11-Year-Old Turns Lemonade Recipe Into $11 Million

Mikaila Ulmer

While most 11-year-olds are busy navigating through the awkward preteen years and mourning the loss of One Direction (RIP), one extraordinary little girl has her sights set on something a little bigger.

Mikaila Ulmer just landed an $11 million deal with upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for her natural lemonade, which she calls BeeSweet.

The sixth-grader from Austin, Texas grew concerned when she learned about the plight of bee populations that were dying from colony collapse disorder, and the danger it posed to our food chain. That is when Ulmer decided to start her lemonade business by using the lemonade recipe that her grandmother created back in the 1940s. The unique recipe uses flaxseed and local honey as sweetener. Aside from the natural ingredients, the company’s main priority is to help save the global bee population by utilizing honey as sweetener instead of sugar.

Ulmer and her lemonade first received national attention when she scored a deal on ABC’s Shark Tank. She ended up taking home $60,000 in venture capital for her BeeSweet business. Shortly after her episode aired, Whole Foods decided to sign a deal with Ulmer to sell the lemonade in 55 stores across the country, including Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

(Photo Credit: Rodolfo Gonzalez—Austin American-Statesman/AP)