One of the best drinks for any occasion is lemonade because of the mix of sweet and sour. The sweetness catches you and helps to quench your thirst, especially on a hot Metro Detroit summer day. But the sour is what keeps you interested and coming back for another sip, hour after hour.
That combination also can bring you surprise – and a great business. Recently, the husband-and-wife team, Eli and Beatrice Wolnerman, started a lemonade company. It has grown by leaps, bounds and extreme measures. They are the owners of Bea’s Squeeze, which came out of the most surprising purchase of their lives.
According to Bea, the couple “came across the opportunity to make our childhood lemonade dreams come true when we discovered the smallest parcel of land for sale on Detroit’s urban pedestrian path, the Dequindre Cut.” Positioned above a five-foot retaining wall and measuring a mere 600 square feet, the property sat on the market for months without any interest.
They bought it and turned it into a lemonade stand for use when the weather was right. The idea, Bea said, was to create “a stand that has the feel of childhood nostalgia with some modern updates.” It was supposed to be a pop-up occasion but it became a huge hit, causing the couple to turn a short-term idea into a real manufacturing power product.
By using a delivery method involving buckets and a pulley system to send the lemonade down to customers, Bea’s Squeeze created a fun and interactive experience, a destination for the whole community. With an overwhelming positive response, what was intended as a summer pop-up grew to be much, much more.
Since launching its lemonade stand on the Dequindre Cut two years ago, we have now grown to a nationally distributed brand, currently in stores in 25 states and counting. Bea’s Squeeze has recently released a new purple lavender flavor, quickly becoming a best seller after only a couple weeks. It’s made with real lavender extract, a soothing balance of sour and sweet.
“This is a huge deal for our little company,” Bea said. “You can find us in stores like BJ’s Wholesale Club, Kroger, Meijer, and many independent markets, too.”
The iconic stand with the bucket and pulley system they use to deliver the lemonade is now open again for business on Detroit’s Dequindre Cut, every weekend from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. They also installed a lemonade to-go window at their Eastern Market cafe, Bea’s Detroit.
Now that you’re thirsting for some lemonade, here are some places to find that sweet-sour combination around Metro Detroit.
The to-go window at Bea’s Detroit provides easy access to cold lemonade on-the-go, but it’s also home to its latest lemonade creation: Bea’s Squeeze Freeze. It is offering its lemonade in slushie form, offering a classic and a special of the day, daily. Make it even more fun by choosing a color changing cup, adding a scoop of ice cream, or a crazy Bea’s straw. The hottest way to stay cool, all summer long.
A product that makes Mackinac Island sweet also can be found now in the lower part of Michigan. According to Guernsey, its Bicycle Basket lemonade is the product of more than 80 years of having strong relationships and connections with other Michigan organizations, including those on Mackinac Island, the state’s favorite summertime getaway. The drink also serves as the Official Lemonade of Mackinac Island, and, now, across the entire State of Michigan.
Not only does it have the best view of the city, but this hotel-top bar has a delightful selection of drinks that include lemon and lemon juice, so you could call them lemonade-ish. Check out the Palladium, which is a seasonally spice mule featuring Rittenhouse Rye, House-Made Spiced Pear Nectar and lemon juice.
There’s nothing better than eating a picnic, unless that’s eating with the perfect park view inside a beautiful restaurant. That is what it is like to eat the upscale food and enjoy the well-poured drinks at Detroit’s Lumen. It has a tasty lemonade on the menu as well as a cocktail that is called Killer Bee’s Knees, which features Bombay Sapphire, Sage, Honey and Lemon.
This cocktail innovator has a great selection at its Detroit location, but it also has several to-go options that are worth your while. If you want a cocktail to go, check out the lavender lemonade, which is made with Michigan-grown lavender syrup, Liberator gin and fresh lemon juice. Each 12-ounce bottle makes two drinks, just serve over ice and enjoy.