Douglas Lemonade Stand A Go Despite Possibly Illegal Clause Owner Can't Sell Food Items Others Sell
Freshly-squeezed lemonade will be hitting the streets of Douglas downtown this summer thanks to Michael “Mick” White’s entrepreneurial spirit.
The Douglas City Council approved the lemonade stand at Monday’s meeting by means of a temporary agreement allowing White the use of three designated solid sidewalk areas within the Center Street public right-of-way.
Douglas doesn’t have an ordinance regulating street vendors and so city officials decided on the individualized agreement for the drink stand.
Also, not unlike other outdoor Center Street businesses (i.e. Running Rivers and former food vendor Odie Dogs), it is charging White $500 for the use of the public space.
“I think it would be a good asset for the City of the Village of Douglas to have during the summer season,” White told city leaders before their vote.
They concurred with him, saying that a lemonade stand would indeed result in more diversified options for visitors.
The council responded favorably since White first came to them with the idea last month.
White will only be offering drinks and not food.
In fact, one condition, among others, in the agreement stipulates the following:
“That Michael (White) shall not sell or offer any specific goods or products which are sold by another business within the downtown district without the express written consent of the business owner.”
This was a minor point of contention for one city council member.
“I don’t think the feds are going to go after that for us. Technically you can’t sign an agreement that says you can’t compete with other businesses,” said Douglas City Council Member Lisa Greenwood. “I think free trade suggests you can’t do that.”
With an investment of $3,000 for a stainless steel cart with a mounted umbrella, White has said he does not yet know if he will generate enough revenue to recover his costs.
He is a 25-year local resident and has previously owned a sub shop and boutique in the community, businesses that went belly up following the 2008 and 2009 economic crisis.
He plans on operating his new business seven days a week, from 12 noon to 4 p.m.