Cash mobs coming to downtown Cape Girardeau

Monday, May 7, 2012

Cash Mob Cape is being formed not to loot but to help support local businesses. Groups in Cleveland and Buffalo, N.Y., claim credit for originating cash mobs last year, but the concept has filtered into more than 30 states.

What's a cash mob? A group of shoppers who, at a specific time, descend on a locally owned business to boost sales by spending a predetermined sum, usually $10 or $20. Afterward, mob members typically relocate to a nearby locally owned restaurant for additional socializing and to share ideas for future events. Most communication leading up to the event occurs via social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Laurie Everett, owner of Annie Laurie's Antiques, first presented the idea to Wes Wade, owner of iLuvLocalPlaces.com, and Elizabeth Shelton, owner of Write Results Marketing.

Write Results Marketing is spearheading the cash mob movement and has created a Facebook page and Twitter account for Cash Mob Cape. ILuvLocalPlaces.com has agreed to help promote the events in order to help the local businesses in the area.

Much of the fun of being in a cash mob is the mystery leading up to it, Shelton said. Although the business owner is contacted in advance in order to prepare for the mob, the actual shopping destination and location of the "after party" are not revealed to the participants until the mob assembles in a predetermined nearby location.

Cash Mob Cape has chosen to visit downtown Cape Girardeau for its first mob and will meet in the parking lot between Main and Water streets at the end of Independence streets (across from Hutson's Fine Furniture). Once the mob assembles, the designated business and after-party restaurant will be revealed. Those interested in participating are encouraged to follow and share Cash Mob Cape posts on Facebook and Twitter to get more details closer to the June 9 event. The goal is to have a monthly cash mob visit locally-owned businesses throughout Cape Girardeau, Shelton said.

* Green Thumb Flower Works recently opened with temporary locations in Cape Girardeau and Jackson. Green Thumb Flower Works, owned by Rick Hoffman of Hoffman Family Fire Works, has locations at the Town Plaza, next to Quiznos, in Cape Girardeau and on Jackson Boulevard next to the Branding Iron in Jackson. Both locations are open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Hanging baskets, potted plants, tropicals and unusual varieties are all available. All flowers and plants are locally grown by a major greenhouse and have custom blended soil for good growth and heat resistance, Hoffman said.

* Pop's Pizza has opened a party and game room at 401 N. Clark Ave., next door to the restaurant. The room has video games, skeeball, pinball, air hockey, pool and a jukebox. Hot dogs, nachos, pizza by the slice and soda will be available. Pop's Pizza owner Cora Lee Sample said she was inspired to open the party and game room because she felt young people in the community need a place to go with a good atmosphere and supervision. The facility is also available for birthday parties. The party and game room is open from 3 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 3 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights.

* Baetje Farms cheeses are now available at Primo Vino, 1610 N. Kingshighway, Suite 105, in Cape Girardeau. Owners Steve and Veronica Baetje of Bloomsdale, Mo., produce this farmstead artisan goat cheese, which won several medals at the 2011 World Cheese Awards held in Birmingham, England. Their Bloomsdale cheese, named after their hometown, was ranked in the top 16 in the world. Before its availability at Primo Vino, Baetje Farms cheese was only available in the St. Louis area. A variety of fresh and aged cheeses are now offered at Primo Vino, which is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/primovino.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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