Micah Idris Harrigan was inspired by businesses like Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Target, and video game companies to start a homemade lemonade. His business started as a backup plan as his dream job is to be a soccer player.
With the support of his mom, who told him he was too young to get a job, the Philadelphia-based 10-year-old came up with the idea for Micah’s Mixx, the name for his lemonade. Settling on this business was easy for Micah because he has always love lemonade. After all, it is easy to prepare as it does not require a ton of ingredients.
“We used to make the lemonade at home. My mom ordered a bunch of ingredients, and we set up her old bartending stand with a handwritten sign outside our house,” he told Bonappetit. His lemonade has five flavors: classic lemon, strawberry, blue raspberry, watermelon, and peach. He also has special editions every day, like cherry-lime, lavender, and mango.
Micah’s first sale was an instant hit as he sold out. Then COVID-19 spread across the United States and disrupted his business flow. However, Micah weathered the COVID-19 storm by devising an innovative strategy. He started doing more pop-ups and collaborations around Philadelphia.
“The first was with Rally Coffee, and it was the most lemonade we ever sold: 150 bottles in less than an hour. A lot of people have gotten to know me because of these pop-ups. Social media has also helped. It’s been a chain reaction: We went from 137 followers to 800 followers in less than a week, and today we’re at 3,800. Now we have a kitchen that we work out of. It was taking over my mom’s kitchen,” he said.
Micah is saving for a trailer to enable him to sell his lemonade on the road so as to take his product to different places to attract more customers. “If we just stayed in South Philly the whole time, we’d only get the same customers,” he recalled his mother telling him.
“In a couple of years, I think I might have a storefront, maybe two if we’re lucky. We would sell out of restaurants, we would have advertisements, and have a lot of other businesses as our friends,” he said.
For Micah, starting a thriving startup-like Micah’s Mixx is “awesome,” particularly at his age and being a Black person. However, he couldn’t have done it without his mother. “Working with her is the best,” he said. “My mom taught me to work for what you need. We have been best friends my whole life, and I love her. She is my partner in business, and always will be.”
Last August, Micah’s addition of a sugar-free option to his business grabbed the attention of Splenda, a brand name for an artificial sweetener that is used in a wide range of foods. Splenda awarded $1,000 to his college fund and also sponsored a custom bicycle to help make Micah’s business mobile, 6 ABC reported.
“There are many people that are living with diabetes and one of the things that Micah is doing is helping the community and his own family with a sugar-free option,” said Tiffany Jennings, Director of Sales for Splenda.
His mom is also helping him save the profit he makes for college although Micah would have loved to save up to go back on the same four-day cruise to the Bahamas he went on for his ninth birthday.
“The food was amazing, especially their chicken noodle soup. I would get it every night for dinner, even though it was 100 degrees outside. It was really nice to get to see a lot of new places from my culture because in the Caribbean there seemed to be a lot of Black people,” he recalled.