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Homewood Cash Mob Takes a Twist, But Still Going Strong

Patch took some time to catch up with the Homewood Cash Mob's chief proponent, Kate Duff, to see how the idea is maturing and learn what to expect during Wednesday's mob.

Update @ 1 p.m. on June 26: the secret Cash Mob location, , and the after-mob party at Tokyo Japaese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar has been added to the body.

That special time of month where one lucky local business gets picked to be mobbed by shoppers. After breaking through with the first South Suburban Cash Mob ever only a couple months ago, is now moving along with its third Cash Mob installment, but this time, things are a little different.

Patch caught up with Kate Duff, the driving force behind , to find out a little bit more on what to expect from Wednesday’s event.

What’s changing?

To start with, the Wednesday, June 27 Cash Mob will break from the standard hour-or-so timeframe and, instead, last all day long, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“With each Cash Mob, we get more feedback about what works best for Homewood,” Duff said. “The key thing we’ve heard, I think, is the need for flexibility. Homewood residents are very busy, they’re juggling multiple responsibilities, and we all need to balance our desire to support local business with our personal budget.

"We hope this will better accommodate Cash Mob participants schedules and be a little more convenient for the business,” she continued. “We’re also doing on-site promotion through window signs and business cards, and we’ll be running a raffle for Cash Mob participants.”

That’s right—this Cash Mob will also include a raffle that all mobbers are eligible to enter into. The rules to join are simple:

  1. Buy something during the Cash Mob event.
  2. Post a photo of your purchase on the Homewood Cash Mob Facebook page.
  3. Repeat with any additional purchases. Each photo of a purchase gets you another chance to win. Prizes will be donated by .

The Future of the Homewood Cash Mob

Despite a slightly lower turnout , Duff is optimistic about the program.

“We had new faces come out—it wasn’t just the folks who participated in the first Mob,” Duff said. “… As long as we get a good response—as long as the feedback from the community is positive—we’ll continue to do Cash Mobs." 

Duff added that she’s working to explore even more creative avenues for the program and develop the Cash Mob idea even further.

“Remember that the Village and the Chamber of Commerce/Downtown Homewood Business Association are also running programs to promote local business,” Duff added. “I look at the Cash Mobs as a resident-led effort that complements those other efforts.”

as Third Cash Mob location

Homewood's third Cash Mob, scheduled for this Wednesday, June 27, will be held at Homewood Florist.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the concept, a secret location (Homewood Florist) will be announced Tuesday morning. Everyone is invited to shop at the secret location between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and take advantage of Cash Mob specials being offered by the secret location. An after mob party will also be held at another secret location from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Registry forms will be available for Duff and the other Cash Mob helpers to track participation, so make sure to sign-in!

Here's a simplified schedule

Tuesday, June 26

  • Secret mob and post-mob locations are announced: The Cash Mob will be held at Homewood Florist with an after party at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar

Wednesday, June 27

  • Third Homewood Cash Mob begins at the Homewood Florist at 9 a.m. and lasts until 5 p.m. (those who still want to participate can sign up on the participation sheet at the Homewood Florist until Saturda)
  • Post-mob party will be held at Tokyo Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
  • All shoppers are encouraged to post photos of their purchases on the Homewood Cash Mob Facebook page for a chance to win raffle prizes

Happy shopping!

What do you think of the new Cash Mob schedule? Can you think of any ways to improve on the concept? Tell us in the comments!

Lynn Shafer June 26, 2012 at 12:25 PM
I think it would be better if this always took place on Saturdays. On another note I think it would be VERY nice if some of the dining places with outdoor dining such as Cilantro and Grady's would be open on SUNDAYS
Laura Krupa June 26, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I think there are a lot of families with both spouses working 9 to 5 jobs with mine being one of them. It will be difficult for me to make this cash mob since I don't get home until close to 5:00. Is it possible to extend the hours into evening or do it on the weekends?
ridgeroadmike June 26, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I agree. I don't step off the train until 6PM at the earliest. That kind of leaves me out and I imagine there are many, many others in the same situation.
Katrina Powell Perez June 26, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Ditto! Weekends, please!
Kate Duff June 26, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Thanks for the feedback, everyone! To give you a little background, our previous two Cash Mobs were held on the weekend. We decided to try a weekday Mob because so many people are away or completely booked up during summer weekends. Tell you what, though, I'll leave a sign-up sheet with Homewood Florist through Saturday -- if you can't make it Wednesday, try to make it on another day. Remember to sign up so we can count your participation toward our Cash Mob total. Also, Homewood Florist does take phone and online orders, and you can still show your support on Wednesday by coming to the aftermob at Tokyo Steakhouse at 7 pm. It's really great that you're weighing in with your opinions. Cash Mobs is a community endeavor and the more community input we get, the better!
A Neighbor June 26, 2012 at 04:02 PM
I greatly appriciate all of the work that Kate and others have put into this, but I am not a big fan of the new plan. I think that in addition to supporting businesses, cash mobs should work to encourage relationships between people. Usually, one cash mob rule is that you must have at least conversation with someone you don't knowat each event. Also, while easy is nice, charities often prosper by cheering people on while they do something that is difficult. It would be easier if people just gave money to the Kohman fund for breast cancer research, but instead they do a LONG walk to raise money. I do like the idea of encouraging participants to post photos. Keeping the Facebook page active and interesting is important. Thanks again for your dedication to this project
FlossmoorMom June 26, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Yeah why aren't those places open on Sundays? That's the one day of the week I'm actually able to dine out!
FlossmoorMom June 26, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Completely agree.
hope4peace June 26, 2012 at 07:20 PM
I can see the advantages to both structures; however, I think it makes sense to offer extended hours to allow people who want to participate the opportunity to do so. It would be unreasonable to expect that someone can leave work early to participate in a Cash Mob event. If the primary focus of these events is to boost local businesses, then I think it is important to facilitate the greatest amount of participation possible. The After Mob socialization would seem to provide a great opportunity to encourage the relationships that "A Neighbor" addresses. I agree that these types of relationship building opportunities are important. I also appreciate the hard work of Kate and the other enthusiastic volunteers and I think it's great that we can discuss options and share ideas. Thank you everyone for helping Homewood! I haven't been able to participate thus far, but will this time
Kate Duff June 27, 2012 at 11:52 AM
Thank you again for everyone's input. I will be at Tokyo Steakhouse tonight at 7 pm. I encourage you to join us and share your thoughts about how you want Cash Mobs to work. See you tonight!
Laura Krupa June 27, 2012 at 05:26 PM
Yep, I couldn't make the last 2 cash mobs that were on the weekends because I already had commited to other plans. I agree that it's tricky to find the right time to schedule these events. Thanks for finding alternatives like the sign-up sheet and phoning in orders. I look forward to supporting our local businesses. Thanks for organizing!
Kate Duff June 27, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Check out the photos by Cash Mob shoppers of their great buys from Homewood Florist! http://www.facebook.com/homewoodcashmob

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