by Caitlin Huston
With hushed voices and a secretive air, a group of about 15 women sneaked around the side of Village Peddler and flooded through the door to surprise store owner Cindy Meister.
The “Surprise Cash Mob” was organized on Facebook and intended to bring in a large group of customers from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday to support the local business at 1828 E. Broadway. The group grew to about 30 people who were all supposed to buy $10 to $20 worth of items from the store.
Jessica Boughton, who helped organize the event, said she had heard about cash mobs in other parts of Indiana and wanted to bring the event to Logansport to support her friend’s store.
“We just thought it would be a great way to support her local business,” Boughton said.
Boughton teamed up with Emily Reed, who organized the Facebook group. Reed used to work at the store and said they had told the employees about the mob so they would be prepared for the rush of customers.
But the key to the event was making sure Meister didn’t know about it.
“We’re pretty sure she’s clueless,” Boughton said before they surprised her.
As the group filled the store, Meister was greeted with a bouquet of flowers. She said she was touched by the gesture.
“It’s amazing,” Meister said. “It’s really sweet.”
Meister confirmed that she did not know about the cash mob. She said she was also surprised that the event was able to come to fruition through Facebook.
“I guess I didn’t realize how much people paid attention to their Facebook,” Meister said.
While browsing the store for Christmas gifts, Janna Webber of Lucerne said she wanted to participate in the mob to help out the local economy.
“We just thought it’d be really nice to support a local business,” she said.
Reed also said she hoped people who came for the cash mob would become repeat customers.
“If people come, they do get an idea of what she has,” Reed said.
Meister said the crowd grew to about 30 people. She said she had not tallied the total purchases, but she said the event had certainly had an impact.
“It was very profitable,” she said.
Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or firstname.lastname@example.org.