Not many seven-year-olds want jobs. Even fewer want to start their own businesses to give other people jobs. But Micah Harrigan, founder of Micah’s Mixx, was not your average seven-year-old.
Micah, who hails from the Philadelphia area, thought about his future a lot, which led him to ask his mom for a job beyond household chores. When she explained he wasn’t old enough to work legally, he told her he wanted to start his own business and work for himself. So she put out the call to her friends to ask what kind of business her young son should start. The response was to take something he already liked and turn it into a business.
So what did Micah choose? Lemonade. “I always liked cooking,” Micah, now in fifth grade, said, “I cook with my mom a lot. My favorite meal to make with her is banana pudding.” So the mother/son pair dove right in, ordering flavors and doing a late-night taste test.
At first, Micah would hand squeeze the lemons for hours to make enough lemonade. Now they outsource the fresh lemon juice to a company with an industrial juicer. Besides the classic take, Micah’s Mixx offers peach, watermelon, strawberry and blue raspberry (Micah’s favorite) varieties plus iced tea and no sugar added versions made with Splenda.
What started as a pop-up park business is now a full time hustle. Micah’s Mixx is sold in three corner stores around Philadelphia, all of which approached the brand via Instagram. Micah’s mom also recently purchased a mini-bus and raised funds to outfit it as a mobile lemonade stand.
Even with a successful business, Micah is still thinking about what he wants to do next. His mom grew up with parents who taught her the value of a strong work ethic, and Micah has taken that lesson to heart. He’s learned a bit about finances and investment and always shares his profits to help his mom out with the bills. “That’s how I got introduced to helping people,” he says. “And it made me feel nice, and now I’m just nice.”
And the publicity – he’s been written up in Bon Appétit, Black Enterprise Magazine and The Philadelphia Inquirer and been seen on the local ABC station and more – hasn’t gone to his head at all. He says his friends didn’t even find out about his business until nearly a year after he started it. Now they are supportive, even if they aren’t old enough to work for him yet.
What does Micah think about how big his business, which now has a logo featuring his smiling face, has gotten? “It’s insane. Me and my mom never expected it to skyrocket all of the sudden. We thought that we were just going to do it for 10 days. Now it’s like the main deal.”
Spring and summer are naturally the busiest times for lemonade stands, so you can expect to find Micah’s Mixx and the new bus around the Philadelphia area. “We do have a lot of fans and people who like me, so there’s probably going to be a line,” Micah explains, “So you might get some or you might not depending on how early you come.”
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