Dylan LightfootStaff Writerdlightfoot@civitasmedia.com
January 18, 2013
Cash Mob ASHE will descend on Lansing tomorrow morning, bringing an influx of customers and cash to local businesses, and demonstrating the power of the community to organize in support of the local economy.
Nancy Shannon, organizer of the mob, said the idea came to her after she participated in a cash mob in Boone in November, which was covered by Carolina Country Magazine in their January edition.
“Boone is only one of many North Carolina towns where stores and restaurants have been ‘mobbed’ this year. Others include Cary, Thomasville, Pineville, Mount Holly, Franklin, Wake Forest and High Point,” according to Carolina Country’s article, “Mobbing Stores in Broad Daylight.”
Shannon, a resident of Fleetwood, was inspired by the effectiveness of the Boone cash mob, and decided to quickly organize one in Ashe County. “If we let too much time go by, we’d lose momentum,” she said.
Like flash mobs, cash mobs form through social media, using Facebook and Twitter to coordinate mob activity. Mobs arrive en masse at selected retailers and restaurants at an appointed hour, and give those business a shot in the arm.
“It’s all about infusing local businesses with cash,” she said.
Shannon’s effort is organizing as a Facebook group: “Cash Mob” ASHE. To go to the site click http://www.facebook.com/groups/516875038333066/. She chose Lansing because the town is struggling, and because businesses there support local farmers.
Cash Mob ASHE will hit Lansing at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow at Lansing Foods, which recently began stocking meat and produce from local farms, enabling residents to support local farmers by supporting their local grocery.
From Lansing Foods, the mob will move to Pie on the Mountain, Lansing’s pizza, salad and sandwich cafe, which uses locally-grown ingredients, and serves coffee from local microroasteries.
“We want to encourage stores and restaurants to source as much local food as possible,” Shannon said.
After giving Pie on the Mountain the business, the mob will move to Phoenix Mountain Arts. The mountain art and craft gallery opened last summer, and features work by local artists and artisans, as well as furniture, antiques and curios.
“It’s a passion,” Shannon said of her avid support of homegrown economy. “I’ve never set foot in the Walmart.”