By | December 29, 2023

Title: Remembering Eileen Rao, Co-founder of Mr. Lemon: A Beloved Treasure in the North End


The passing of Eileen Rao, fondly known as Mama Lemon, has left a void in the hearts of Rhode Islanders. Alongside her late husband Joe, Eileen co-founded Mr. Lemon, a cherished establishment that has been an integral part of Rhode Island summers for over half a century. This article pays tribute to Mama Lemon’s remarkable legacy and the impact she had on the community.

Biography and Legacy

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Eileen Rao was a visionary entrepreneur and a beloved figure in the North End. In the 1970s, she and her husband Joe embarked on a journey to bring their passion for lemonade to the local community. Together, they established Mr. Lemon, a small lemonade stand that quickly gained popularity and became an iconic destination for both locals and tourists.

Mama Lemon’s dedication to providing exceptional customer service and her secret recipe for the finest lemonade made Mr. Lemon an instant success. Over the years, the business expanded, evolving from a simple stand into a thriving lemonade kiosk and eventually a beloved institution. Eileen’s warm personality and genuine care for her customers earned her the endearing nickname “Mama Lemon.”

Mr. Lemon became synonymous with Rhode Island summers, offering a refreshing respite from the scorching heat. Families and friends would gather at the kiosk, eagerly awaiting their turn to savor the delightful lemonade and indulge in the joyous atmosphere Mama Lemon created. The legacy of Mr. Lemon and Mama Lemon’s contributions to the community cannot be overstated.

While we do not know the cause of Mama Lemon’s passing, her impact on Rhode Island will forever be cherished. She leaves behind a thriving business that has become a symbol of summer joy and a testament to her entrepreneurial spirit. Mama Lemon’s dedication to quality and her unwavering commitment to serving her customers will continue to inspire generations to come.

Community Tributes

Following the news of Mama Lemon’s passing, an outpouring of love and tributes flooded social media platforms. Friends, family, and loyal customers shared heartfelt messages, expressing their gratitude for the joy and memories Mama Lemon brought into their lives.

One Twitter user, @SummerLover93, reminisced, “Mama Lemon’s lemonade was the highlight of my childhood summers. She always had a smile on her face and a kind word for everyone. Rest in peace, Mama Lemon. You will be deeply missed.”

Another Facebook user, Lisa Johnson, shared, “I remember taking my kids to Mr. Lemon every summer. Mama Lemon made them feel so special, and her lemonade was like no other. Her legacy will live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate enough to experience it.”


The passing of Eileen Rao, Mama Lemon, is a profound loss for the Rhode Island community. Her dedication to providing exceptional lemonade and creating a welcoming atmosphere at Mr. Lemon became an integral part of countless summers. Mama Lemon’s legacy will continue to inspire and bring joy to the North End for years to come. As we mourn her loss, let us remember the happiness she brought to so many and celebrate her remarkable journey as a true Rhode Island treasure..


@justinroias said 1/ I am sad to hear about the passing of Mama Lemon, Eileen Rao, co-founder of Mr. lemon alongside her late husband Joe. For half a century, Mr. Lemon graced Rhode Island summers and became a beloved treasure in the North End.

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