An 11-year-old girl/budding capitalist in Western Australia has had her dreams of earning some extra money for the holidays crushed by a local council who shuttered her lemonade stand over health and safety concerns.
Recognizing a critical gap between the supply and demand of lemon-flavored beverages in her hometown of Bunbury, Chelsea Ruderforth had set up a stall by the road to sell lemonade, cupcakes, and lemon meringue pie, her mother Marissa told 702 ABC Perth Radio.
But the dreams of the young entrepreneur were shattered Atlas Shrugged-style when the local city council ordered she abandon her shop plans before she could even open.
"It is such a sad day when a kid can't make a bit of extra cash just selling a few cupcakes and lemonade," Marissa Ruderforth told ABC Radio.
Chelsea's business plans came undone after she sought to advertise her commercial venture through social media promotion, something any MBA student would tell you is necessary for high-revenue returns on capital investments.
The council told the ABC that they had been alerted to the stall via a concerned member of the public who had spotted the promotion.
Chelsea, who had risen at 4 a.m. to begin baking, had not even finished setting up her stall when staff arrived to shut it down.
Her mother said Chelsea had been left "devastated" by the crushing of her capitalist spirit.
"The city actually received a complaint about the type of food products that she was using, and also where she was set up was unsafe for people to pull over," environmental health manager Sarah Upton told the ABC.
"Custard and cream are very high risk products. Those products cannot be manufactured at home for sale," Upton said. "She was also set up on a busy road on a council verge so there was nowhere for people to pull off the road safely."
"The city applauds her efforts in trying to be entrepreneurial, but it is important to seek professional advice in relation to legal requirements," Upton said, noting the council is looking to help the 11-year-old open a new business venture that complies with regulations.
"If she can look at manufacturing food in a commercial kitchen, then there is a possibility that she will be able to do it in the future," Upton said.
Marissa Ruderforth said she trusted her daughter's customers to use their consumer discretion. "We did understand the principle, but I just think customers go there knowing it's an 11-year-old girl's stall," she said. "If you don't want to buy, then don't."