Tastes of summer

First word of what lay ahead came by roller skate. “Lemonade for sale,” called out the young girl as she zipped by. I was ready for a cool drink while on my walk, but I would have bought some lemonade even if I weren’t thirsty. I never pass a lemonade stand without buying. I’ll even stop my car and cross the street to be a patron. The quality differs, but the maker-seller is always the same: some youngster who needs support. I’m happy to give it.

In this case, there were a few wrinkles. In addition to lemonade, she was also selling snow cones. I chose the lemonade, then was offered two sizes: large for $1 and small for 50 cents. I chose small but gave her $1 anyway. “Free refills for that size,” she added in a final marketing ploy. I tucked the empty cup into my back pocket for later, but ended up coming home a different route so never collected.

Compare that small business to Nestlé Canada’s sweetheart deal. Nestlé has licences from the Ontario government to pump about 20 million litres of water a day out of the ground for the ridiculous price of $3.71 per million litres. Imagine running a company where your total daily input cost (plus bottling and distribution) is about $75. No wonder my local grocer can sell a case of 24 Nestlé 500 ml. bottles for $1.88.

I used to buy Nestlé water because it came from Aberfoyle, about 20 km. from Guelph, my birthplace. I felt like I was drinking the same spring water I did as a boy. Now that I know the Nestlé deal, I’ve joined the boycott. From this day forth, my feelings of nostalgia will flow only from lemonade stands.

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