By Robbie Kaye

Jen Sanregret moved from Austin, Texas (hence her use of “y’all”) to the Santa Ynez Valley on Oct. 1, 2016. She remembers the exact day because she was so excited about the move.

Actually, what I love about Jen is that she seems to always be excited — about life — and her energy and inspiration are contagious. She is the quintessential beautiful being, inside and out, who makes you think, “I want what she has.”

Now she and her husband Grant sell “cups of happiness” from their Los Olivos Lemons stand.

LOV: What drew you to SYV?

Quality of life. My oldest son, Vance, has a genetic disease called cystic fibrosis. It affects the lungs, pancreas, digestive tract and sinuses. The climate in Austin was too harsh for his little body with the humidity, severe allergies and heat. We vacationed here several times and noticed he could actually breathe better in the valley with the dry air and less allergies. In additional to that, having the beach around the corner is very good for his lungs, as he benefits from salt air.

LOV: Tell us a little about your career path.

I started my own business as a full-service wedding planner at the age of 19 in Austin. After 10 years of planning large-scale weddings I decided to open The Austin Wedding Chapel for couples who had smaller wedding budgets. My sweet little chapel was perfect for intimate weddings and gave me the opportunity to be a part of the ceremonies as the officiant.

During that time Grant was opening our first lemon, Austin City Lemons, just down the road from my chapel. … I did the marketing, social media and advertising. I realized after opening my chapel that I had grown into more of an entrepreneur than a wedding planner and was seeking a business that made me happy.

LOV: How did you come up with the term “Cup of Happiness?”

After Vance was diagnosed with CF we decided to take the lemonade stand a different direction.

Originally it was going to be a giant lemon serving pre-made lemonade with plans to serve quickly and capitalize on the growing Austin tourism. But the hardships of CF changed our perspective on everything. We did not want to be just another food truck in Austin, we wanted to contribute to the “greater good.” We wanted our customers to have a happy experience and leave our business with a smile.

One day Grant said, “lemonade is just a cup of happiness …” and it stuck! Then he went into his kitchen and came up with a fresh lemonade recipe and we started brainstorming fun flavors to add to it. Suddenly, we had created something special, craft-made simple syrups and fresh lemonade with the bonus of having a big lemon to serve out of.

LOV: How did you start your company?

One of Grant’s family members had a giant lemon and traveled to rodeos, fairgrounds and carnivals. When Austin started to open multiple gourmet food truck lots around the city we thought it would be a great addition. From there it snowballed into a happiness business.

LOV: Can you share one of your obstacles or challenges?

Like anyone with a startup we have overcome many issues. Recently the hardest decision we made was closing Austin City Lemons and bringing that lemon (Ethel) to the Santa Ynez Valley. Having two locations in two different states was difficult, but we had such a great following in Austin we did not want to close the doors. It has turned out to be one of the best business decisions we’ve made. Having two lemons in the valley makes sense. We want to have a permanent location in Los Olivos and have one lemon that customers can rent for events.

LOV: What do you like most about living in the valley?

I cannot get enough of the majestic views! Whether I am driving up Figueroa Mountain Road, going through the trees in Buellton, headed through Alisal or walking up Meadowvale, I am just in awe of all the beauty here.

LOV: Your favorite thing to do with your family?

Being from Texas, it is a real treat to be so close to the ocean. We love packing up and heading down to Refugio for the afternoon. I look forward to a little beach camping soon!

LOV: How do you balance being a mom and entrepreneur?

My boys come first. Having two young children, I try to spend as much time with them as I can. That means they spend a lot of time working events with me and hanging on my back as I am working on the computer. But we are together, and having a family-friendly business helps with that.

LOV: What keeps you so positive all the time?

I try to surround myself with positivity. I read books on enlightenment, magazines that have articles about happiness, I listen to uplifting Ted Talks and try to keep my social media platforms positive by only following “happy stuff.” Even with all that, I am still not positive all the time. I have good days and better days. I guess that is a positive way to say I still have bad days, but I try not to beat myself up over it.

LOV: What helps you to deal with stress?

I find that I get stressed when I don’t have “me time.” It is really hard to carve out time for yourself as a wife, mother and business owner, but it’s essential. Just finding time to actually wash and dry my hair can be a feat in itself! Exercising is honestly the best way I manage my stress, but I also eat cake and watch cooking shows — sometimes in that order.

LOV: Do you have a daily regimen for nurturing a healthy attitude?

My gratitude journal. Gratitude keeps me in check. I have learned that the hard stuff only makes the good stuff even better. That thought keeps me balanced and not too hard on myself when I have a “not so positive” day. When I get down I remember that it is just part of the ebb and flow of life. I try to appreciate the experience.

LOV: Can people commission you for parties and events?

Yes! We have two lemons. Lucy lives in Los Olivos next to Saarloos & Sons tasting room and Ethel lives in our driveway — she travels for work. (Ha ha!)”

LOV: Any more “lemons” coming down the pike?

I hope to have Ricky and Fred lemons one day, but for now we are happy with just Lucy and Ethel!

LOV: What is the best way to contact you?

Email is the easiest way to reach me at

I have a LOL NEWSletter that is not your traditional business newsletter. I wanted to use the lemon as a platform to write about happy stuff. The newsletter is simply four happy stories that will help brighten your day. Just send me an email and I will gladly get it to you!


Robbie Kaye is a photojournalist, artist and author of “Beauty and Wisdom.” Follow her on Instagram at @ladiesofthevalley, @treadsandpaint & @robbiekaye, or at