Its a cool morning in the desert, at the M.O.R.E. Mojave Off-Road Racing Breast Cancer Race, Barstow. I’m in my bright red and white racing suit, helmet on, slipping into our A-Arm car Class 1300, air is coming in to my helmet, someone is strapping me in, so many buckles. My oldest daughter calmly and confidently sitting next to me as co-pilot as she starts up the GPS Navigation System, my navigator for the next 250 miles of some of the roughest places to race with ruts, whoops, steep descents and hairpin turns. This is the race car my husband and son race in, not me…

I turn the key and the Porsche 2.3L engine roars, I smell the racing fuel as my adrenaline kicks into high gear. My left foot finds the clutch but starts to shake uncontrollably as I attempt to force my mind to control my limbs. Race time is only minutes away. Focus…

Remember what Tony taught you I kept thinking, look ahead out in front and then back again, slow into the curve, accelerate out, shift down…

Countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 The huge flag drops -Go!

Pedal down, engine jumps into gear with a deafening sound, my daughter starts relaying navigation instructions…

Already hard to see, dust everywhere from all of the other cars, we hit a couple of ruts hard and realize my shoulder strap isn’t buckled. We realize we can’t keep going unless we get it fixed. I look for a spot to get off and someone to help us. Luckily we found a pit close by with a willing racing team to help fix my harness.

We go on to navigate the entire 250 mile course and make it back without breaking anything or us. Half way through the race at our own pit stop I vividly remember someone yelling out, “Hey! I can take over for you if its too much for you!” I responded immediately “No thanks” Then pushed my foot to the floor and thought “Hell no!” Not now, not ever! I had precious cargo, and no way would I let someone else drive my daughter to finish this course! I was going to do this and cross that finish line with my daughter. While I don’t remember how long it took us to get to the finish, I do remember settling into the adrenaline, lap by lap, staying present, filtering out all of the distractions and getting to the finish line as a team.

Mind over matter. Keep going. Lemonade life is so much what I found on the course that day. It took our amazing race team; my husband, son, our youngest daughter and friends to support us and the car that day. It took people we didn’t know on the course that jumped in and fixed my harness when it popped off. It took my daughter and I as a team to successfully navigate that course, something we had never done before. It took a leap of faith.

My lemonade company has tested me so many times, wobbling legs for my first speaking opportunity, my ‘safety harnesses’ have popped off product shortages, running out of money and so many other things. But every time we have a dedicated team of people there to support us, keep us moving forward, people we know and don’t know always there encouraging us. We’ve got the GPS Navigation System up and running again on our Lemonade Company and have made great strides since last week. We are still on track and look forward to 2024 our 13th year in business to see where the road takes us next.

Thank you for being along for the ride – We are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer

Lori’s Original Lemonade

est 2011

Hello LOL Believers

Life aboard a boat

It’s Monday evening, another foggy evening on the water with the sea lion beasts across the channel barking incessantly. I am typing from my ipad at the nav station on the boat, AirPods in and some random music that I collected over the years.  I do my best work while listening to music – its mostly how I created LOL, in the car, music blaring like a concert in my LOL cube. Ideas just came to me, inspiring me to take next steps, or solve the business puzzles every day in a better way.

Our boat

Tonight I’m surrounded by the ancient teak wood from Taiwan where our boat was built. While Tom has a project list several pages long, he attempts every weekend to keep her from falling apart under our feet. The cabin sole is creaking now after 10 years of living aboard and cruising the local islands. She has weathered 90 + mph storms in her berth, kept us safe both at the dock and at sea. She has been our safe cocoon from the craziness of the world, wrapping us in her warm cozy teak during the losses of our parents, grandparents and several friends… 

We did get out on the water yesterday, after it took me more than three times to hoist the monster main sail. The long battens kept fouling with the rigging on the way up which means I have to let it down and start over.  Finally, with the sail hoisted, on the fourth and final attempt we headed out of the harbor. For a couple of hours we were literally bobbing around out on the mixed up swell again but no wind. We let the new big head sail fly and all it did was flop around making the loudest and unsettling noise. But, eventually it filled for a bit but the wind was just not enough to keep our sails filled so we furled all the sails in and headed back to our dock. 

