Your average 12- and 14-year olds probably spent their summer at the local pool or summer camp.
Reign and Taij Saunders, though, devoted their time off to growing their lemonade business—squeezing every drop out of each day.
The sister duo grew up in the kitchen helping their mom, Tee, with her baking business, making cakes for events and parties throughout Pennsylvania. One day, inspired by their mom’s entrepreneurial spirit, the girls decided to step out on their own with a sweet idea.
“A lot of kids sell lemonade, but they don’t take it to the next level. We have a brand, bottle a special recipe and deliver it to our customers at events in the community,” Taij said. “We came up with this idea by thinking about what our customers would want in the summertime—fresh-squeezed lemonade.”
With an idea in hand, Reign and Taij developed a logo, started promoting their product on social media and signed up for their first local event in September 2019. After the fair, they received their first pre-paid order for one gallon of lemonade. Three years later, the sisters have sold thousands of gallons.
They currently allot at least 10 hours per week to fulfill orders from local businesses such as OD’s Fish House and community partners like Millersville University, D.R.E.A.M.S. Minority Business Network and the Dauphin County Library System. Their at-home process takes around two hours per 100 bottles.
“Every flavor of lemonade starts with us juicing fresh lemons,” Taij said. “Then, we mix our secret recipe together and conduct a taste test. After, we bottle, label and package each product by hand. Orders are available through curbside pickup or delivery.”
As a licensed traveling vendor, the Saunders family participates in vendor fairs throughout Pennsylvania and Virginia. The lemonade line has expanded from four to 12 flavors, including popular varieties like blueberry, mango and strawberry.
Lemonade prices range from $3 for a single bottle to $8 for a half gallon and $12 for a gallon. For repeat customers, the sisters also sell souvenir cups for $7 with a $2 lifetime guaranteed refill. New to their menu this summer was “sugarless” lemonade and fruit-infused water—for those watching their sweets. These are made by special order.
In the next year, Reign and Taij want to take their business on the road.
“We are working on purchasing and wrapping a food truck to show our original logo with a photo of us when we started the business in 2019,” Taij said. “This truck will help us take our business to the next level and allow us to provide more offerings at events.”
As the sisters return to school this month, they look forward to their school district and teachers supporting their small business and keeping the lemonade orders flowing during the slower winter months.
“Our teachers are so supportive of our business and purchase lemonade throughout the school year to keep us busy,” Taij said. “We also like to give to back-to-school fundraisers because, even though we are business owners, we are kids, too.”
This August, the Harrisburg community can support the lemonade sisters by purchasing lemonade cups at local events such as at SoMa block party on Aug. 25 at S. 3rd and Market streets in Harrisburg. Reign and Taij’s Homemade Lemonade will have a table, selling a variety of lemonades to enjoy.
“We have so much fun working together as a family,” Reign said. “We love being out and about at community events and seeing our customers’ faces when they try our lemonade for the first time. They often come back for more.”
For more information on Reign and Taij’s Homemade Lemonade, visit www.rntlemonade.bigcartel.com or follow them on Instagram @reign_taijs_lemonade.
Are you a local business wanting to partner with Reign and Taij? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org for bulk, discount ordering.
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