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Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Racial Profiling Incident Leads to More Business For Black Entrepreneur Selling $8 Gourmet Lemonade on the Streets of San Francisco

Vicktor Stevenson, founder of Gourmonade

Gourmonade, a new Black-owned artisanal lemonade stand in San Francisco, has been viral for two unlikely reasons: its relatively high prices ($8 for a 16-ounce bottle) and an alleged racially-charged 911 call against its owner, Vicktor Stevenson. However, Stevenson isn't mad about what happened because the incident actually brought more attention and success to his business.
Launched about two months ago, Gourmonade has already amassed a huge following. Although initially, the lemonade's prices of $8 per bottle raised eyebrows, people eventually have grown to love the freshly-squeezed lemonades bottled and labeled lovingly by hand.

Meanwhile, three days after its grand opening, a mishap incident happened. Someone called the police and reported a break-in when it was actually the store's owner checking the security system. Vicktor Stevenson, the owner, believes it all happened because he is Black.

Stevenson post photos of the incident on Instagram and it immediately went viral spurring issues about the increasing number of Black people being policed even while doing mundane tasks. Moreover, he received a lot of support and his business got a lot of attention.

Even though recent reports say San Francisco has a rapidly diminishing African-American population, a lot of people come to his small lemonade stand and share photos and messages of support on social media. Gourmonade's Instagram account now has over 9,000 followers.

Stevenson, a hands-on businessman, is the self-appointed lemonade concierge. People love how he would smilingly pose for social media photos and answer questions about his products. Aside from plain lemonade, they also offer "Jasmine Palmer" made with lemon juice, jasmine green tea, and turbinado sugar.

With the boost of attention, Stevenson plans to reach more market and extend opening hours and days (the shop is currently open from Friday through Sunday, noon to 6pm). He recently started a Kickstarter and GoFundMe campaign to achieve the goal by ramping up the production and adding more staff. He definitely had memorable first months of business and he's hoping to continue it successfully.

For more details about Gourmonade, visit www.gourmonade.com or follow them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/gourmonade




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