KANKAKEE, Ill. (CBS) — Countless children set up lemonade stands at this time of year, but one 11-year-old Kankakee girl has found her stand shut down by local health officials.
As CBS 2’s Jim Williams reported Monday, the girl, Hayli Martenez, is determined despite the setback.
Hayli has been selling lemonade for 50 cents a cup on her front porch. Many entrepreneurs got their start just that way.
She said what she most loves about selling lemonade, “I get to see everybody smile when they taste my lemonade.”
Hayli is also using the lemonade stand as part of a plan for the future – banking coins for a college fund.
“I can go in bank account, get it out, and I can go to college,” she said.
Her lemonade stand, called Haylibug Lemonadez, has been a hit in Kankakee – so popular the local newspaper, the Kankakee Daily Journal, wrote an article about it.
But that brought Hayli some unwanted attention.
On June 20, four city and workers arrived and shut down Hayli’s lemonade stand over health and sanitation concerns.
Hayli’s home has no running water or sewer services. Health officials say it’s unsanitary.
Hayli’s mother Iva Martenez, who is unemployed, is behind in the water and sewer bills.
Iva Martenez said her reaction was: “‘Are you serious? Are you really serious that we have to stop making lemonade?’ and that’s when he hit my nerve when he said: ‘Yeah, you people have to stop selling lemonade.”
Iva said although the faucet is off, she and Hayli use bottled water.
“People actually donated water to Hayli,” Iva said.
But Kankakee County Health Administrator John Bevis said Hayli wasn’t just selling lemonade but smoothies with fruits and vegetables. And for that, he said, a permit is required.
Bevis told CBS 2 by phone: “When you cross that line, we can no longer overlook that. Those are health issues. We have to prevent food-borne outbreaks.”
Iva Martenez insists Hayli only sells flavored water for customers to make their own smoothies.
“This is supposed to make sense,” Iva said as she broke down.
The county said it will work with the family once the water and sewers are in service.
“I really want to go back to selling lemonade,” Hayli said. “That was my dream and I’ve had a lot of fun selling it.”
Hayli’s’ mother said she is a little more than $200 behind in her water and sewer bills. Fundraisers are being planned in Kankakee.