A town fair in Portland, Oregon found the Chairman of Multnomah County and his licensing police in a little pickle last week.
Seven-year-old Julie and her mother were surprised when their lemonade stand, charging 50 cents a cup, had an unannounced visit from a county inspector asking to see their restaurant license.
They didn’t have one, so the inspector pulled ‘rank’ telling them they would face a fine of up to $500 if they didn’t stop selling lemonade.
Then, a second inspector arrived to support his colleagues decision, but quickly found themselves surrounded by a crowd of vendors supporting Julie and her mother, urging her not to leave. Facing a hefty fine, a tearful Julie and her mother packed up the stand.
While it took too long to help Julia on the day, commonsense has, it seems, prevailed.
Jeff Cogen, chairman of Multnomah County, says the health inspectors were “just following the rule book” but admitted they should have given the girl and her mom a break. He talked with Julie’s mom to apologize.
Cogen told The Oregonian:
A lemonade stand is a classic, iconic American kid thing to do, I don’t want to be in the business of shutting that down
But the furor created by the situation at the Portland art fair might not yet be over. According to the Oregonian, one vendor at the local arts fair is planning a “lemonade revolt” the next time the fair is held — later this month.
Cogen says he doesn’t know what he’ll do if a bunch of fair vendors try selling lemonade without a license.