AUSTIN, Texas, March 31 (UPI) — An 11-year-old’s lemonade company has struck a deal with Whole Foods to be carried in stores across four states.
Mikaila Ulmer, who had already won a $60,000 investment from the ABC show Shark Tank, will now get her drink featuring her great-grandmother’s recipe on the shelves of 55 stores in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.
Her route to young entrepreneurship began with two bee stings in the same week when she was four.
“I didn’t enjoy the bee stings at all. They scared me,” Mikaila, now 11, said. “But then something strange happened. I became fascinated with bees. I learned all about what they do for me and our ecosystem. So then I thought, what if I make something that helps honeybees and uses my Great Granny Helen’s recipe?”
Ulmer began selling her BeeSweet Lemonade at local events in their home town of Austin, Texas. Soon after it was being sold at a nearby pizza parlor. The lemonade is simply her great-grandmother’s flaxseed lemonade recipe sweetened with honey from local bees.
Ulmer and her family donate a portion of their profits to organizations that help sustain honeybee populations.
But Ulmer won’t take all the credit. She said her family support her with the company and allow her to be a kid as much as possible.
“You create a balance because she is working as hard as she is playing,” her mother said.
The terms of the deal were not announced, but if BeeSweet does well, Whole Foods will add to the number of stores that carry it.