August 20th is National Lemonade Day and Compton based Pucker Up Lemonade Company is a great example of entrepreneurs that took the lemons that life gave them and literally made them into lemonade. In 2011, now CEO and “Chief Lemon Squeezer”, Karneisha Christian, hosted a Lemonade Stand at her kid’s school carnival as a fundraiser, which was the beginning of their blossoming business.
Their secret ingredient is a family recipe created by Karneisha’s father. With her co-owner and husband Ken by her side, Pucker Up Lemonade has continued to grow even through a pandemic that caused a lot of small businesses to close. Pucker Up offers over 60 flavors of Lemonade, Iced Tea, and infused Water. We were able to catch up with the owners and learn more about their beautiful story and how they celebrate National Lemonade Day.
How do you plan to celebrate National Lemonade Day?
National Lemonade Day is a big deal at Pucker Up Lemonade Company! For us, it’s actually an entire week of various in-store promos, freebies, and events curated to keep our brand top of mind with our followers and both new and loyal customers. On Saturday, August 20th, we’re launching the “Pucker Up Passport” which will be an in-store subscription menu featuring our “Lifetime Lemonade Cup” with FREE refills!
How has the community been receptive to your lemonade?
We’ve loved on our community so much over the last 11 years and in turn the community has reciprocated tremendously. Even prior to the opening of our brick-and-mortar store in 2019, we developed quite a solid customer base. When we opened our doors, we already had loyal patrons eager to purchase their favorite flavors. In our community we’ve become a neighborhood watering hole for locals. Pucker Up is located on an otherwise blighted boulevard in Compton, CA. We continue to connect both locally and socially via our mission to support local youth organizations through fundraising and providing employment and training opportunities.
Have you thought about expanding into other locations?
We most definitely have plans to expand into other locations. We’re exploring the possibility of an outlet at L.A.’s newest waterfront development “West Harbor” in San Pedro, however we’re open to other local beachside communities as well. We are currently exploring opportunities to produce and distribute Pucker Up to national retailers.
When was it that you realized Pucker Up was a brand and more than just a school fundraiser?
When we started receiving a lot of social media engagement on Facebook, we knew the potential was there. Simultaneously the phone started ringing with inquiries for parties, events, and more fundraisers. Soon after, we booked a few corporate events and decided to focus on beverage catering.
If you could have any celebrity try your lemonade who would it be?
This is a hard one, but we’d love to be featured on Oprah’s Favorites Things list.
Any upcoming events?
Since pandemic restrictions have relaxed, many of our shuttered street festivals and concerts are back bigger than ever this year. This past weekend we participated in the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo, America’s only Black traveling rodeo. We’re wrapping up summer season with several jazz festivals: Taste of Inglewood August 6th and 7th, the Leimert Park Jazz Festival on August 27th and the Oxnard Jazz Festival September 10th and 11th.
On the last Sunday of every month we pop-up at @BlackxTheBlock, a Black millennial “Coachella” of sorts held in Downtown L.A. at Wisdome, and immersive dome park featuring over 100 black-owned brands.
Our most anticipated festival is L.A.’s Taste of Soul Family Festival, Los Angeles’ largest street festival that brings over 300,000 festival-goers to the famed Crenshaw Blvd. Taking place on Saturday, October 15th, Taste of Soul is returning after a 2 year hiatus. The well-oiled machine that is Pucker Up Lemonade Company will attempt to sell 3000 of our Lifetime Lemonade Cups in 9 hours!