It took Bee Sweet Lemonade seven years to land a megadistribution deal with Whole Foods, but founder Mikaila Ulmer would like to see you juggle entrepreneurship with all that grade-school homework. NBC says this 11-year-old girl’s homemade line is headed to 55 of the grocery chain’s stores in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Florida — a deal probably worth millions. The product, which Mikaila created at age 4 by adding honey to her great grandmother’s 1940 recipe after a bee sting, has been flying off shelves for years around her native Austin, also the home base for Whole Foods, and Bee Sweet’s trio of a preteen founder, no artificial sweeteners, and crusade to save the world’s bees apparently proved too much for the natural-foods retailer to pass up.
Of course, her lemonades were spoiling for wider distribution anyway. Mikaila took Bee Sweet onto ABC’s brutal reality show Shark Tank last year and charmed FUBU founder Daymond John out of $60,000. She also landed a keynote gig at SXSW last year as one of MVMT50’s Top 10 Innovators of the Year, and finished off the year by meeting President Obama at the White House. Bee Sweet comes in five flavors right now, but Mikaila says she’s busy perfecting a few more with all that free time she has “after I do my homework, and on weekends and during spring breaks.”