Like most kids, 11-year-old Jamaria Crump dreamed of having a lemonade stand. Her mom Jasmine Hall wasn’t initially on board.
“At first she was like no, no cause every kid wants a lemonade stand,” said Crump.
“She said it for a good year and a half before I guess I took it seriously enough to consider doing it,” said Hall.
Crump persisted, making her lemonade and lemon-flavored baked goods to sell at school and community events. And Hall began to see just how badly her daughter wanted this.
“At that point I knew it was serious when she offered to pay me to help her,” Hall said.
About two months ago, Crump, with the help of her mom and sister, opened LemonTopia at Cross Street Market in Federal Hill. Crump is the CEO and handles most of the business but there are some limitations.
“When I need stuff I need to write a list and me and my mom go together because I can't drive there myself.”
And if Crump forgets something on her list, Hall puts it all on her daughter to figure out how to get it.
“She'll have to inventory and make a list for me and figure out how we're going to get the extra and when,” Hall said. “And she has to pay rush fees for those ones.”
When Crump is not selling lemonade at her stand in Cross Street Market or at community events, she’s trying out new recipes. Her specialty is the unicorn lemonade.
She describes it as “a magical, color-changing, noise-making lemonade.”
She has more than 20 different flavors, like peach citrus, summer rain and pink lemonade. And she’s okay with giving up her play time to experiment.
“After you cook and you sell your stuff you realize you just made $100 while other people were at the park playing.”
But it’s not all about profits for this 11-year-old. Giving back is a big part of her business too. Some of the proceeds from LemonTopia go to the Whitelock Community Farm in Reservoir Hill, which grows fresh produce for people who don’t have easy access to it.
Crump understands the food desert issue plaguing much of Baltimore. Often times when she’s driving from her house in Belair-Edison to Cross Street Market, she can’t find a grocery store that sells fresh food.
“I feel bad that those communities have to eat all this processed food and food that's not good for you because they don't have a way to get to it
Talking to Crump, it’s very easy to forget she’s only 11 years old. Even her mom has to remind herself her daughter is still a kid. But she’s incredibly proud of what Crump has accomplished and how she’s sharing her gift with others.
“Through LemonTopia, we have learned some hidden gems throughout the city and met some really good people and learned there is stuff to do.”
“I like seeing a lot of people happy I like seeing everyone around me happy,” Crump said.
LemonTopia will be open at Cross Street Market on select days through next week. After that, it’s back to school for this young CEO.
But Crump plans to hold plenty of pop-up events to give her fans their lemonade fix.
You can follow her on Instagram @lemontopiabaltimore and on Facebook to find out when her next pop-up event will be.