As a teenager, Renae Gouldson recalls holiday shopping at Artisan House on Main Street in Northport, buying her friends and family gifts like wind chimes or holiday figurines.
So it was an easy decision for her to be a part of a cash mob on Tuesday, spending $20 to help stimulate business for the same shop that served her so many years ago.
“This brings people downtown to have a little bit of fun and stimulate the economy with cash transactions,” said Gouldson, 34, of Northport. “Everybody got a chance to look at a shop that you might not necessarily go into every single day, but it has something for everyone.”
The Northport Chamber of Commerce’s first cash mob met Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Main Street Cafe in Northport.
Thirty minutes later, 45 locals walked across the street to “mob” Artisan House and then end the festivities with drinks and appetizers at Gunther’s Tap Room.
Debi Triola, vice president of the Northport Chamber of Commerce, knows firsthand what it’s like to run a small business and was happy to help a fellow merchant.
“I think it brings a little bit of resurgence into the village at a slower, quieter time,” said Triola, 55, of Northport. “It’s a nice opportunity to get together and give a little stimulus boost to a local merchant.”
Because of its success, the chamber expects to hold another cash mob in January or February.
Chris Triolo, who has been a fashion recruiter for 15 years, owns a small office in the village and thought that a cash mob would be another way to help boost local business. He took the idea from cash mob events held earlier this year in Huntington and Bellport. Triolo created a Facebook page in June, informing the community about the cash mob.
“It’s all by word-of-mouth and through social media,” said Triolo, 38, of Northport. “I just want to support the village any way I can and this was an ideal opportunity to do that.”
Kathie Kitts, owner of the 40-year-old Artisan House, would usually expect a slow evening due to bad weather. In this case, she was tipped that the cash mob was coming her way, so she could have extra hands there for a scene more reminiscent of the holiday rush.
“We had a full store for quite a while and lots of sales,” said Kitts, 55, of Northport. “It was a great success. I’m glad they came on a rainy day because it made my rainy day a good day.”
Above: Dorothy Walsh was among the 45 people to gather at Main Street Cafe in Northport for the village's first cash mob at Artisan House on Main Street. (Oct. 2, 2012)