Where did Lemonade come from?
In 2008, Los Angeles chef Alan Jackson (who is allegedly not country singer Alan Jackson, winner of CMA's 1993 song of the year for "Chattahoochee") decided that he and his wife couldn't really find healthy, quick food they liked, and so they sensed an opportunity. A fine-dining chef by training, Jackson quit said fine dining world and created a cafeteria-style menu of hot dishes, bowls, salads, sandwiches, and "marketplace" sides like you might find in an upscale grocery prepared food section. He decided to call the place Lemonade to evoke, as he put it, "the bright and comforting feeling you get when you simply say the word," and maybe also because of their pretty extensive range of lemonades.
The next year he teamed up with businessman Ian Olsen, and they set their sites on expansion. Lemonade was in a unique position to grow quickly, as Jackson had taken the rare (and quite expensive) step of setting up a commissary kitchen to make all "sauces, dressings, marinades, seasonings, and long-cooked meats" from the beginning. In 2016, they brought on former Universal Studios executive Larry Kurzweil as CEO and grew to 27 locations throughout California. In early 2019, they merged with another health-conscious fast-casual restaurant chain, Modern Market Eatery, and together they currently have 58 restaurants across six states. Though according to the press release they will continue to operate separately, the idea behind the merger is that they can share vendors and purchasing power to lower costs, and work to franchise and license the restaurants all across America (currently, there are four licensed restaurants -- one at USC, one at LAX, and two in Dubai).