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One Man Has Waged a Two-Year Battle to Shut Down This Kid's Lemonade Stand


"It's all about profit."

Image via Tampa Bay Times

Persistence is key, both in running a business — and trying to persuade the government to shut one down.

One man in Dunedin, Florida, has been petitioning local authorities to shut down 13-year-old T.J. Guerrero's lemonade stand for two years, the Tampa Bay Times reported.

Image via Tampa Bay Times T.J. Guerrero. (Image source: Tampa Bay Times)

"Please help me regain my quiet home and neighborhood," the 61-year-old Wilkey wrote in one of four emails he sent to city hall over the past two years.

"The city could possibly face repercussion in the event someone became ill from spoiled/contaminated food or drink sales," Wilkey wrote in another email.

Besides concerns about noise and food safety, Wilkey said the year-round presence of a lemonade stand — not a surprising phenomenon, given the Florida warmth — could drive down his property value.

"If this were a once-a-year event by a couple kids to earn a little money for a holiday or something, I would not have a problem with it," he said in another email. "I am very worried about the value of my home, which is why I built in a residential area, not a business area."

The young teen entrepreneur running the stand admitted he has a loyal customer base, but told the Times his stand is rarely bustling, and after Wilkey complained about his friends blocking the sidewalk and swearing, T.J. started manning the stand solo.

Image via Tampa Bay Times T.J. serves a loyal customer. (Image via Tampa Bay Times)

"It's all about profit," T.J. told the Times, saying he also mows lawns and is looking forward to turning 14 so he can apply for a grocery store bagger job.

For now, Wilkey — who declined to be interviewed by the Times — won't be able to stop T.J. from making money: city officials told the Times they don't plan to shut down the stand.

"We're not in the business of trying to regulate kids like that; nor do we want to do any code enforcement like that," said Dunedin planning and development director Greg Rice. "We are not out there trying to put lemonade stands out of business."

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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