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Mobs Give Castro Valley and San Lorenzo Businesses a Boost

Community members and loyal customers mobbed Gala Bakery and Traders Sporting Goods store on Saturday to celebrate National Cash Mob Day.

Despite the wet weather on Saturday, dozens of folks armed with dollar bills gathered at Castro Valley and San Lorenzo businesses to participate in the first-ever local cash mobs.

A cash mob, similar to a Flash Mob, gets a large group of people to join together and spend $20 at a local business.

More than 170 cash mobs took place across the country and overseas on March 24.

In San Lorenzo, close to 75 people paid Gala Bakery and Party Shoppe a visit for its Cash Mob from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Before doors even opened, a crowd was already waiting out front, which opened an hour before regular business hours.

Owners Andrea and Armando Soto and their staff served freshly-baked cinnamon rolls and their specialty cakes, cupcakes and pastries.

Free coffee was offered to customers to wash it all down.

"San Lorenzo doesn't have much to offer anymore," Andrea said. "There are too many [businesses] leaving so I think this is huge."

Andrea said about 80 percent of customers paid with cash that morning.

Over in Castro Valley, a slightly smaller mob gathered at the corner of Castro Valley Boulevard and San Miguel Avenue around 12 p.m. to head over to .

"Every little bit counts," said manager Mark McQuillan.

From outdoor clothing and safes to camping supplies and fishing gear, people got the chance to see what Traders offered other than just guns and ammunition.

"What's the craziest thing you have in the store?" asked customer Michael Kusiak.

After finding several unique items like an antler back scratcher and a foam turkey decoy to attract prized gobblers, he settled on a small container of worms.

"I'm letting my little boy and his best friend play with them," he said.

Kathi Finley, a Castro Valley resident more than 25 years, said she never stepped foot into Traders but because of loving the concept of a cash mob, decided to pay the place a visit with her husband.

"This is just what our community needs right now," said Finley, who was eyeing some mace in a pink canister.

However, unlike Finley, not many people were pleased with because it was relatively new to Castro Valley, moving in about 14 months ago from San Leandro. Several people on Castro Valley Patch's Facebook page wanted the debut to be at a more longstanding Castro Valley establishment like or

"It really upset me the negativity people had," Finley said. "It's the first one."

The whole idea behind the Cash Mob coming to Castro Valley and San Lorenzo was put on three key community members: Heather Mellon, , of CV Legends and Susan Soares with the Castro Valley/Eden Area Chamber of Commerce.

Mellon said in that if enough community support was shown, they hope to continue them on a monthly basis.

Have you own cash mob photos from Saturday that you'd like to share? Click the "Upload Photos & Videos" button above.

For more information on the local cash mobs, or to suggest where the next cash mob should be, visit the following sites:

Cash Mob Castro Valley

Cash Mob San Lorenzo

Heather Mellon March 28, 2012 at 05:53 AM
David, Thomas, and Ken, I think you missed earlier postings about the Cash Mobs. The picking was most certainly NOT done based on any political affiliation. Myself and a few other community members came up with Cash Mob as an idea to help local businesses, and the Chamber helped support it. For future Cash Mobs, I will be posting the criteria. The next location will be selected based on community nominations and owner willingness to participate. Please focus on the positive work that a Cash Mob can do. The first one is over, and I hope you will join us for the next one.
David Ross March 28, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Sorry, Heather, I cannot focus on the positive work that a Cash Mob can do when the recipient of it is a store like Traders. My money will not go to support someone who, in my opinion, is not a good corporate citizen.
Analisa Harangozo March 28, 2012 at 09:43 PM
Thanks for sharing your opinions on here, everyone. I just wanted to add, however, If you weren't pleased with the business selections for this FIRST cash mob, you can always submit your suggestions for where the NEXT one should be held at. Send them over to cashmobcv@gmail.com.
David Ross March 28, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Have sent the email. Here's my suggestions: New businesses without a checkered past: Tina and Toni’s Deli Norman’s Grill Dollar Stop Others Trieble’s Stationery Any business in the Village except Ross (chain store) and the restaurants Rowell's
k dall February 05, 2013 at 08:58 PM
sounds like some hearts are in a dark place. is this the kind of support you show small business that moves to your community? sounds like a bunch of hillbillies ready to lynch the new guy. I dont know traders well, but they have my sympathy, and will get my money.

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