By Cassie McClure
Published in the Las Cruces Bulletin 09.03.21
There’s a small sticker on the back that says, “Made by Dad” and there’s clear excitement when Las Cruces Utilities Gas Compliance Inspector Ruben Garcia talks about the welds and the fabrications that he added around his daughter’s lemonade truck. But it’s sheer pride you see when he watches Emily Garcia slide open the window to take an order.
For three months, Ruben would come home from work and get back to work, taking a 1970s trailer down to the bare frame and starting from scratch. “We call it 2021 because we completely gutted it,” he explained.
It’s the home for her business Francy Emilade, a bright yellow and white mobile lemonade stand that can be seen around town and at festivals throughout the area. The name is a tribute to her grandmother Frances – known as Francy. Other memories come up for Ruben in watching his daughter’s business.
“I felt a bit like my dad when I watched her learn to back the trailer up,” said Ruben. “I remember him, quiet with patience when I was a kid trying to learn how to back up a cement mixer. Now I know what he felt like. I had to have the same patience, but I’ve watched her grow, and I’m just so proud.”
A sophomore at New Mexico State University studying Civil Engineering Technology, Emily started the lemonade business to supplement her education. She’s debated applying to the LCU internship to get skills like her dad – and may still, but right now, the business bug has bit.
“When there were drive-thru birthday parties, I took out the equipment to make lemonade for these events,” said Emily. In 2015, she worked as a teenager with a lemonade vendor, who gave up his business and sold his equipment to her. “I’ve been blessed by the customers I’ve had,” she said and passed that blessing on when life handed her lemons – after a canceled event.
“I reached out to make free drinks for firefighters, to Central Elementary teachers – where my little brothers are – and then made drinks for my dad’s coworkers,” Emily said. Did he get kudos from his coworkers? “Yes,” Ruben laughed, “But she put me to work.”
LCU Customer Central can be reached at 575-541-2111 from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. LCU provides clean, safe, and reliable services to Las Cruces residents and businesses. Learn more at: las-cruces.org/180/Utilities For emergencies, call Dispatch at 526-0500.
PHOTO 1: Ingenuity is a family business: A limited edition trailer made by dad, LCU Gas Compliance Inspector Ruben Garcia. Emily and Ruben Garcia in front of the Francy Emilade truck. Find her at upcoming festivals like the Hatch Chile Festival and the Franciscan Art Festival over Labor Day weekend.