We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisa & Ches DiDonato and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisa & Ches, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The most important factor behind the success of our brand is our commitment to quality and consistency. The quality & consistency of our products, our customer service and the experience that our customers expect when they come into our shop. We strive to make everyone’s visit special. Whether it’s a quick stop to grab a drink mix on the way home, or a lemonade date night, we want your time, as well as your drinks, to be a joyful event! As a small, family-owned business, we understand that things are different this year and that times are harder. We work hard to give you a quality, unique drink at a fair price while providing a relaxing and safe atmosphere for our guests.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Ches & I have been entrepreneurs since the 1980’s. We met while working together at a Kentucky Fried Chicken and have worked together ever since! We’ve had a lot of business ventures, some successes and many failures and it’s never been easy! Our first venture together was in 1985 with an old deli truck-nothing like the food trucks of today. It was an old, red 1972 Chevy truck with a cooler on the side and a heating oven in the back. We’d drive around town selling donuts & coffee, then burritos and bottled sodas for lunch. It was a great side gig for us while we were in college. We’ve gone from the deli truck, to a frame shop in a mall, a fun & successful stint with remodeling and selling houses, to now self-proclaimed, professional lemonistas. I think we’ve overcome challenges by remembering that our family comes first. We raised 3 girls while traveling through this journey and tried to always remember that it was a family event. Everyone was part of the team and we learned to work together. We also learned when to quit. When you know it’s time to move on, just embrace it. No shame-just leap forward to the next season. The intention in everything that we do is joy: from the products we serve to the atmosphere in the shop. When you approach Pikes Peak Lemonade you’re greeted by a cheery art board readily used as a selfie board, and free samples of one of our many flavors. Our mason jar with paper straw packaging makes people happy because of the sustainability, and well, mason jars & paper straws! Our hope is that we’ll leave a legacy of joy and inclusion in our little corner of Colorado Springs.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There are so many great spots in Colorado Springs! I’m a hiker so we’d start every day with a new hiking adventure on some of our greatest, dog-friendly trails. And of course finalize it with The Incline. We also love coffee a great patio and, as creatures of habit, tend to patronize our favorite places often. Our latest favorite is Switchbacks Hillside for their great patio and delicious coffee, and Stir for their coffee & bloody mary’s! One can never miss out on Story Coffee in their tiny house located in Acacia Park.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Casey Mauk has been an integral part of the healthy growth in Pikes Peak Lemonade. When covid arrived, she ‘took the bull by the horns”! She encouraged us in a strategic business pivot to try to maintain our business through the crazy times. by quickly implementing a delivery & pick-up website, researching the rules and regulations on grants and loans being offered, and maintaining our social media sites while the rest of our skeleton staff worked tirelessly to keep the doors open. And a huge shout-out to the people of Colorado Springs! Our community stepped up to support us as a small business with their generous purchases as well as their wonderful words of encouragement. As we muddle through the changes and pivots of 2020, the Colorado Springs community has been supportive and forgiving and generous and we can’t thank them enough!