An inspector from the New York State Department of Health shut down the lemonade stand of a seven-year-old-boy because he did not have a permit. Brendan Mulvaney has been running the lemonade stand for the last few years during the Saratoga County Fair. His parents open up their property for people to park, and Brendan earns his own money selling those people lemonade for 75 cents a cup.
His cheap prices upset the vendors inside the county fair and they complained to the Health Department because he did not have a permit. Acting on the complaint, an inspector showed up at the Mulvaneys' house on Friday afternoon.
"This woman, she didn't give me her name, I saw the shirt, I knew what was going on when she stepped right on my deck and asked me if I had a permit. I told her no I don't," Brendan's father, Sean Mulvaney told WNYT.
She ordered the Mulvaneys to shut down the unlicensed stand immediately and told him they would receive a fine in the mail. News of what happened spread quickly and reached the desk of state Senator Jim Tedisco. He said he would be willing to craft a new law that would exempt lemonade stands from needing expensive permits.
"When I was a young kid, every week, one or two times a week at 7, 8, 9, 10 years old, I had a lemonade stand right out in my front yard. No bureaucrat from the state ever came to threaten or fine me, arrest me, or make me get a permit to shut down."
The Department of Health apologized for shutting down the stand but stood firm, saying the seven-year-old boy does need a permit.
"In the opinion of the inspector, the lemonade stand was in line with vendors inside the fair. She did not see any child," Health Department spokesman Gary Holmes said. "We don't want to kill the dreams of a little boy, but for safety, they need a permit. We will help them get the permits."
Sean Mulvaney spoke about the incident with Chuck and Kelly on iHeartRadio station WGY.