Have you ever been enjoying snacks while strolling through a farmers’ market and found yourself feeling thirsty, but there are few drink options in sight?
That’s the situation Dorine Sileo and Franco Bellotti found themselves in last year.
“We were eating empanadas and pickles and were like, ‘we need something to drink.’ So, we had chatted about it a little bit…we were like, y’know what? Let’s try a lemonade stand,” Sileo explained.
When throwing around ideas for what they could name their lemonade stand, they decided on Pressed for Peace because they just want everybody to get along and be happy, so this name worked best for them.
“I was just really love the idea of Pressed for Peace, cause we’re kind of all about that,” Sileo said. “We just like that concept.”
Currently, they sell regular lemonade as well as other various flavors that they have experimented with. Some flavors they have tried recently are blueberry, blueberry-pomegranate, mango and spicy jalapeño-mango, with the blueberry and the jalapeño-mango being favorites in the time that they have sold them.
One of their selling points is that, with certain fruits, the color of the lemonade changes. Sileo and Bellotti decided to take full advantage of this phenomena, and try to make sure that the flavors they experiment with not only taste delicious, but also change the color of the lemonade.
Sileo explained, “So when people walk around, they see somebody else’s and they’re like ‘what is that?’ And then that brings them here.”
Another cool selling point is that none of their lemonade is pre-prepared. They bring all necessary ingredients, set them up in their tent at the farmers’ market and make the lemonade in front of their customers. Not only does this allow customers to see the process, but it also allows for customization; for example, customers can ask for less sugar in their lemonades, and that isn’t an issue at all for Sileo and Bellotti.
And as autumn creeps closer, Pressed for Peace has plans for more season-appropriate drinks. They plan to start selling some seasonal teas and a new flavor: apple lemonade.
Pressed for Peace isn’t just a lemonade stand, either. They started small, since they’ve only been in the business for around two months, but they have plans to expand and sell other beverages.
They have a name picked out for the coffees that they want to sell as the days grow chillier: Moody Brews, though you’ll have to wait until next season for that debut. The couple also wants to eventually make and sell hot chocolates and ciders for the winter season, but again, that will have to wait until next year.
Seasons don’t just impact the type of beverages the couple sells. Bellotti expressed his desire to use and experiment with new ingredients when they are in season.
“Moving forward I think next year, highlighting what is seasonally fresh and what is local and being able to, you know, change it weekly based on what is available and what is fresh and then including that. So being more, you know, geared towards seasonal availability,” Bellotti explained.
As it is, they try their best to use fresh, local ingredients, but that’s not always possible; anything that they cannot source locally, they buy from stores. But they have plans to use apples that they pick themselves in their apple lemonade for as long as they are able to do so.
Everything that Bellotti and Sileo plan to do to expand Pressed for Peace is for their children’s benefit, as well. They want to get a trailer so that they can sell their beverages in locations other than the farmers’ Market, and do bigger events; with this, they would also be able to pass the business on to their children.
“We have five kids and so what we would like to do is be able to build the business enough so that our boys can then take a trailer onto their own and be able work at festivals and do that kind of stuff; basically, be employees, but also make their own money and kind of make something for themselves. So, that’s the goal, that’s the real goal.”
Sileo further explained. “I think that at the heart of what we are doing here is for our family and wanting to be able to hand over something for the boys to get started with when they start school so they have something to do that we’ve started for them. You know, just being able to spend time and hang out together.”
Choosing to start a refreshment-based small business wasn’t hard for them either. Both Sileo and Bellotti have prior experience working in restaurants; Sileo mostly worked front of the house and Bellotti mostly worked back of the house, meaning they have all of their bases covered.
Everything that they sell, so far is under ten dollars and they are able to take a variety of payment methods: cash, PayPal, Venmo and Zelle. They are currently unable to take card, though they hope to be able to next year.
Sileo and Bellotti clearly love what they are doing with Pressed for Peace and are looking forward to the future of their business. They appreciate the community; they love interacting with their customers and look forward to spreading joy with their refreshments.
Annalyse Svendsen, Contributing Writer
Annalyse recently graduated from Fairleigh Dickinson University with her B.A. in Humanities. She also minored in Creative Writing and studied French and American Sign Language in an effort to learn how to communicate with more people. Annalyse only recently moved to Hardwick but grew up in Stillwater and attended Stillwater Elementary School and Kittatinny Regional High School. While in high school, she was an active member of both the Book Club—where she served as president—and the Marching Band—where she served as the band’s librarian. At FDU, she served as the secretary of the Ping Pong Club, as well as the vice president of Rose & Thorn. Annalyse has always been passionate about learning. She has a passion for writing and plans to pursue a master’s degree in either Library Sciences or Creative Writing.