Freshly Squeezed: Local boy sells 'Best lemonade in the world'
A simple plan to make enough money to buy fireworks for the Fourth of July inspired a young Benton boy to promote his product as "the best lemonade in the world."
Wesley Browning, a fireworks enthusiast, decided to build a lemonade stand and sell the summer treat on the front lawn of his grandmother's house on East Sevier Street.
"Wesley loves Roman candles," said his mother, Danielle Browning. "The idea to build the stand was his."
She noted that Wesley said he needed $42 to buy the fireworks.
Passersby, including members of church groups and Benton police officers, have enjoyed the lemonade that sells for a dollar for a large Styrofoam cup.
But what is so special about the lemonade that it's earned the reputation as the world's best?
"It's true, hand-squeezed lemonade, Danielle said. And she should know. She's the one who does the squeezing.
"I have the sore hands to prove it," she said.
After word began to spread about the quality of the product, more people found their way to the stand which is fashioned from spare 2-by-4's, a sheet of plywood, a bed sheet and some beads borrowed from Danielle's jewelry collection.
"Wesley and the neighborhood kids built the stand all by themselves," Danielle noted.
The lemonade is made in gallon batches and quickly runs out, she said.
During a recent afternoon, a church van pulled up to the stand and asked to purchase enough lemonade for each member in the van.
"We had to tell them we had run out, but more was coming," Wesley said. "The next gallon would have been ready in five minutes, but the group could not wait. However, they didn't leave before donating $12 and promising to return later.
Wesley's lemonade stand caught the attention of th local police department as well. Officer John Spadero stopped to purchase a cup while on patrol and agrees the lemonade is very good.
"Being able to meet and interact with different people is one of my favorite parts of my job." said Ofc. Spadero. "I saw the kids working their lemonade stand in the yard and had to stop to buy a cup. Best lemonade I've had in a while." The officer gave the kids a tour of his police cruiser.
"The neighborhood kids have been helping Wesley," Danielle said.
Her three other children — Stevie, Wyatt and Walter — also are involved in the project.
At the end of each day, Wesley divides the sales equally among everyone that has helped on that particular day. According to his grandmother, he gave his mother $12 from the proceeds to purchase lemons.
"It's been fun to do this," Danielle said. "It was all their idea. They are just kids being kids, and there is nothing more like summer than a lemonade stand."