From Middleborough, Massachusetts:
Just thought you would like to know what a success our Mob was on Friday. The Main Drag, a new hole in wall sandwich shop in downtown Middleborough Massachusetts had about 50 new customers, not to mention overflow on the days preceding and following. With only 100-odd people in our FB group, I was hoping for 10-15. Seems that word of mouth spread very far beyond the group.
In addition to tasty sandwiches from the mobbed business, a local accounting firm sent over a bucket plastered with Cash Mob logo stickers and business cards and filled with truffles and other candies as a way to say thank you to the community for supporting local businesses and to get a little of their own marketing bang from the mob.
Says the owner:
“To all the cash mobsters and then some who came out to support my shop last Friday, thank you, thank you so much. I hope everyone was happy with their order and will return again. This is so great for the local shop owners. I had a blast, and was very tired at the end of the day. Thanks again………The Main Drag”
Keep up the good work!
Farmer’s Market CASH MOB Saturday June 2, 2012 meet at 9:30 am
Countryside Farmers’ Market at Howe Meadow in Cuyahoga Valley National Park
follow us on Twitter @countrysidechix
4040 Riverview Rd., Peninsula, OH, 44264 (a mere 20 miles from downtown Cleveland, easy access from I-77 and 271)
Visit with the farmers and vendors in the intimate setting of the market where they share the fruit of their labors. Enjoy chefs demos and the musical styling of Ryann Anderson while you stroll the market. Bring the family and your hiking shoes or bikes and enjoy the beauty of the national park located in your own back yard. Bike to the Winking Lizard, hike to Blue Hen Falls, whatever your pleasure the CVNP has something for you.
At the Cash Mob, there are three rules:
1. Spend $20;
2. Meet three people you didn’t know before;
and 3. HAVE FUN!!!
Market Product Report as of 5/26
~ breakfast burritos ~ specialty flours ~ oodles of homemade jam ~ Tuscan glaze ~ plants galore! Peonies, tomatoes, bulbs, rhubarb and more! ~ veggie filets ~ farmstead smoked Swiss cheese and cream cheese ~ bok choy ~ buffalo patties ~ buffalo hot dogs ~ fresh pasta ~ vegan waffles ~ fresh roasted select grade coffee ~ nitrate-free bacon ~ ham steaks ~ sausage rolls ~ grass-fed cheese ~ botanical art greeting cards ~ sweet, crunchy carrots ~ strawberries ~ apples ~ one-of-a-kind jewelry ~ honey ~ Key Lime chevre ~ pierogies ~ tempting macarons ~ multigrain pancake and waffle mix ~ double chocolate croissants ~ hand-crocheted dishcloths ~ romaine lettuce ~ beets ~ turnips ~ kale ~ knife sharpening ~ breakfast links ~ lemon & sea salt zesty salad topping ~ buttercrunch lettuce ~ spinach pies ~ fresh chicken, whole and cuts ~ veal steaks (t-bone, rib steaks, sirloin) and brisket ~ guacamole and fresh home cooked corn chips ~ yummy focaccia ~ hothouse tomatoes ~ spinach ~ hand-crafted chocolates ~ spring crab salad ~ shiitake mushrooms ~ and much, much more!
Countryside Conservancy and Market: Protecting farmland, supporting farmers, and growing a healthy local food economy. We connect communities and farmers, provide alternate market choices, and create venues that foster civic engagement through fun and informal education.
Our original idea of how to run a Cash Mob was pretty basic. One of the things about Cash Mobs, though, is that we have also made it easy for people to create variations and innovations on how they operate. Here are a few; we invite other ideas in the comments!
- Do one at a grocery store or farmers market, and let everyone know ahead of time so that they wait to buy their groceries together.
- Have a Cash Mob over a window of time, rather than having everyone meet at the same time (particularly good for restaurants).
- Have a Cash Mob at lunch in a restaurant, and warn the restaurant ahead of time. Make sure that the mobbers know ahead of time, too, so they don’t bring their lunches!
- Focus on an activity – for example, bowling, miniature golf, batting cages, go kart racing, etc. Scramble people up so that they’re with people they don’t know.
- Give each mobber a question to ask others to get responses – for example, “what is the first concert you remember going to?” Anyone asked has to respond and describe their answer.
- Remember Alice in Wonderland’s tea party, where they play Clean Cups? When you’re at the post-mob, make sure that everyone circulates and cycles around so that they don’t talk to the same people the entire night.
Any other suggestions or variations that you’d recommend – or that you would caution others against adopting?
It seems like every few years someone else comes out with a study showing that there is a leadership vacuum in government/business/America/the world, and that new leaders are needed. This appears to be a constant, consistent problem, and nobody knows, really, what to do it.
Something that is continually inspiring to me is that we’ve had the opportunity to help people in each community develop their leadership ability by organizing Cash Mobs. I was part of a Cash Mob last week organized by Heather Diana Vaselaney here in Cleveland. Heather just graduated from college a few years ago and is now selling jewelry that she designs and makes. She was really nervous about organizing a Cash Mob; she was worried that nobody would show up, that they wouldn’t be into it, that she wouldn’t be able to talk to people, etc.
When I first arrived, I was nervous, too – it was me, her and her boyfriend outside of the store. But then a few people drove up, and a few more, and a few more, and suddenly there was a growing crowd on the sidewalk. She put it off as long as possible, but finally she called everyone into a circle and gave a little speech; she thanked everyone for coming, described the store that we were going to, and then…well, we mobbed.
She was beaming for the rest of the night. I don’t know if she recognized it, but she had a sort of glow surrounding her; it was as if she’d overcome a huge hurdle. Dale Carnegie describes the sort of emotional high that you get from leadership and public speaking in his books, and she had it. It was great to see it happen to someone, though, especially when her mother showed up to meet everyone and see what her wayward daughter was getting up to.
