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As a child, he sold lemonade in a business suit. So, what's he doing now?

Ethan Esparza suited up for years along busy France Avenue.

MINNEAPOLIS — A boy who once sold lemonade in a business suit has carried childhood lessons into his adult business.

It’s just “making customers feel appreciated,” Ethan Esparza says.

In 2007, Esparza was a 12-year-old lemonade peddler when reporter Boyd Huppert spotted the young entrepreneur selling lemonade in a suit in front of his grandparents’ home on France Avenue.

The resulting story was featured in KARE’s Land of 10,000 Stories segment.

Fifteen years later, Esparza owns Nature Lead Tech, a company managing leads for real estate agents.

Esparza employs five people at his St. Louis Park office.

Last year, he says his company helped clients generate $100 million in real estate sales.

Esparza traces his business success back to his lemonade stand.  

“With lemonade it wasn’t so much the product, it was the service – where the customers feel valued,” the now 27-year-old says.

Before settling into real estate, Esparza started a DJ business, an automotive detailing service, and a window washing company.

Harkening back to his attention-grabbing lemonade sales attire, Esparza says he continues to believe in the power of a business suit, even for Zoom meetings.

“It’s still important to dress the part,” he says.

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