Light & Verity

Fruitful venture

Making lemonade in New Haven.

Mark Alden Branch ’86

Mark Alden Branch ’86

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When Brian Burkett-Thompson (left) is at work as a cook’s helper in Commons, he can also point with pride to something on sale in the Schwarzman Center’s food shop and café: Gorilla Lemonade, a bottled drink that he and his business partner, Kristen Threatt (right), developed as part of their catering business. Over the past year and a half, Threatt and Burkett-Thompson have gone from making batches of lemonade in Threatt’s kitchen for their catering customers to selling it in 63 stores and restaurants. Burkett-Thompson is the operations guy; Threatt handles the sales and marketing. The university started carrying the products in March. Threatt says the product is “not too sweet”—and it’s “addictive.” “New Haven is known for pizza,” he says. “We want it to be known for good lemonade.”

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