Instead of setting up a classic kids’ lemonade stand to quench his community’s thirst and put a few dollars in his pocket, Seth decided to sell root beer. But a little creative marketing turned his quaint summer business into a viral sensation that even attracted attention from local law enforcement.
Like a pint-sized P.T. Barnum, the 11-year-old entrepreneur stood in front of his root beer stand with a homemade sign that read, “Ice Cold Root Beer.” However, the word “Root” required a magnifying glass to be seen.
So, you’ve got a young boy with several coolers, holding a sign that screams, “Ice Cold Beer” in block letters in front of a church in Utah. What could possibly have gone wrong?
According to the Associated Press, several concerned citizens called the Brigham City Police Department to report what they thought was an illegal bartending operation on par with Al Capone during Prohibition.
When officers showed up, they took a closer look at Seth’s sign and realized what seemed problematic was actually a clever marketing strategy. After asking him for a drink, the officers then posed for a photo with him.
The photos the Brigham City Police Department shared on Facebook of their brush with this scofflaw squirt went viral, attracting hundreds of likes and dozens of comments since July 17.
The story even caught the attention of Utah Senator Mitt Romney. He also tweeted about the story, labeling Seth “a young entrepreneur” and calling his strategy “a lesson in reading the fine print.”
A lesson in reading the fine print! The future is bright for this young Utah entrepreneur. https://t.co/bJgyaIFhQe
— Senator Mitt Romney (@SenatorRomney) July 17, 2019
According to the AP, Seth decided to launch the side hustle after his mom, Alexis Parker, had been urging him to get out of the house more following the family’s move to Utah from Georgia in 2018.
As for why he settled on selling root beer instead of, say, lemonade, there’s a very simple reason: Seth is a root beer “fanatic,” as his mom described to the AP. And the clever sign was his idea. Parker says he chose the sign with the tiny print as a little “wisecrack.”
And his venture certainly made him more popular around town. Parker says an estimated 60 people stopped by to visit her son’s stand each day in the first week after he set it up.
While his sign may have initially raised some eyebrows around, it wasn’t long before residents joined in on the joke.
Of her son’s root beer pit stop, Parker says, “We’re loving people stopping by and just having a good laugh. It is a joy all the way around.”