Lemonade Updates

So, lemonade land has been quite frankly amazing. I look back on these 12 years and have realized we have served over 2 MILLION customers! Wow, I have been so busy I just keep looking forward, rarely looking back. We have everything, glass, trays, lemon, sugar, and some labels all on their way to the co-packer. There have been some delays on the sugar this time. Hopefully all will be well and everything will arrive on time for the 4 am bottling time next week. Bottling day is magical. I remember the first moment I saw the name of my company on the ingredients that arrived at the plant. And then to hear the clanking of the glass so loud it was deafening as they made their way from the pallets to the line.

The smells of freshly brewed lavender flowers and then the mixing of the lemon and sugar. The tasting of the first warm sips. Our first lemonade baby. I was so amazed to see the very first bottles being filled, cooled and then wrapped with the beautiful label and put into the cardboard trays by hand.

The Beginning

I think back 12 years ago on those first days -there is nothing like it. Creating something from nothing and finding a way (a long way) to make it “real”. No, this wasn’t “just lemonade” as I heard the naysayers say. This was magic – And, it’s been magic ever since. I am so lucky to have found the right people to be with us this whole time.  You all know who you are and I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you. I appreciate your willingness to always step outside the box to help this little lemonade company do great things.

Now, if I can just find the time to write those last 30k words to finish my story about LOL…

Until next week –

We are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer/Ironman

Lori’s Original Lemonade

Since 2011

I am sitting on the stern of our cruising sail boat watching the world go by this morning. Tom and I got out early on the kayaks before the harbor became full of the  inlanders trying to escape the heat. We were met with dolphins at the harbor entrance playing among the mixed up sea. The swell was coming from all directions which made it hard to paddle.  We floated along by the breakwater and were lucky enough to find the dolphins – we sat there for a bit as the dolphins swam all around us as I sipped my morning coffee.

The water was too murky to see anything probably due to the extra surge. And so now, back at the dock I am sipping the last of my now cold cup of coffee after putting another coat of varnish on the port handrail.

My recap from this week is pretty uneventful – In lemonade land I finally made an attempt to contact 5 new prospects in the last hour of the last work day of the week.  We do have a new spot for our lemonade! Zachari Dunes, Oxnard formerly The Embassy Suites at Mandalay Beach. So on Friday afternoon as the vacationers were checking in I wheeled in cases of Lavender, Strawberry and our Classic Lemonades to the market inside the lobby. Funny story, about 40 years ago I got a job there as assistant to the General Manager. While I thought this was going to be such a glamorous job, I realized that I would be put in the back room working on a computer much of the time, which wasn’t exactly what I had envisioned. So I lasted only about 2 weeks there and left… now, 40 years later I was delivering lemonade from a company that I created to the exact spot where I quit that job! The serendipitous of the events in my life I find to be so crazy… realizing I didn’t get very far at least in geographic location.

We are preparing for another run- Did I mention there is another sugar shortage?? So many shortages over the years – lemon, sugar, lavender, strawberry, bottles… So we’ve bought enough sugar for two bottling runs just in case. I’ve been thinking about another flavor too- let us know if you have any input! We are definitely and decidedly a full flavor, real lemonade brand- if you want light you can add water, or tequila and not worry about it.

Let me know in the comments what you think our next lemonade flavor should be.

In the meantime, I am organizing the office, trying to spend some time doing sales, and hopefully getting out to see my amazing customers and trying to make sure I get my workouts in as well.

Hope you are enjoying the summer, and seeing the sun – at the beach we see the sun sometimes… not as much as I would like.

We are still here to serve you the most delicious organic lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer/Ironman

Lori’s Original Lemonade

Since 2011


1/23/23 302pm Monday

It’s Monday and I realized I missed last week’s updates… again! 23 Days in and with 342 days left I am looking forward with mixed emotions on what I would like to accomplish this year. We have 342 more days to make “it” happen… What will we choose? I think for me a better way to look at this is to decide each moment how I can make the best of where I am now.  At least that is my goal! This moment in time last year in Tahiti (photo above) changed everything for me. I realized I haven’t taken the time to take care of myself and do things that I really wanted to do. So, with that lesson, Tom and I will be setting out on more travel adventures again this year. My favorite thing is the people, culture, and learning new things – seeing life from a different perspective, is so important. Clearing the mind off the day-to-day jumble of stuff that mostly doesn’t matter. 

