Robeson County lemonade stand owner looks to inspire, provide jobs to others with special needs

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RED SPRINGS, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been nearly a year since Paige Jones and her mother, Tammie Tipton, created their lemonade stand business that sits along N.C. 710 in Red Springs.

"I like doing lemonade stands, and I just feel like... happiness," Jones said.

The duo started Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Lemonade Stand in August 2020, when they began to deal with depression from being stuck in their home. Jones, who was volunteering at a Robeson County school, had also lost her job during those months.

Tipton says they built the business on their property and got to work. "In the midst of all of that, we tried to find something to do."

Jones is also on the spectrum. When she was a baby, she contracted spinal meningitis which led to extensive brain damage. Doctors told Tipton that Jones would only live 11 years.

Fast forward to 2021, and Jones is 31-years-old.

After years of defying the odds, Jones is now a co-owner of their thriving lemonade stand. The two have seen an outpouring of support through donations of refrigerators, AC units, and, of course, locals stopping by for a cold drink.

"I'm an inspiring young lady," Jones told Eyewitness News. Both women say this business is about being inclusive and showing, no matter who doubts you or the challenges, people with special needs can be productive members of society.

"This is what a perfect world looks like to us, it's the inclusion," Tipton said.

At some point, Jones would like to return to the classroom and teach art, but until then, she and Tipton will run this business as partners and look to hire on other people who are on the spectrum.
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