From pop-up stall to the America’s Cup
Bermudian entrepreneur Ashley Stephens is set to add some island flavour to the America's Cup.
For Ms Stephens, the founder of Ashley's Lemonade, has joined the elite group of island vendors of food and drink in the America's Cup Village.
Ms Stephens founded the company with a pop-up stall on St John's Road in Pembroke while still a schoolgirl — now she's facing the biggest event of her six-year career.
She said: “We will be working far beyond our normal capacity and it is exciting.
“I think we will learn so much more about how to run and grow the lemonade stand with the consumers and people we will meet, especially from around the world.”
Ms Stephens has been getting help in preparing for the big event, which kicks off tomorrow, from Chris Garland, the public food and beverage manager for the America's Cup.
She said: “Chris Garland has always taken an interest in me from the first time we met, asking me questions, right down to the price of a straw. He said I need to know everything about my business.”
Ms Stephens has prepared new drinks in honour of the sporting event, including The Wind, a combination of freshly-squeezed lemon, and lime, with local mint and a pinch of Bermuda sea salt.
She added: “This event is important to Bermuda because it will boost our economy and inspire young Bermudians to dream. It's all possible.
“I am very delighted to say everyone is taking advantage of this opportunity. I think everyone will be very happy with what America's Cup will bring.”
Ms Stephens was on site on Front Street for the America's Cup World Series two years ago and she is featured in a series of adverts on bus shelters and buses promoting the Bermudian input into the event.
She said: “As a young entrepreneur, it is nice to show my peers and all the young people of Bermuda that if you believe in your dreams and work hard, they come true, which is why I am thankful to my parents for allowing me to take this opportunity, for encouraging me and always believing in me.
“My community has always supported Ashley's Lemonade stand which has helped my business to grow and I am thankful.
Ms Stephens added: “I love my product and put a lot of thought into how it could be pleasing to locals and tourists.
“It's grown beyond my expectations. I want the world to experience Ashley's Lemonade and the America's Cup is a good way to do it.”