The sea is calling us again – we are working (mostly Tom) on big boat projects now. New sails need to be installed and we are excited to add a brilliantly colored spinnaker which we will need  to learn how to fly. A new autopilot to help us steer, fixing the fuel tank, and new rigging are some of the big ones. We have just finished installing the new roller furlers (with the help of our amazing rigger) for both of the head sails. And, finally getting used to the new u-stack that helps me drop the beast of the main sail into a pocket that we can just zip up. This has been one of the best new additions as it used to be I dropped this sail onto the boom as it fell all over the cabin top and I had to quick flake it (folding) up onto the boom quickly so Tom could navigate us into the slip.

For Lemonade updates! We are bottling again in early February! Turns out that even as we enter our 12th year that people still want to sip our organic lemonades :) Thank you for the call today from our new fan Cat who has discovered our Lavender Lemonade! Welcome aboard to all of our new fans and our old salty crew as well! We need each and every one of you. We have enough lemon, sugar, glass, trays, labels, a new fresh batch of lavender flowers, sweet strawberry puree, and pure ginger extract for the next batch. 

I have high hopes for this year both personally and for LOL and will be keeping you posted along the way!

In the meantime, we are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori, Chief Believer xo

Lori’s Original Lemonade

since 2011


1/13/23 Friday 840 am

Good Friday Morning!

It’s a chilly 49 degrees on the Sea of Cortez as I write, my wood burning stove never caught well this morning so the propane heater is working over time. Tom just made a breakfast of eggs and potatoes using up the last of what we brought. The sky is blue and the sun is shining bright over the sea. I contemplate what my dreams and visions are for LOL for the coming year. Jack Johnson serenades us to “Slow Down you are Moving too Fast” and we are just settling into the Baja pace as we prepare to leave soon. But we will be back – planning to go to the whales again further south next month. I need to reconnect with the amazing creatures of the sea as we spend time on the water with them, something happens when you put your hand on one of these giants and look them in the eye… We love being off the grid, propane for cooking, solar for power – self sufficient – the sea and sand, ospreys, occasional desert fox, owls, the beauty of the Baja desert.

Well Tom and I missed the storm of the century… actually we started out at 4am the morning of and with windshield wipers going at full speed I contemplated for the next hour turning around. We were headed to our small beach casa off the grid on the Sea of Cortez for some R&R and a little catch up on work. But, we out ran the storm and it cleared up somewhere in San Bernardino.

As for LOL, we are bottling again! We are out of Ginger and we can’t put it off any longer – Ginger has been a long standing favorite of our customers for many years now.  So, before we left I ordered pallets of fresh frozen juice, ginger and pallets and pallets of bulk glass! Good that we are getting our glass from CA now and it doesn’t have to come from Canada or out of state! Prices are going up on almost everything that I am buying now and I am being torn on whether or not we have to raise the price yet. We haven’t done a price increase in years…. It is my least favorite part of this adventure I have created. We will hold off as long as we can.

In the meantime I love getting phone calls from our super fans! Did you know that you can find the number for us on our bottle and call me directly? ;) for the good or bad it has been that way since day one. But I love it. Thank you to all of you new and old fans you are my inspiration and fuel to keep going.

I am visioning more help with LOL coming – we have grand plans and I know that can’t do this by myself anymore.  I am recharging slowly as I recover from a bit of burnout mode which I’ve experienced many times over the last 11 years.

So here is to year 12! My goal is to expand to more locations so that you can find us easier. I want to bring you my book about the the crazy adventures of LOL this year and I want to continue to bring you the most delicious organic lemonades for you to sip and share.

With gratitude xo

Lori, Chief Believer Lori’s Original Lemonade

Since 2011

12/15/22 10:16 pm Thursday

It’s late, and the temperature is dropping, but tonight I don’t feel that chill, nor the boat rocking back and forth, I don’t hear the clanging of the halyards or feel the bubbles from the sea lions under my sailboat. Tonight I won’t be going to sleep in a down sleeping bag on the bunk looking out the skylight above my bunk on a starry night.  After 10 years of life aboard our boat, we are now 3 1/2 months back on land in a small apartment, tho still on the ocean it’s not the same. I have always chosen the path less traveled and feel this temporary detour doesn’t agree with my soul. The comforts that I took for granted for many years are feeling nice, having a real bed, a bathroom that isn’t the size of a broom closet, a washer/dryer, a tv that isn’t the size of a computer screen, cooking on a large 4 burner stove that isn’t a small propane stove that I have to light and a living space that is more than 41 feet… And a space that doesn’t ‘feel’ the wind, rain, or surge of the ocean. I admit I feel I have been off the land so long that it feels quite confining coming back to 4 walls – and then there are the people – so many people…

Okay, so all of that doesn’t have much to do with lemonade – but it does… I haven’t been inspired to write as much, work much on the lemonade company, and seem to be staring at random YouTube videos at my desk.  I am wondering when and if we will ever find the cozy cottage home of our dreams that I have envisioned since we made the decision to sell our family home in an effort of becoming debt free eight years ago. Like many others, we thought we would be ready to buy this year, but the world had other intentions and put us on a detour for another year. 

