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Monday, February 18, 2013

Happy Birthday, Youngstown Cash Mob!

I hope you can join us for quesadillas and birthday cake Sat. 23 Feb. at Santa Fe Southwestern Grill. This new restaurant on Mahoning Ave. near Schenley is bright and cheerful with booths, orange walls and lots of natural light. The food is tasty and there are healthful options.

Youngstown Cash Mob
Sat. 23 Feb., 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
SANTA FE SOUTHWESTERN GRILL
2626 Mahoning Ave.
Burritos, Tacos, Quesadillas for Meat Lovers and Vegetarians

 


The Youngstown Cash Mob will be marking its 12th consecutive monthly event at Santa Fe, and that calls for a celebration! Thanks so much to Ellen from Clarencedale Cake for a beautifully designed tiered cake – I can’t wait to see it. Stop by the Cash Mob table for your slice, and a free raffle ticket for a gift certificate at Second Time Around Consignment Shop (also on Mahoning). Congratulations to Ed Gurney, Jr. who won a gift certificate for the Hubbard Ohio Gift Shop while we were at Greyland Gallery in January.

We had a wonderful year, visiting Dorian Books, Touch the Moon Candy Saloon, Arthur Treacher's, Clarencedale Cakes, Mahoning Valley Vacuum, Youngstown Nation, Northside Farmer's Market, Rak's Nearly New, Encore Shop, Artists of the Mahoning Commons and Greyland Gallery. We met some amazing business owners, and I met many of you. I've gotten a new cookbook, vacuum, sweater, boots, earrings, Christmas presents for family members, and even a lovely, gently used couch from Greyland, as well as yummy meals and treats. We've heard stories about the hard work and commitment it takes to own a small business, and the rewards and dreams. And we've all shared news about our favorite shops and restaurants all over the region. Once I've heard of a place, I'm more likely to stop there and see what they've got, and then I'm more likely to return.

Congratulations to Pretty Plus Shop, a consignment shop for plus-sized clothing in Struthers, for winning the March cash mob. Owner Teah Rosemary Keshock-Crew’s on a mission. "My store is not just a clothing store, it is a place of community. Women meet on a monthly basis for a women's gathering, to share our lives and to laugh and cry with one another. We quarterly go on a Shop Hop, perusing other 'pennywise' shops. Last time we hit 15 resale shops in an 8 hour day! We get together to attend live theater, do book readings, and go dancing. My customers, who once were called tubbies and fatso, have started calling themselves 'the pretties.'" Teah is adding men's clothing to her line, in time for our visit on Sat. 16 March.

A new cash mob is born! The Shenango Valley Cash Mob will hold its first event Wed. 5:30 - 6:30 at Wholesome Fare, a health foods store, at 1780 Pine Hollow Blvd. in Hermitage. (Their event will be a surprise for the owners, so they are asking us to keep it a secret until that night.)

It’s thrilling to see another group spring up that’s dedicated to talking up our locally owned businesses. And it’s good for us – a thriving, diverse economy that’s invested in our region is healthy and stable. The owner-employee ratio of a small business is low, and that makes for more meaningful jobs. There’s been a lot of talk lately about how the way we spend our money helps shape our economic reality, and I put a lot of stock in that.

And we can’t forget our small, local farms! A new coalition, 30 Mile Meal, Lake to River OH/PA, will help connect consumers of food – like families and restaurants – with fresh produce, meat and dairy within a 30 mile radius. This will ensure local farmers earn a fair price for their work, and along with training programs, will encourage new growers to try their hand at farming. Buying locally raised food reduces energy consumption – the average piece of produce travels 1500 miles to a U.S. customer! And as with any locally owned business, it helps keep our money circulating here. Last August, the cash mob visited the Northside Farmer's Market, and we're glad to see an indoor winter market thriving on Saturdays at the First Unitarian Universalist Church at Wick Park.

In May, we will be traveling outside of Youngstown, within Mahoning or Trumbull Counties. We’ve had to turn down many worthy nominations because they fell outside our geographical range. My hope is that new cash mobs will pop up in Warren, Columbiana County, and all around us. I worry that trying to hit every community ourselves would spread us too thin, but we don’t want to ignore our good business neighbors. So as the weather warms up we’ll hit the road. Other special cash mobs in 2013 will be an activity cash mob in July (putt-putt? pedal boats in Mill Creek? bowling? local theater?), a visit to a black-owned business in September, and to a non-profit in November.

I hope to see you Sat. at Santa Fe. Stop by the cash mob table and say hello, even if birthday cake isn’t your gig.

Thanks for helping us spread the word!
Cash mob: like flash mob, only the singing is optional.

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