HEATH, Texas — For much of her childhood, 11-year-old Emma Turner has dreamed of owning a horse.
But when her parents, Chris and Annisa Turner, told her that a horse was just too big for their Heath home, her dream got a little smaller.
“I wanted a donkey,” said Emma.
“We were like, ‘A donkey?’” said Annisa.
“I told her she couldn’t have one until she could pay for it herself,” Chris said. “So, she started trying to figure out ways to make money and said, ‘I want to sell lemonade.'”
She started at age 8 by setting up a lemonade stand in her neighborhood.
Once she sold out there, she moved on to the football games.
When that was a hit, she expanded to farmers markets.
Sales have been so successful that today, she has a trailer and a full-fledged business: Emmanade.
“This isn’t your normal lemonade stand,” said Chris.
He and his wife say Emma has been the brains behind all of it. She created all 17 flavors and is the reason local businesses now sell her lemonade.
Her parents never expected it to get this big, but what really surprised them is what she told them just a couple months ago.
“She says, ‘I really like the seniors at the high school,’” Chris said. “’I really want to help them pay for college.’”
“My community are the people who helped me grow my business this far, so I wanted to give back,” Emma said.
For that reason, she used part of her profit to create a scholarship. The only condition: It had to go to someone who would pay it forward and help the community.
One recipient, Ashlynn Denney, will use the $1,000 to become a doctor.
“It’s just helping me further my dreams and what I want to pursue,” said Denney.
Emma has actually made enough money to award two scholarships and still has more than enough left over for a donkey.
“To her disappointment, no donkey,” Chris laughed. “The HOA’s been real supportive. I don’t think they’re going to be that supportive.”
“Now I have to make enough money to buy a couple acres of land,” Emma said. “Then, I can get a donkey and a horse.”
When your parents are as stubborn as a mule, that’s how you turn lemons into lemonade.