I am beyond grateful for having options, and a nice place to sleep but miss my watery world. We have been down to the boat every weekend as we continue to outfit her for her big journey as we prepare to take off on longer adventures, but I admit I am a bit confused right now.

And for the lemonade company! Well, I truly couldn’t be happier as it continues to hum along waiting for me (yet again) as I navigate my slump and chart my course to a new destination. I feel I am in the doldrums right now a place where there is little wind, nothing unusual happening, and nothing to get my adrenaline pumping. Ah, yes, it’s winter… the time when lemonade land slows down resets, and renews. It is my least favorite time quite frankly, as it forces me to stop and reevaluate and relax a bit… 

So, as we close up the 11th year, in case I don’t get another note out next week, we wish you the happiest of Holidays! And our mission is to be here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share…

Lori, Chief Believer xo

Lori’s Original Lemonade 

Est 2011


With the weather getting colder it is getting quieter around the LOL headquarters. We had a few big orders go out last week and with the record breaking month we had last month, it was bound to slow up a bit.

We’ve got another fresh batch of Lavender, Strawberry and our Original, “Classic” lemonades freshly bottled and headed out to 10 states as we speak.

While we are forever grateful for the continued partnerships that we have maintained for the last 11 years, I can’t help during this time of year wondering if people will keep buying our lemonade. Frankly, the feeling comes in every time it slows down that we may be out of business just like so many other beverages over the years. It is the time that I remind myself that for the last 11 years we are still here, despite the slower days as the winter grows colder. While my logical mind knows that, the other side of my brain (that runs/ruins my life) continues to tell me otherwise.

With only 3 months left to pay off the last of the loans I borrowed to survive the Kehe distribution disaster in 2019, I am cautiously excited as I round the final corner to the finish line to extinguish all debt both personal and business. It’s been a long haul over many years, and quite frankly I am exhausted.

I am writing to you from our off the grid hideaway in the middle of Baja on the Sea of Cortez next to a small propane heater as I look out over the blue green sea blown with white caps from the strong north winds.

Fortunately, our little round casa did not have too much damage from the last hurricane that came through about a month ago, tho we can see our small retreat is showing signs of age as well.

I am grateful for all that I have been entrusted to me and taking time this week to rest, recharge and think about my path for 2023.

With gratitude …

Lori, Chief Believer, Lori’s Original Lemonade

Since 2011

We had a little mishap with the LOL cube last week- I lost power on a busy Ventura roadway, turns out the radiator blew and the car shut it self down… All is well, that is after I pay the mechanic a lot of money to fix it…

Looks like there is no slowing down for LOL. We blew out our projections for October  and had hit our sales goal by mid month! The team bottled up another 63k bottles of lemonade and we are restocked on what is proving to be our best seller, Strawberry Lemonade. Our signature drink Lavender Lemonade is sitting still at the top and we have been making it for over 20 years now. But, I do remember that when I launched it commercially that I knew we would be looking for adventurous customers and though we’ve found them, people always seem a tad bit hesitant to try the lavender. As we developed new flavors, I thought the strawberry would be too plain and ordinary, but our Wild Strawberry Lemonade is anything but ordinary. With the fresh lemon, fresh strawberries and organic cane sugar it is a delicious blend of citrusy sweet. (And a fantastic mixer) Last week I was still playing catch up after the Food Show and planning for 2023 and what we hope to accomplish. My goal is to keep moving us forward in a sustainable way, focusing on California local. We continue to source the best organic ingredients from our valued suppliers and hope that the supply chain problems are in our rear view mirror. These next couple of months will be about getting organized, creating processes, removing obstacles and becoming more efficient.

