Bobby Wagner and a group of current and former NFL players are investing $810,000 in a 12-year-old's lemonade business.
This is the sweetest story you’ll read all day.
Twelve-year-old Mikaila Ulmer’s lemonade business is booming — and it’s about to get even bigger, thanks to an $810,000 investment from a group of current and former NFL players, including Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
The young entrepreneur first began making the flaxseed lemonade when she was 4, using a family cookbook handed down from the 1940’s. She later began sweetening the drink with honey as she became more aware of the role of honeybee pollination and its impact on crops and flowers.
Mikaila’s lemonade company “Me & the Bees” was born, which now offers a portion of its profits to companies invested in saving the honeybee population.
As her product sweetened, so did the buzz surrounding it. At age 9, Mikaila landed an appearance on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” wowing the panel of business moguls and landing an investment deal with Fubu CEO Daymond John. Mikaila has since landed a deal with Whole Foods and a smattering of other smaller market chains. The young CEO has also met Barack and Michelle Obama, and has been featured in Oprah’s magazine.
Good news keeps coming for Ulmer and her company, as a group of current and former NFL players led by Arian Foster decided to invest in Me & the Bees lemonade. Retired Texans Foster and Glover Quin spoke Thursday at “Bee Brilliant Entrepreneur Day” in Houston, where they decided to back Ulmer’s company.
Wagner is part of the group of players investing in the company. Foster, Quin, Duane Brown, Jonathan Grimes, Omar Bolden, Darius Slay, Sharrick McManis, EJ Manuel and Malik Jackson are the other players involved in the nearly $1 million investment.
“She’s so humble,” Foster told the Houston Chronicle. “You always have to be open and willing to learn, and she is. I’m learning from her, too. It’s a cycle. You have to keep an open mind and continue to grow.”
Foster added: “Of course, any time you invest in anything you look at if it’s going to be profitable. We look for companies that match our main focus of developing a good product, but are also good people and do it for the right reasons. It’s more than about money to us. We believe that investing in small black businesses is extremely important.”
Locally, people can find the lemonade at Whole Foods in Redmond or the Ballinger Thriftway in Shoreline.