A 7-year-old lemonade stand operator has been put out of business by the New York State Health Department.
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The shutdown occurred after vendors at a nearby county fair complained he was undercutting their price, according to the New York Post.
The young entrepreneur, Brendan Mulvaney, was selling lemonade, water and Sno-cones from the porch of his family’s home, which just so happens to be right outside the Saratoga County Fair in upstate New York.
A woman wearing a Health Department T-shirt turned up Friday and shut it down because the family didn’t have a permit.
Officials have gone back and forth on the issue, first saying the Health Department doesn’t regulate lemonade stands and even issuing an apology.
“We are working to better understand the situation but in the meantime want to assure the community that DOH does not issue permits for or oversee lemonade stands”, spokeswoman Jill Montag told the Post.
Twenty-four hours later, in an about-face, a permit was required after all.
The permit costs $30 and is good for a year.
The agency said it would help the family get the permit.
The youngster was charging 75 cents a cup for pre-mixed lemonade, while fresh-squeezed at the fair was going for about $7.
There was no immediate comment from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office.