Woonsocket's Tuesday night cash mob drew more than 100 customers to and , surpising and thrilling shop owners and organizers.
The mob was organized by the Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance and the Northern RI Chamber of Commerce. Jeanne Budnick of Pepin Lumber, a member of the BVIBA, led the effort.
Elise Houle of Pepin Lumber said the group, more than twice the number of people they'd been expecting at about 120, gathered at 186 Cass Avenue, the lot across from Landmark Medical Center at 6 p.m. At 6:15 p.m., Jeanne annoucned they'd be visiting Vose and Kay's, both of which were conveniently nearby. She said the turnout may have been the largest in the state yet. The last cash mob at Anything Goes in Warwick covered by turnto10.com Feb. 7 only drew about 50 people, she said.
"We didn't expect so many," said Anne Jalette, who co-owns Vose True Value with her brothers Chet and Steve Chomka and sister Peggy Ganim. She said they were expecting 30 people, 40 tops. "The people were so excited. They made it fun, like a carnival atmosphere," she said.
An added bonus to the financial boon of the visit — many of the cash mobbers had never been inside their store before. From the outside, she said, the store seems very small. Behind the door, though, the shop goes way back, with room for a paint and lawn & garden department. "It was good to have new people see what we have to offer," Jalette said.
Many of the mobbers were members of the Blackstone Valley Independent Business Alliance who were showing up to support their fellow businesses. "Which is so wonderful about that group," Jalette said. Everone in it is a member of helpful, supportive community, she said, sending customers to their fellow businesses and trying to lend a hand when they can.
The cash mob was a great experience, Jalette said, "Not only financially, but emotionally, because all the businesses, they've been having a rough time."
Dave Lahousse of Kays was also impressed with the event. It was nice to se local businesses helping each other out, he said. "I also got to meet some local businesses that I hadn't met before. One lady I met was from North Smithfield. She lived there for 18 years and never had dined at Kay's before. With the tough times we are going through it really shows to me that this is still a great community and I'm proud to say I'm from here." Lahousee said.