At nine years old, Fresh-squeezed lemonade was made by Tre Glasper in Manhattan and has become a fan-favorite brand in Kansas City. This results from Tre’s Squeeze’s innovative partnership with one of the Midwest’s leading supermarket chains.
“I asked my mom if I could make a lemonade stand,” Tre said. “She said yes, so we just went from there.”
Now at 12 years old, Tre is offering an inspiring gift to young readers by releasing Squeeze into Your Dreams, his debut book, published by Launch Crate Publishing, a Black-owned publisher in Kansas. According to Black News, the inspiring story follows Tre, who, despite the pandemic, established Tre’s Squeeze with a dream and determination. It breaks down entrepreneurship and allows readers to enter a universe where dreams are limitless, and age doesn’t matter.
The crafted illustrations were done by Xavier Gayden, the renowned artist celebrated for his work on the historic Brown v Board of Educationin Kansas.
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In January, Tre’s mother, Sheila Ellis-Gasper, gave some insight into the workings of her son’s business and said lemonade at Manhattan grocer Hy-Vee sells out fast. Since the product has been stocked and sold at the supermarket for over a year, Tre sells about 100-150 bottles a weekend.
“The same thing happened in Kansas City, whichshe said.
According to Start Land, Tre’s Squeeze sells about 100 bottles daily in Kansas City, requiring two to three hours to manufacture and package.
“We have a lot of friends in Kansas Citythat have followed his journey on social media. So when we announced that he was going to be the Liberty store, we intended on leaving at least 100 bottles there. We came prepared with 150 bottles, but they sold out in an hour,” she added.
Tre volunteered at the Manhattan Farmers Market to assist his uncle’s BBQ business and noticed a lack of drink vendors at the local bazaar. Inspired, he created his lemonade brand with his mother and father on board. His 5-year-old brother, Jeremiah, plays a role as the official taste tester and bottle runner in the family business.
“He loves Tre’s juice. So Tre has been able to up to the sports complex and deliver lemonade to the basketball team and
Tre’s father, Jermaine, noticed early on that his son had a knack forto sell his drinks at the farmers market instead of on the corner. After two years, Tre’s Squeeze has become a famous brand that proves the importance of pouring into your dreams.
“His dad was like, ‘Well, can you just set up at the end of the street?'” Sheila explained.
the farmers’ market? That’s a process. have to get a business license tax ID. It’s not just a lemonade stand,'” she continued. “And Tre was like, ‘No, I want to go to the farmers market because that’s where the people are. There are If I’m at the end of the street, to have as many people.'”
In addition to appearing on Shark Tank, raising funding for their Kickstarter campaign, and finding a co-packer, Tre is living by his brand’s motto, “squeeze into your dreams.” They hope to raise $8,000 through Kickstarter to purchase a trailer that will transport equipment and be used at events. About $1,500 remains to increase as of early January, Start Land News reported.
“It’s also brand awareness because we’d be driving it around, and people could see it,” Sheila said. “And just for future events, it’s a lot of hauling a tent and tables.”
Tre has been referred to as a beacon of young entrepreneurship. As a result of Tre’s contribution, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly named him Kansas Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2023. In addition to winning statewide and regional pitch competitions, Tre won the HyVee OpportUNITY Pitch Competition and the Network Kansas Empower Minority Pitch Competition.
Throughout all of this, Tre has maintained all As in school.