Lemons-to-lemonade stories can be powerful leadership tools, which is one reason I love sharing them with people.

Some people roll their eyes at them though.  That is – until something in their life goes sour and then man oh man are they glad to remember about that story they heard.    So I hope you will keep sharing such stories – with me and them.

Here’s a new one for you. A lemons-to-lemonade story. With a twist.

Five of us went to the The Flying Burrito in Chapel Hill on Friday night.

Lidia took our drink order. I ordered lemonade.

A few minutes later, Lidia returned to our lively table to let me know they were out of lemonade.

No big deal, I ordered an alternate beverage and got back into the conversation about  our travels, our kids,  our  job status  – and then of course we had to talk about Carolina sports.

A few minutes later, Lidia returned with beverages all around and mine was –


I did a double take and then looked up at Lidia. She grinned. Obviously pleased .

Had they literally turned lemons into lemonade? And were they pink lemons or was it cherry juice that turned it pink?

I asked and she said the manager had gone out to get it – as if it was no big deal.

“At the grocery store?” I asked.

“No,” she said. “The manager owns another restaurant and went there to get it.”

It was good lemonade and it went great with my Flying Mayan – a burrito stuffed with sweet potatoes and black beans. If you’ve never had one, try it sometime. Delicious.

Anyway – I wanted a refill.  Of lemonade, not burrito.  But certainly didn’t want anyone to go out for it. Lidia grinned and said, “It’s okay. We have more.”

And so she brought me more.

A few days later, it was my good friend and fellow blogger,  Kristin Tucker who dug up some details for me. Not surprising since her business is Details by KT.

The “other restaurant” Lidia referred to was Ba Da Wings in Carrboro . So owner and manager, Jim Duignan, didn’t just run next door. He drove 3 miles round trip to get me some lemonade.

Why in the world did he do that? Possible answers:

1. The restaurant was in danger of missing their lemonade quota for the month.

2. Mr. Duignan was bored and needed to get out.

3. They were trying to calm down an angry customer who was ranting and raving about their lack of lemonade.

4. They were trying to avoid embarrassment from the Youtube-gone-viral production of “Bur-ree-tos out of lem-o-nade(to the tune of “United Breaks Guitars”).

I suppose #1 could be true, but doubt it. Also doubt #2 since the place was packed. No chance of  #3 or #4 since there was narry a hint of a rant.

The ONLY reason left that I can think of  is that Jim Duignan, Lidia Villatoro and others at The Flying Burrito care.  Really, really care.  Down to the bone.

Their attention to this very small thing sent a very big message.

Not just to me and to everyone at my table.   But to all who were working at The Flying Burrito that night.

And now – I hope to anyone reading this lemons-to-lemonade story.

The twist?

There were no lemons.

Do you have a lemons-to-lemonade story to share?  Or stories about anyone doing Good Business in Chapelboro?  Please send it to:  Jan@Chapelboro.com.

And if you’d like to read more lemons-to-lemonade stories plus learn more about using them as a leadership tool, visit  Lemons to Lemonade at The Flying Burrito.