Brendan Mulvaney's Ballston Spa lemonade stand will reopen on Saturday, August 18th from 10am-4pm.
The goal is to raise money for a Ballston Spa family in need; Madison Moore, who has Blount's Disease. According to columbiadoctors.org, "Blount's disease is a rare growth disorder that affects children, causing the legs to bow outwards just below the knees. It is also know as tibia vara."
CLICK HERE to go to #TeamMaddy's Facebook page. She will be going in for an operation on August 22.
The lemonade stand is located at:
126 Fairground Avenue
Ballston Spa, NY 12020
When I first heard about 7 year old Brendan Mulvaney having his backyard lemonade stand shut down, I thought it was either a misunderstanding or an power hungry state health employee, or possibly a combination of the two. When the State Health Department issued an apology to Brendan and his family, I thought the story was over.
But since this is New York, it was far from over.
Here’s what happened. The Mulvaney property is very close to the Saratoga County Fairgrounds. Every year, Brendan opens a backyard stand on his family’s property (that is important to note here) and sells things like lemonade, sno cones and water to hot and thirsty fairgoers. It’s a great real life lesson in economics and work ethic for an elementary schooler. It’s also now becoming a real life lesson how New York State does business.
This year, fair vendors complained that Brendan’s lemonade stand was drawing customers away from their pricier lemonade. So the State Health department sent an employee over to talk to the Mulvaneys and shut the stand down. The following day, amid media coverage and bad PR, the state issued an apology, claiming in part “… we offer Brendan an apology for any inconvenience. We are working to better understand the situation but in the meantime want to assure the community that DOH does not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands."
Back in business then, right?
Of course not. Less than 24 hours after that statement, comes word that if Brendan Mulvaney wants to reopen the lemonade stand- on his family’s property next year, they will indeed require a permit in line with what the rest of the vendors are required.
Whoa. So any lemonade stand on any private property in the state will require a permit from the State Health Department, or just ones that tick off fair vendors? Will the kids on the corner of my street have to pay $30 for a permit to sell lemonade for 25 cents per Dixie cup? There is something incredibly wrong with this picture.
It seems the City of Saratoga has dealt with a similar issue in a far more graceful manner. For years, kids have sold bottled water and writing utensils to Saratoga Race Track patrons. Someone complained last year, and this past March the city decided to designate areas where kids are allowed to sell water. They don’t require a permit, just their parents’ permission on file with the city.
So let me get this straight. Kids in Saratoga Springs are allowed to sell bottled water on public streets without a permit, while a kid selling lemonade ON HIS OWN PROPERTY has to pay $30 for a permit to New York State so he doesn’t tick off fair vendors?
Yes, Brendan, welcome to the world of doing business in the State of New York. A great life lesson, indeed.
Country Time Lemonade has a division of its company that handles situations just like the Mulvaneys’. They provide legal advice and permit fee reimbursement for any family dealing with government overreach and money grubbing state and local municipalities. Learn more: https://www.countrytimelegalade.com/
Brendan's father Sean Mulvaney spoke with Chuck and Kelly this morning.
Senator Jim Tedisco tweeted Tuesday morning, saying that Ballston Spa Mayor John Romano says that "the village code already says children under 14 are exempt from needing a permit to sell lemonade in their front yard."
Governor Cuomo is even weighing in on the controversy, releasing a statement Tuesday afternoon:
"Today I directed the Department of Health to reach a resolution with the Mulvaney family to ensure that Brendan's Lemonade Stand can continue to operate. If a permit is needed, I will personally pay for any necessary fees. We support Brendan's entrepreneurial spirit and wish him the best of luck."