There aren’t many gourmet lemonade companies around, let alone ones Black-owned and operated. When I opened Gourmonade, I knew becoming a successful entrepreneur and business owner in San Francisco was never going to be an easy feat.
What I didn’t anticipate was having the police called on me just three days after our grand opening because someone thought I was breaking into my own business, when ironically, I was there that morning to check on the security system.
As I watched the cop car cruise slowly up to my establishment, I was expecting there to be some type of disturbance. I didn’t realize he was there for me until he asked what I was doing there with his hand on his gun.
The San Francisco Mission District is truly a welcoming, diverse place and to have our first brick and mortar shop on Valencia Street is a literal dream come true. After four years of hard work and persistence, nearly quitting a hundred times, and as a new husband and father none-the-less, my dream of running a gourmet lemonade shop had come to fruition.
Though being accused of burglary days after our grand opening was extremely upsetting, it kick-started an unbelievable outpour of support from the San Francisco Bay Area who not only stood for me during a time of unfair accusations, but also continues to stand with me as a Black business owner and the Black community.
I turned a sour situation into a sweet one. Quite literally lemons into lemonade. Two years later I still wash, slice and hand squeeze lemons fresh each morning and deliver them to Gourmonade’s incredible customers. I love it and feel blessed to continue to share my passion with others. The Gourmonade Fam’s mission is to serve you the best lemonade and brighten your day while spreading positivity, happiness and love! Shazaam!