That’s all, really. It was great to see first-hand the sort of effect that Cash Mobs can have on a store, of course; StarPop got a ton of business, with a store full of people spending $40 or more each. But it was even better to see Heather smile because she had done something great for the community, and herself.
The following comment went up on the blog today:
We did a cash mob at an art gallery and a restaurant on March 23rd. I work for a non profit and the art gallery and restaurant were supposed to give us a percentage of their sales from that hour. Notice the word “supposed” to because we never saw a single penny. It’s very disappointing because the owner of the art gallery was (and I emphasize WAS) a friend of mine. She made me look bad to my boss and co-workers. We got coverage on 2 TV stations and the local paper too. So be very careful if you are a non profit and set up this kind of deal with a store or restaurant.
Question: should a Cash Mob be organized with the expectation of financial gain in return? What if it is in exchange for a donation to charity?
I just got this email. Does anyone have any suggestions for her?
I work for an agriculture-oriented non-profit in Montana and I would love to try to organize a cash mob oriented around local foods! We have some restaurants that do a good job of finding and providing local food and we think that a quick influx of cash might help other businesses to see that this is something that people from our town really support! What we are thinking is that we would work with the restaurant to have them do a special two-course, local foods dinner (appetizer + entree or entree + dessert) for $12-15 (we have a lot of college students and so I think a lower price might help here).
I have a few questions though… Have you ever heard of cash mobs organized at a restaurant? My concern is this: Particularly since it will be our first shot at cash-mobbing, I have no idea how many people would show up! I would hate to tell the restaurant to prepare for 30 people and have 70 show up and have the restaurant run out of the local food special AND I would hate to tell the restaurant to prepare for 70 and then only have 15 people show up and have the food go bad. So I guess I have two questions… one is just a basic, do you have any ideas for me? The second is… have you ever heard of people RSVP’ing ahead of time or something like that so you have an idea of how many people to expect? I can imagine various pros and cons of RSVP’ing, but… I’m not sure how else you could give a restaurant an adequate estimate…
Late one evening in January I was doing my usual thing of discussing life and issues with a group of friends on Facebook. An offhand remark about small business led me off on a search for some articles. In my research I came across an article in the International Business Times about Cash Mobs and Social Media. The headline caught my attention and the article led me to the Cash Mobs blog. I was captivated by the idea and just knew it would be a perfect fit for my community, Fayetteville, AR.
I posted a link to the blog on my FB wall and in no time the messages were rolling in telling me to do it. The next day I spoke with the person that handles marketing for a local café and we made plans to meet and see how to make this happen.
My initial thought was “Someone should do this,” and for the life of me, I can’t tell you how or when it became “I am forming a Cash Mob group.” It just happened. Within a week I had the meeting with Caitlin and we chose a date and a location.
I set up the Facebook page and the response was overwhelming. I quickly decided I would need help and went about finding some other people that I knew to be committed to local business and a strong sense of community to be my ‘board.’ There are six of us that maintain the FB and Twitter accounts, research the businesses suggested by the community, set up the mobs, as well as generally promote the group and the project.
From the beginning we decided to adopt a slightly different format for our events. We announce the date and location of the event approximately three weeks ahead of time and post the event on FB. We send press releases to all the local media. So far we have had coverage on two local radio stations, including our NPR affiliate and were featured on their Ozarks At Large show the Friday prior to our inaugural mob in late February. We were also covered by a local TV station at our first mob.
We have one mob per month and have now had three. The first was a local independent book store named Nightbird Books. On a Sunday afternoon we brought around 125 people through their doors and sales were quite brisk. Owner Lisa Sharp was thrilled with the results and is one of our most committed promoters. The March event was at The Hardware Store and brought in around 50 participants. This past Saturday we mobbed Handmade Market. While I do not have firm numbers, we had somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 participants and owner Mim Wynne tells us we TRIPLED her normal Saturday sales. In other words, a lot of people spent more than that $20.00!
The really great thing is hearing people tell me “I’ve seen this shop and never stopped in. I will be coming back often.”
Next up we will be participating in a local street fair on May 20th to raise awareness about the Cash Mob project and hopefully get more people involved. Our next mob will be the following weekend and we will be releasing information for it on Monday, May 7, 2012.
I receive messages from community members with great ideas and thoughts about the project on a routine basis and we have a lot of plans simmering for the coming months. I know things will keep changing and evolving as we go along and that is just fine. I can’t wait to see where this adventure leads me next.
Sally Baker Williams
Cash Mob Fayetteville, AR
I just got an email from an organizer named Stu Kirsch. Besides having a fantastic attitude and being really optimistic, he noted that he has been telling people about the business to mob ahead of time. Since the beginning, we’ve tried to keep the businesses secret; however, more and more organizers are telling people the business they’re going to, then holding really successful mobs.
So after thinking about it and talking about it, we took that rule off of the list. And now we’re questioning all of them.
So here’s the deal: we’d like your input. If you have any ideas for other rules, or think some rules should be stricken, let us know. Who knows? Your voice could have a massive impact on how Cash Mobs moves forward!
The response from the Today Show piece this morning has been fantastic – thanks to everyone for visiting! If you’re interested in finding out about a Cash Mob near you, visit this page for the full list. It is organized alphabetically by state, then country. If you don’t see your community on the list, organize one yourself. Seriously. You are responsible for your community, and a Cash Mob is a great way to help build that community. Don’t put it off or wait for some time or set of circumstances in the future; start it today. Finally, check us out on Twitter – it has proven to be an incredibly useful tool for organizing and coordinating efforts across the country and around the world.
We’re incredibly thankful for your interest and visit, and we hope to see you at a Cash Mob soon!