‘Mobbing’ a Bremerton business near you — Cash Mob movement brings community together, keeps dollars local

One Bremertonian lived a few blocks away but had never been to CJ’s Evergreen General Store and Catering. Last Saturday’s cash mob changed that.

“She just thought it was beers and cigarettes. It’s way more than that,” said Robin Henderson of a 12-year Bremerton resident who visited CJ’s for Bremerton’s first cash mob.

Cash Mob Bremerton started from a Facebook page that Henderson created a few weeks ago. Henderson, a 20-year Bremerton resident, thought starting a cash mob would be a way to bring the community together while also supporting local businesses. Cash mob is a movement where people “mob” a business at a set time and date, usually spending at least $20.

“It’s primarily about supporting these local businesses but also to get people out to take a look at these businesses that they never have before,” Henderson said, adding that it can lead to making new friends and networking.

About two-and-a-half weeks old, the Cash Mob Bremerton’s Facebook page had 165 “likes” Wednesday. After creating the page, Henderson started out by connecting with area organizations and local businesses. CJ’s was selected as the first business to mob by a vote on the social networking site and the organizers expect to have at least one cash mob a month in Bremerton at a different location.

Michael Strube, Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce executive director, said nothing like cash mob has been done in Bremerton before that he is aware of. He said it’s a unique concept to get the community behind one business at a time.

“She was very appreciate after a slow winter,” said Strube of CJ’s owner. “She’s got a unique store, local produce. They do ready-made dinners, which a lot of people don’t know about.”

The cash mob began at noon and Henderson and Strube said about 30 to 40 people participated. The store had been notified beforehand of the “mob” and agreed to it. Henderson said people will not be organized to mob any business that does not want to participate in a cash mob.

“I would like to thank all of you that came by the store for the first Bremerton Cash Mob yesterday. I really appreciate all the people that came out. We feel that it was a success. We were so glad to see so many new people and returning customers,” Cynthia Jeffries-Cyr, owner of CJ’s, wrote on Facebook Sunday.

An employee at the store who started work toward the end of the cash mob said Tuesday that the turn out was great and it was a fun experience.

The event coincided with March 24 being International Cash Mob Day, Henderson said.

“It’s kind of an evolving thing,” Henderson said. “There are new groups sprouting up in Kitsap.”

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