By Shaun Boyd
BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– Start-up success stories don’t get much better than this. A 12-year-old lemonade tycoon from Broomfield is on track to generate $100,000 in revenue this year.READ MORE: Golden Cancer Patient Calling On State To Include More Patients In Next Vaccine Phase
It comes at a time when Colorado has seen a record investment in businesses — nearly $500 million in just three months.
When Jack Bonneau started his lemonade stand three years ago, he says he just wanted to make enough to buy a toy.
“I wanted the Legos Star Wars Death Star and it cost $400 so I asked my dad if I could get it. He said I could but I would have to pay for it. I’m like, ‘How am I going to make that much money, I’m only 8 years old?’ He suggested I start my own lemonade stand.”
Jack’s Stands and Marketplaces was born. Today, it’s a chain that’s expanded well beyond lemonade, “I sell lemonade, ice tea and other young entrepreneurs’ products in malls and farmers markets.”
Congressman Jared Polis highlighted the business in 2014 – and again this week – as part of Startup Week Across America.
“When I first met Jack I thought, I said, ‘Oh wow, great, here’s a kid with a lemonade stand’ but I didn’t think necessarily he’d have this big business or bigger business in three to four years later.”
Jack sells not only his organic lemonade but creations like decorative socks and mugs from young entrepreneurs around the country.READ MORE: 'They Left Her For Dead': 14 Year Old & 18 Year Old Charged With Woman's Murder On Colfax
He also hires young people to run his stands and teaches them the lemonade trade, “I teach them how to greet and serve the customer, how to make change, take credit cards and how to track their sales. And then at the end of the day we go through a mini profit and loss statement to figure out their revenue, expenses, profit and tips.”
Polis, a Democrat representing Colorado and his party’s gubernatorial candidate for the November election, was once a young entrepreneur himself.
“I see a little of myself in Jack,” said Polis.
He says he launched Startup Week to highlight all innovators.
“Not enough members of Congress really understood entrepreneurship, the start-up economy, how to remove barriers to innovation. There are people with ideas launching into the economy every day and we wanted to really connect representatives to those start up efforts so they can be more supportive.”
Jack has grown his lemonade stand into a lemonade empire. He says he’s employed and trained thousands of kids and Good Times restaurants now sells his lemonade in four flavors.
“Right now, I’m just focusing on my stands but I’m keeping my opportunities open so you never know.”MORE NEWS: Weld County Joins 'Meat In' Day Supporters Following Polis' Controversial Announcement