October 13, 2022

Betti Halsell

Assistant Managing Editor


Found in the heart of Compton, California, stands an oasis; providing a refreshing moment for the collective community. The Pucker Up Lemonade Company’s storefront sits happily alongside other small businesses, but there is something different about this community watering hole.

Inspired by her childhood, founder and lemonade connoisseur, Karneisha Christian-Stewart found a way to add that extra zest to life.

With over 50 different variations of lemonade on the menu, Pucker Up Lemonade brings a vibrance to the streets of Compton that reflects the diversity within the community flavor.  

“Everyone knows lemonade,” Stewart declared, as she explained the business in refreshments is nothing new. However, she managed to give the traditional American family beverage a whole new twist.

Stewart shared her experiences in her youth, of her father’s perseverance in his landscaping projects within the community, that led her to the current legacy of lemonade. 

Stewart said, “My dad wore many hats, and one of his businesses was a tree and lawn service. He would always have access to really good, fresh, and homegrown fruits from people’s trees.” 

She continued, “… Daily, he would bring back really big grocery bags of seriously big juicy, oddly shaped lemons … “Stewart’s father would come home with handpicked lemons; she made note of her amazement in all the different sizes they were, and following a triple wash method, the family of six children would make the household beverage.

Stewart’s father passed away, but his zest for life and providing for his family lives on through the Pucker Up Lemonade Company. 

Juice was never on the family grocery list, because the household lemonade was always in stock.

Stewart described after the lemons were properly cleaned, her dad would create their thirst-quenching elixir and she watched the process from start-to-finish. She joked at her father’s version being way too sweet, being an expert of the taste herself.

Stewart said, “We came a long way from not having a commercialized kitchen to prepare in—then, we had one to prepare in, but we didn’t have our own exclusive space …” building from a general commercialized kitchen, Stewart is now planted in her storefront, located on 723 E. Compton Blvd, Compton, CA.


They have been in their brick-and-mortar for approximately two years.  

Being the beacon for possibility, Stewart explained the energy of entrepreneurship that flows within her family. Her children share the spirit of ingenuity that is highlighted in the Pucker Up ambiance. 

Stewart revealed the thought that fuels her to keep pushing, is the empire that she envisions.

She hopes it will live throughout her family line, she said, “I think the kids realized, that anything is possible. We started this with backyard lemons, and to see where we come today, they really see the possibilities of consistency, hard work, and great work ethic.”

Charli Smith, 13, Khamarli Jarrett,19, and Ken Stewart, Jr., 23, have all witnessed their mom’s unwavering dedication to owning her own business. 

Stewart is now looking to have a Pucker Up Lemonade stand on every corner, expanding the opportunity within the refreshments line of business, Pucker Up offers beverage catering.

As a “beverage boutique,” they provide drink stations, tea parties, and mocktail drinks, pressed, stirred and ready to order.

With flavors like mango, lavender, and charcoal, tastebuds will be shaken up from the surprising notes of the unique lemonade combinations. 

Stewart came full circle by explaining the company’s slogan, “When Life gives you lemons, pucker up!”

She said, “Pucker up means different things to different people; for us, it means—with whatever you are handed in life, ready yourself, position yourself, use your resources, and that’s what Pucker Up has really been.”


One can taste all 50 flavors of Pucker Up specialty lemonade by ordering online or by calling for takeout. They are open every day except Monday, from 1 – 5 p.m.

One can also call ahead of time, at (562) 507-8177.

Category: Business