Meet the family family behind this Des Moines lemonade business – Des Moines Register

by | Oct 24, 2022 | Business

Leaves bounce in the wind. The setting sun bruises the sky. Cheerleaders rub pom-poms in long sleeves.Up the hill, at the Roosevelt High School flagpole, Ahmed Musa pops open a fold-up table. His little sister, 6-year-old Rita, drags a cooler. Ahmed pulls fluorescent yellow and orange and red pouches from the ice.He props a sign.“MUSA’S LEMONADE … $4.”Three girls in sweatshirts and flannel hand Ahmed dollar bills and stab straws through the plastic. The drink is a flood of sugar, sticky and catatonically sweet. But business is slow at Community Night on Oct. 6, when families gather for a parade the night before the Roughriders’ homecoming football game.“I wish it was hotter,” says Ahmed, 24.More:Discovering Des Moines — and new wardrobe — while thrifting on the city’s south sideHis little brothers made the mix the night before, swirling water, lemons, cane sugar, sweetener, mangos and strawberries in jugs. The Musa siblings have tinkered with the recipe since April, when they launched outside Platinum Kutz on University Avenue during the Drake Relays.The Musas hawked their juice on weekends around town this summer, at Black Art Mecca, at the Downtown Farmers Market, and at the 4th & Court Hy-Vee.“Love to see that entrepreneurship!” a Roosevelt employee shouts.“That’s all her,” Ahmed shouts back, pointing at his sister.Rita, who loves the Minions and Buffalo Wild Wings and the rapper Lil Durk, is the face of the business. The business is cute. Ahmed doesn’t want to be cute.“I want to be a mogul,” he says.More:’RAGBRAI is just the reward’: Dream Team celebrates 25 years of changing lives through bikingAhmed’s parents, Adel Musa and Adely Boula, arrived in the United States as Sudanese refugees in November 2000, on a day so cold that the flight attendants demanded they wait in the plane until staff found them heavy coats and a blanket for Ahmed.Adel cleaned a hospital and laid tile and drove a semi. Adely cleaned hotels rooms and made furniture and worked in food services. They lived in a downtown apartment until Adel’s sweat equity earned the family a Habitat for Humanity home north of Evelyn K. Davis Park.They sent money to family in South Sudan. Adel watched his son take after him, giving his miniature basketballs to neighborhood children. When he was older, on a visit to South Sudan, …

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