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‘Cash mob’ hits Port Orchard businesses
He admittedly was uncertain of what to expect.
But, as customers continued to crowd the storefront before Saturday’s event at his store, Matt Carter said he could not have been more pleased with the outcome from “Kitsap County Cash Mob” visit to his chocolate shop.
“It was crazy what we did here for two hours,” said Carter, adding that revenue was about three times his normal amount on that day.
Debbie Doll, who works with the Kitsap County Cash Mob, said the organization was created by Poulsbo website designer Lisa Jachimowicz, who learned about similar projects elsewhere in the country. Those groups used social media sites, such as Facebook, to organize gatherings that would strike at once, infusing a local business with cash.
Carter said Jachimowicz showed up at his business, posted signs and served as a “hostess” while his staff took orders.
“She’s just doing it as a community service,” he said.
Doll said members spend an average of $20 at designated businesses before gathering elsewhere for a meal.
“The idea is to fund businesses that are struggling financially,” she said.
Doll, a Port Orchard resident who works as a marketing agent at Barry Doll Agency and American Family Insurance, said they want to lend assistance without relying on government.
“I definitely don’t believe in government handouts,” she said. “People in the community and businesses need to work together.”
Cash mobs are patterned after a “flash mob,” where people gather briefly to entertain or perform a satirical act. These events, which are publicized through social media, included a Worldwide Pillow Fight Day in 2008.
Unlike flash mobs, Doll said Kitsap County Cash Mob checks with local businesses before they host an event. The organization worked at Carter’s Chocolates from 2-6
p.m. They also were at Cosmos Ristorante & Delicatessen.
“It’s a good way to boost sales,” Doll said. “Hopefully it brought new people that haven’t tried it before.”
Carter said he noticed Kitsap County Cash Mob through Facebook working in other communities in the area and kept “pushing” for the group to come to Port Orchard.
“I hope it’s like that for everyone,” Carter said.
Doll said Kitsap County Cash Mob has a similar mentality as the “Shop SK First” program produced by the Port Orchard Chamber of Commerce.
“It all stays in our local community,” she said. “If our businesses are thriving, its less of a burden on our community.”