Every time I visit my parents, there’s a little pile of things to read on my bed when I arrive—a conglomeration of programs from my mother’s concerts, news clippings, and other things my parents think I should read or see.
(I can hear my Dad right now…”Things your mother thinks you should read or see!)
This past weekend, when I arrived at their house, the pile included something a little bit unusual: a paper bag that had clearly once held produce. Interesting to look at? Sure. But it wasn’t until my Mom said hello to a mother and her son in the aisle of a jazz concert Friday night that I learned the true significance.
“Andrew, did you enjoy the concert?” she asked. The boy nodded fiercely, a giant grin on his face. As he and his mother continued up the aisle away from us, my Mom said, “He’s such a great kid. And such a wonderful singer. And he sells tomatoes!”
“Wait,” I said. “He’s the one who sells the tomatoes in the bag?”
Clearly I had already mastered brand recognition. And, in fact, that’s who it was. I had met the famous Andrew: Children’s choir member, jazz lover, tomato salesman.
The scoop is this, according to my parents: Andrew sets up a big sign that advertises his wares; has negotiated some sort of deal with his grandfather, who supplies the tomatoes (and by deal, I do mean deal…my understanding is that Andrew’s supplier offers him something along the lines of a 100 percent discount on his supplies, which has to work out to a heck of a profit margin); wraps the tomatoes up in self-branded bags; and sells them to one and all within the neighborhood. [Note: this information has been updated to reflect inside scoop passed along in the comments below!]
It’s definitely a step above the average lemonade stand. I’m pretty impressed.