BRIGHAM CITY – Seth Parker of Brigham City is an unassuming 11-year-old that was thrown into the national spotlight when he put up a sign selling Ice Cold Beer with a small green “root” scrawled over Beer. Parker put his pop stand in front of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints building, a religious institution that discourages drinking alcoholic beverages.
“We didn’t even think about where his stand was,” his mother Alexis said. “He loves root beer; he had a lemonade stand where we lived before and there are a lot of lemonade stands around here.
“He was trying to raise a little money for scouts, school supplies and other things he wanted to do,” his father Alan said. “We are a single income family and any extra helps.”
There were several reasons they wanted to have Seth operate the root beer stand. They hoped a summer job would teach Seth a good work ethic and help him socially. They wanted him to understand how profit and loss works as well.
“There is not much an 11 year-old can do to earn money,” Alan said. “And it is better to operate the stand than sit in front of a TV playing video games.”
“I learned a lot of things,” Seth said. “I learned about profit and loss. I also learned how to save and spend money responsibly.”
He also had the Brigham City Police stop buy and check him out. They soon saw what he was doing and supported him in his efforts. In fact, they had their photos taken with him after buying a bottle of the good stuff.
From the middle of July until Peach Days, the young entrepreneur made nearly $350.
With his money he bought school clothes and supplies as well as helped pay for some groceries for the family.
The real kicker was the notoriety he received for his marketing technique. Social media picked it up, then newspapers and television stations all over the United States, and across the pond, made note of his sign and selling technique.
Seth has a packet of letters and cards he received from notable people, even U.S. Senator Mitt Romney sent him a note.
Coleman Outdoor Camping Gear and Equipment not only sent the following note, they also sent two coolers and a canopy.
“We were inspired by your creative marketing and thought you could use a little gear for your growing business. We can’t wait to see where your journey takes you next.
“Cheers to your ice cold root beer.
Seth also was signed as the youngest and smallest distributer for Hanks Gourmet Beverages, a third generation family business from Philadelphia. The soft drink company’s top seller is their root beer.
“When we saw Seth’s story, we were struck by both his work ethic and, of course, his ingenious marketing,” stated Tony Salvatore, Partner and Chief Customer Officer of Hank’s Gourmet Beverages. “We’re a third-generation family business. Our whole family grew up in the beverage business, working from the time we were around Seth’s age. Naturally, we wanted to do anything and everything we could do to give a hand to a hard-working kid. We also wanted him to be selling the best brand, so we quickly donated a supply which he will begin selling at a big event on Labor Day.”
As it turns out, Seth wasn’t able to sell his root bear at Peach Days, as a national beverage maker had exclusive rights to Peach Days. So Seth found an area in his neighborhood, set up shop and pushed his brew.
Parker’s are seeing other copycats around the Brigham City area.
“We are trying to figure out what to do next,” Alan said. “We will probably try to get him permitted to go to other venues in the state next year,” Alan said. “Hanks Gourmet root beer is about a dollar more a bottle, but it sure is good root beer.”