06/15/2012 02:55 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

A Cash Mob in Coconut Grove


We're staring something new in Coconut Grove that should help stimulate the local economy. It's not a brand new idea, but it's new to us. It's called Cash Mob. We're forming a Cash Mob!

You probably know about Flash Mobs, where groups of people break out in song and dance in public at a specific time and place. Well, Cash Mobs do something similar in the way of retail and restaurants.

Our first Cash Mob in Coconut Grove is going to take place on Saturday, June 23 and we've chosen a small store, Silverado, on Fuller Street. It works like this: On Saturday, between noon and 8 p.m., the goal is for people to go and spend money in the store. We've chose the amount of $10 as a minimum purchase. Many Cash Mobs start at the $10 figure.

People are to go, spend the $10 or more hopefully and meet three new people as part of the Cash Mob plan. This hopefully will bring business and awareness to the establishment through the actual daily event, but also through social media sharing up until the event, giving publicity to the specific business. It's their 15 minutes of fame, so to speak.

The Cash Mob idea was started in August 2011, by a blogger named Chris Smith in Buffalo, New York, and then Andrew Samtoy, in Cleveland, Ohio is said to have ran with it, naming it "Cash Mob" and perfecting the idea. Either way, they both take partial credit for this super idea. It was brought to my attention by Louis Del Borrello, one of our Coconut Grove Ambassadors, who had seen the story somewher. I stepped in, with the suggestion of Louis, and we approached Jackie, owner of the Silverado store, to plan the first event. Being a small village, we feel we are the perfect location for a Cash Mob. (That's Jacquie Longden, owner of Silverado, holding L'etoile and Louis Del Borrello, above.)

The Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce and the BID (Business Improvement District) agreed to help get the ball rolling by introducing it to their email lists, and the ball has started rolling. We are all anticipating a big turnout and event on June 23.

Part of the idea is, as I stated, to meet new people and spend money, and then to have a drink at a local bar or tavern afterwards. For the drink, we've chosen Barracuda in Coconut Grove, since it is on Fuller Street, right across from Silverado.

Also, a unique concept is that it is documented along the way via social media. People will take photos and post them on Facebook, Twitter and blogs and make it an even with oomph.

Let's see how it goes. We'll document it all in the Coconut Grove Grapevine, the first story and more details on the actual even can be found here in the Grapevine. It's a cool, small idea, with large implications.