Responders support boy's lemonade stand after man complains
Gladstone police, fire and EMS officials stopped by to sip some fresh lemonade after a man interrogated Jacob Martin, 8, for not having a permit
By Kaitlyn Alanis
GLADSTONE, Mo. — Jacob Martin was selling cups of homemade, freshly-squeezed lemonade for 50 cents in his front yard when a sour customer stopped by.
"This guy came up to me and said, 'Do you have a permit?'" Jacob, 8, told KSHB. "And I thought, 'What? What's going on? '"
Jacob's mom, Gina Martin, told WDAF that the man kept interrogating them about the lack of permit during his lemonade stand on June 29.
"He said, 'Do you have a permit? Do you have a health permit, a food handler's permit? '" she told the station. In Clay County, Missouri, a Temporary Food Event Permit is needed to prepare, serve and sell food. For a one- to three-day event, the permit costs $50 if you apply more than two weeks in advance.
Martin sent Jacob inside so that she could work out the issue with the customer, WDAF reported. She asked if he was a Gladstone, Missouri, city employee, and he said he was not.
"They said, 'No. Just as customers, we want to know if we get sick off of this who we should go to,' " Martin told WDAF.
He and another adult began yelling at Jacob's mom, according to KSHB.
"I was flabbergasted, dumbfounded," she told KSHB. "You know, you're standing there with your mouth agape."
So, she took to Facebook to let her friends and family know what happened.
That's when first responders saw her post—and several departments decided to do something about it.
The next day, officials with Gladstone police, fire and emergency medical services stopped by to sip some fresh lemonade. Clay County Sheriff's deputies also stopped by.
So many first responders swung by that Jacob told WDAF, "I thought it was an emergency somewhere!"
But there was no emergency. They just wanted to show their support.
"We heard a local friend of ours, Jacob, had a less than ideal interaction yesterday at his lemonade stand, so we wanted to let him know (we) have his back," the police department posted on June 30. "Thanks for letting us come hang out with you today, and for serving us your fresh made lemonade!! Hit the spot on this hot day."
Deputies, firefighters and EMS also posted about swinging by Jacob's lemonade stand on Saturday.
But the sheriff's deputies didn't just swing by for lemonade—they also left a "stamp of approval" on Jacob's new "permit."
The permit is a white piece of computer paper with "permit" written in green marker. In the bottom left corner, there's an American flag with a thin blue line.
With his new "permit," Jacob plans to hold a lemonade stand throughout the summer, according to WDAF. He plans to donate the money to a global missionary with his church.
He wasn't the only child who experienced lemonade stand troubles this summer. And not all were as lucky.
In May, three boys in Colorado were raising money for nonprofit Compassion International when police showed up and shut it down.
After that incident, Country Time Lemonade announced it'd be offering Legal-Ade to help pay fines and permits for kids who want to run a lemonade stand, CNN reported.
"Life doesn't always give you lemons, but when it does, you should be able to make and share lemonade with the neighborhood without legal implications," Country Time says on its new website, Country Time Legal-Ade. "That's why we're here to take a stand for lemonade stands across the nation."
The lemonade company says it will pay up to $300 for fines incurred in 2017 or 2018, as well as for permits that kids obtain for the 2018 year.