal with his very own stand. He sells his lemonade while his family, which lives adjacent to the Saratoga County Fairgrounds, parks cars on their lawn during the fair.

That all changed on Friday when they say they had an unexpected visitor.

"This woman, she didn't give me her name, I saw the shirt, I knew what was going on when she stepped right on my deck and asked me if I had a permit. I told her no I don't," said Brendan's father, Sean Mulvaney of Ballston Spa.

Mulvaney says the woman was from the state Department of Health and she told them to shut down the stand immediately. He says they were told they should expect to receive a fine in the mail.

"She's probably doing her job. We're in the wrong for not getting a permit. But the issue I'm running into is my son, 7 years old, seventy-five cent lemonade, I didn't see it was a big deal," said Mulvaney.

Mulvaney wasn't the only one who didn't see this as a big deal. Word spread quickly on Friday and by Sunday Brendan had himself a new, unlikely customer -- state Sen. Jim Tedisco from Glenville.

"When I was a young kid, every week, one or two times a week at 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, I had a lemonade stand right out in my front yard. No bureaucrat from the state ever came to threaten or fine me, arrest me, or make me get a permit to shut down," Tedisco said.

The senator says he believes having a lemonade stand is as American as apple pie. He says he's prepared to new create legislation to allow children to run their own lemonade stands if necessary.

Mulvaney says they are staying open but giving the lemonade away to teach his child a more important lesson

"I rather have my child go out and learn the trade of earning his own money," said Mulvaney.

Jill Montag, a spokesperson for the Department of Health, says they do not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands.

"While we work to confirm the inspection was performed by DOH staff and the surrounding circumstances, we offer Brendan an apology for any inconvenience," Montag said.


Brooke Selby

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