A small, gourmet lemonade stand opened in the Mission District last month and has since caused quite a stir. Located on Valencia Street, Gourmonade is owned and operated by Vicktor Stevenson, known by his customers for his bright smile and easy demeanor. Apart from their $8 lemonade, the stand also sells goods from other local businesses, including popcorn from Thatcher’s Gourmet Popcorn and cookie dough from Doughp (pronounced “dope”).
The owner went viral during its first month of business in July both for the store’s high prices and an incident with law enforcement at his shop that Stevenson views as racially charged. The police were called on him for a break-in while he was trying to open his store. The owner told CNN that the experience left him feeling vulnerable and disrespected. Stevenson, who is black, said in a Facebook video that it was “just another day in America,” and has received an outpouring of support from neighbors since the incident.
Four cops just hopped out on me guns almost drawn took my ID at my own store. This racist thing is out of control but it won’t stop me! Living my dreams like they are golden because they are lol @londonbreed Shazaaaaaammm! #thisisamerica #dontcatchyouslippingup #businees #while #black #sanfrancisco #california #love #TFLers #tweegram #photooftheday #20likes #amazing #smile #follow4follow #like4like #look #instalike #igers #picoftheday #food #instadaily #instafollow #followme #girl #iphoneonly #instagood #bestoftheday
Stevenson prides himself on serving the “best, freshest, realest lemonade possible” as he describes the hours he spent squeezing lemons to Mission Local as a labor of love. In fact, he has squeezed every lemon by hand until recently when he pulled a muscle in his back and purchased an electric juicer. His inspiration for the stand stemmed from an inexplicable craving he had for lemonade in the middle of a New York snowstorm. The idea stuck with him as he spent years developing his lemonade and testing his recipes during pop up events until he could make his dream come true in grand form.
Make sure to stop at the stand to try the lemonade and take a picture in front of the shop’s charming yellow booth!