AUSTIN (KXAN) - When thousands of young entrepreneurs hit local streets this Sunday to hawk their lemonade, the winner of last year's National Lemonade Day Austin "Most Creative Recipe" award will be among them.
Mikaila Ulmer was just six years-old when she nailed down the creative recipe honors and she has no one to thank more than her great-grandmother.
You see, one day Mikaila and her family were thumbing through "Granny Helen's" old cookbook. It's a bit worse for wear these days, but inside, they were delighted to discover a recipe for flaxseed lemonade.
Mikaila, a big lemonade fan, decided to try it out.
"(Flaxseed) is healthy and it tastes good with the honey," she said.
Ah, yes, the honey. Turns out Mikaila is also a big fan of honey, the nectar of the bees, to which, she was introduced in a most unpleasant manner.
"I got stung twice by bees and then I actually got pretty interested in it," the girl recalled.
Mikaila not only read books on the subject, she decided to attend a beekeeping class and she recruited the Round Rock Honey company as a sponsor.
"I thought that bees were a very special part in our environment and I really wanted to be a member and help the bees," she said.
"Eighty per cent of the food you eat is from bees, even a hamburger: Like maybe the lettuce, the tomatoes, even the seeds on the bread, because (of) wheat."
It all added up to a decision to dive into National Lemonade Day .
"I tried to take a risk," said Mikaila, "and I tried to ‘perservere' myself to sell lemonade. That means kind of convincing yourself, 'I'm going to do this; I'm going to do this; I'm going to do this, trying not to give up."
Now, lemon juice, flaxseed, honey, mint and some proprietary mumbo-jumbo in the Ulmer family kitchen is once again turning out a tasty, refreshing drink.
That has the young entrepreneur excited because last year, her lemonade stand brought in some pretty big bucks.
I don't know (how much); I got more than I can imagine," Mikaila laughed.
But not only did Mikaila make money, she was selected as a member of a young entrepreneurs panel discussion at this year's SXSW . Still, for this little girl, the real aim has nothing to do with money.
"When the people taste my lemonade," she said, "I just feel extremely happy when they smile after tasting my lemonade."
But beyond that, Mikaila is really trying to rally around our bee population. At the age of seven, she learned to type with the aid of a computer program. Now, she has a Facebook page that she uses to pass along what she's learning.
Still, the money is nice.
"I'll give some to Texas Beekeepers' Association ," she promised. "I'll give some to church. Then I'll save some money in my banking account for the future college. And then I'll spend on fun things for me and my brother like purses and lip gloss and art supplies and toy robots."
Come Sunday, if you find yourself hankering for some delicious flaxseed, honey mint lemonade, you'll find Mikaila at the Hope Farmers Market at the intersection of East 5th and Waller, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.
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