An eight year old girl had her lemonade stand shutdown by police after a nearby food festival filed a complaint about her.
The police officer who had to shut her down felt so bad that he gave her the $20 necessary to get a permit.
Asa Baker was selling lemonade outside her father’s business when the Alliance, Ohio Rib and Food Festival called the police to complain.
“Well, they were really sad that they had to shut me down but they gave me $20 to try and pay for it,” Baker told local station WJW-TV.
Katrina Moore, Asa’s mother, told the station that the police officer did the right thing — even though he didn’t want to do it.
“I could definitely tell he did not want to shut her down, but, I mean, you get a call, he has to do it. He definitely did the right thing, you know, in the situation he was put in,” the mother said. “Later that day, I made a (social media) post in appreciation for the officer that gave her the money for shutting it down. You know, as unfortunate as it was, I still was very grateful that he was at least able to give her $20.”
“I understand the rules, I understand why she got shut down. It’s just a sad, sad situation,” Moore told the station.
Kyle Clark, Asa’s Dad, said that he did not know that children need a permit to operate a lemonade stand.
“We looked it up and it was pretty much anywhere in Ohio. You have to have a license and I’ve never heard of that,” Clark said.
Alliance Police Lieutenant Don Wensel told the station that the department is not targeting children’s lemonade stands, but that they had to enforce the law once a complaint came in from the festival.
Unfortunately, the girl’s mother said that it is extremely difficult for them to obtain the proper permit — as it is not really clear which one applies to a child’s lemonade stand.
“In order to get a food vendors license, it only lasts for five days and its $40 for five days so that’s kind of out of the picture. If she wants to sell on the street, she has to get a street permit. If she sells in front of a business, we have to get a solicitors permit,” said Moore.
There are only 14 states in which children do not need a permit to operate a lemonade stand — though the laws are rarely enforced.