Greed. Drama. Collusion. Broken dreams. Tears. These were all present during what was supposed to otherwise be a pleasant afternoon of visiting artists in their home studios in and around Locke Street. We were shocked … Shocked! … at the avarice on display by residents of this quiet neighbourhood who saw opportunity with the throngs of thirsty art lovers and the predatory corporate behaviour that ensued.
We first came to this pop-up popcorn store with very reasonably priced servings and enthusiastic branding. We bought two bags because the owner was so nice and we believed in the product. We also decided not to mention the large amounts of free refreshments in every studio stop along the way. We believe in the free market. Little did we know our purchasing power would set off a chain of tragic consequences.
Popcorn is great for art lovers on a hot sunny afternoon but makes one thirsty. Where would we find reasonably priced beverage refreshment units appropriate to our demographic and consumer behaviour? If only there was a lemonade stand close by, if only… oh wait, what’s this? A teaser advertisement! Let’s follow…
So exciting. Could this be yet another new place I can shop in my free time? Will our thirst be quenched? Let’s follow the clues. At this point we noticed one of the popcorn attendants was rushing past us, as if to prepare others for our arrival, that we were paying out.
Wow! A lemonade stand three houses down! Right on… this booth had what we needed, and a perfect complimentary business to someone enjoying popcorn. This operation seemed to have a gaggle of young proprietors with some serious parental-backed production value going on. This was big person business and the little ones were franchisees, we suspected. But these two stands should work well working together, right?
Sadly, no. The popcorn vendor came over, and in a gesture of goodwill offered the lemonade conglomerate some complimentary popcorn. Unfortunatly, after some a brief strategy meeting that involved whispering into each other’s ears the spokeperson for “Lemonade 25cent LLP” informed the well-meaning small business owner that she was, in fact, “the enemy” and they did not want the popcorn and to go away.
The popcornist ran back to her booth in tears and liquidated her assets immediately, apparently retiring from the street vendor business due to anti-competition behaviour of the other vendors.
Tears and broken dreams made us feel tragic about this – but we are only consumers, and stranger adults at that so best not to get involved. However, one of adults involved in the house overseeing the Lemonade 25cent LLP operations was savvy enough in public relations to get involved and led the contingent of lemoneers over to the popcornist for a group apology and discussion of business ethics. Though it ended well as a character building exercise, we hope this is not a foreshadowing of bad business behaviour – why would they act like this? Surely our society with our Beer Stores, Liquor Stores, Bell & Rogers, and other large, controlled monopolies would of taught the children about respect and being open to healthy competition.
Well, anyways, we saw some art too. Posted below.