When Eleanor decided to run a lemonade stand
this summer, she had no idea how far the project would take her. Her initial plan was simple and admirable: Every week she would sell lemonade in front of her house, hoping to raise money for several local animal shelters, including Anderson Humane.
“Not all dogs have a home,” Eleanor said, explaining her motivation. “I want to help them have beds and toys and love.” Her awareness of the plight of some dogs came from her family’s four dogs – Sassy, Ozzy, Hershey, and Rocky – two of whom are rescues.
Eleanor came up with a name for her lemonade stand, Lemons for Paws, and set a goal of raising $1,000 throughout the summer to help dogs in need. Her dad, William, made her stand and her mom, April, helped her keep track of sales . . . and donations.
“When I tell people what I’m doing, they usually tell me to keep the change,” Eleanor said. She also set a jar for donations at her table. It reads, “On a scale of $1 to $10, how cute am I?” A savvy businesswoman indeed.
Then Eleanor decided to add dog treats to the stand. She found recipes on YouTube and made them herself. People treats, such as brownies, chocolate chip cookies, and banana bread, were next. “She does 90 percent of the baking herself,” April said, adding that mom helps with the recipes and taking food in and out of the oven. Eleanor’s also learned to make change and has gotten a lot of math practice this summer.
Soon Eleanor was selling her lemonade and treats at the Kane County Cougars’ Bark in the Park night, creating her own July 4 game day, being interviewed on Fox32, and attending a children’s business fair.
April had to teach Eleanor a new word: entrepreneur. “When we first called her that, she thought we were making fun of her, calling her something like manure,” April said. Eleanor soon learned it’s a badge of honor, and one she has rightly earned. “We’re so proud of her,” April said.
With all this growth, Eleanor had to raise her summer earnings goal to $3,000. She’s already surpassed $1,900. She also has a new dream for the future. “When I’m all grown up I want to run a business that’s half animal shelter and half bakery,” Eleanor said, explaining that the bakery would serve both dog and human treats and that people could check out dogs they might like to adopt while sharing treats together.
When she’s not running her lemonade stand, you can often find Eleanor painting her dogs’ toenails or marrying them off to each other. ““Here’s a fun fact about me, I like to put headbands and sunglasses on my dogs,” she said. Asked what she likes best about dogs, she responded, “I like their personalities and how cuddly they are.”
Now that the school year has begun, Lemons for Paws only runs on the weekends. Ever the entrepreneur, Eleanor’s adding deliveries and special orders to her business. The season will conclude with Eleanor’s appearance at Anderson Humane’s Pets-AH-Palooza on September 25, but she’s already making business plans for next summer. Through all her plans and opportunities, Eleanor’s driving passion remains the same: “I just want dogs to have a better life.”
Visit the Lemons for Paws stand at 231 S. 19th St. in St. Charles and learn about her latest appearances on her Facebook page.