As for our life aboard – as we have been on land for 2 months now, we realize that living in the area/marina we were living was less than ideal. We found less people that were boaters and more people living on a boat to escape high rent costs. Everything has changed in the last couple of years. So, we are continuing to prepare the boat for some long term cruising, we ordered three new sails, including a huge spinnaker :), we got the life raft and secured it to the right spot on the cabin top, the new dodger is installed, epirb (emergency beacon tied to the coast guard in the event of a catastrophic event), and lastly a new roller furling for the staysail. The next big project is to re do all of the standing rigging…. Stay tuned.

And with that we wrap up the last of October. Hopefully my cube can make it another 4 months until we have the last of the bank loans paid off for LOL…

So, I appreciate you tuning in each week reading my ramblings as we continue to move forward in lemonade land and sea adventures that are on our horizon.

As always, we are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer, Lori’s Original Lemonade

Since 2011

Its been a whirlwind of a week, setting up for the Jordanos Food Show, our valued distributor in Santa Barbara, tracking the supplies for the bottling this week, piloting our 41′ Sailboat in and out of the dock (for the first time!), and taking the 3rd Power Squadron boat handling class… Oh and somewhere along the line LOL turned 11!

Already Friday, and I’m pretty exhausted as I look back on this week. Besides a bunch of paperwork following the food show, I don’t feel that I accomplished a lot – That said, sales are up 27% over projections and we are only the middle of the month! And, seeing old and new faces at the food show was awesome! We are excited to be working with a bunch of new customers, restaurants, breweries, delis, and lots of other spots from the Tri-Counties.

Bottling of our signature Lavender Lemonade, Strawberry, and Original started in the wee hours yesterday morning way before the sun came up. We appreciate our co-packer partnering with us since we started back in 2011. The team they have is incredible, more than 90 families are supported every time a lemonade bottle is sold. The plant is alive with steam from the huge vats, the mixing tanks where all of our ingredients are blended together, and the clanking of the glass bottles as they line up on the conveyor belt. We purchase truckloads of glass bottles that are packed on pallets several dozen feet high! The subtle calming scent of lavender and the sweet smell of strawberries, mixed with the citrusy scent of our fresh frozen lemon juice makes me happy every time I’m there. We bottle 63,000 bottles at a time and each bottle is hand-packed into trays at the end of the line by three people! From there the lemonade case goes on the conveyor belt to be shrink-wrapped and loaded by hand onto the pallets, plastic-wrapped with each pallet weighing in at 2400 pounds they are picked up by the distributors :)

And on a personal note, I finally was able to get myself on the helm of our 41 ft sailboat and take her in and out of our slip a couple of times myself (Tom coaching)- with a 14′ beam and a few 26,000 lbs moving through the water, my only goal was not to run into something or someone – and I achieved that goal! ;) More practicing to come!

So, we are just plugging along in lemonade land as we move into fall. Spending time organizing the office, and my files and preparing to add some new customers.

With that, our mission is to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer Lori’s Original Lemonade

since 2011

We are preparing for the famous Jordanos Food Show on Sunday and Monday at Earl Warren Fairgrounds in Santa Barbara. It’s been 3 years since they had it and I am looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting new faces! I’m gathering up our supplies, the famous hat and basket I first took a picture with that have been printed on over 1.5 million bottles, the wood barrel I had made in Maine, the branded tablecloths, compostable cups made from plants, business cards, some handouts, branded coasters and of course lots and lots of lemonade! Our last event at Pier Under the Stars a couple of weeks ago made me remember how much energy I got from these events. But, by the end of the two days, I will be exhausted as I give out so much energy into every meeting that at the end it is just time to rest – I love talking about LOL and the progress we’ve made – and more importantly, I love connecting to our super supportive network of amazing customers. These customers are your local restaurants, cafes, markets, and other organizations that are all working hard on their businesses while they opt to support local. We appreciate this support as we know we are not the least expensive choice. We use only the highest quality organic ingredients, real organic juice not from concentrate, real organic cane sugar that has a nice warm caramel color leaving it tasting like honey in our lemonades. After 11 years of sourcing every item for my lemonades I realize just how much work we’ve put into finding only the best supplies and ingredients. Again, I thank all of our suppliers who have been with us since the beginning going above and beyond every month to make it all work – they have been my cheerleaders in the darkest of moments and have celebrated our wins every step of the way. It takes a team of hundreds of people to make LOL … Next week I will talk about my Oprah moment…

Until then, you can find us at

We are here to serve you the most delicious lemonades for you to sip and share.

Lori Volk, Chief Believer aka “Lemonade Lady” Lori’s Original Lemonade

est 2011