Surprise came early in the day when the new coffee shop was filled with people

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO:  - A cash mob, mainly business owners, gathers for coffee and a scone or something similar after making a surprise visit to Sandy's newest business, Coffee Station. The early January networking opportunity helped everyone become familiar with and welcome a business to Sandy. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOAn unusual phenomenon, a product of the 21st century, has landed in Sandy.

The first “cash mob” made its appearance earlier this month when a group of about 15 people descended early one Friday morning on the Coffee Station café — at the time, Sandy’s newest business.

Cash mobs, in existence for about 17 months, are related to flash mobs, which involve a number of people who appear unexpectedly at a specific public place and all participate in a similar activity such as dancing or singing.

Cash mobs also are related to carrot mobs, which are not surprises, but they do support businesses that promise to spend a significant amount of their one-day receipts to make their business more “green.” That one day of receipts comes when a large number of people purposely patronize their business.

However, cash mobs are often surprises, when a group of local residents or business owners visit a local business — all at the same time.

The purpose of a cash mob is to support businesses in need of a kick-start or those who need to expand their customer base.

Sandy’s first cash mob also helped a number of Sandy business owners and chamber of commerce staff members become more familiar with Jeff Roman and Sabrina Stivaletta, managers of a business at a location that has seen several previous attempts to succeed.

Cash mobs not only bring cash receipts and awareness to local businesses, they also support the community, said chamber board member Madeleine Eno.

Buying local products from local business owners is a way for a community to get more out of money spent, Eno said. That’s why cash mobs target independent businesses that are locally owned and operated.

During the “mobbing,” conversations take place between the customers and the owners/operators. At the Coffee Station, for example, mobbers gave some ideas to the two operators, who recently arrived from San Francisco and began living in Sandy.

Roman and Stivaletta also asked advice about some of the ideas they have to produce desirable products, improve the business and make it more profitable by offering what their potential customers would want.

One purpose of cash mobs is to attract customers in a way that does not involve one-time deep discounts followed by increased prices. And it is expected that word-of-mouth from the customers would increase the customer base of local stores.

Cash mobs are taking the country by storm, according to online reports. In the Portland area, several cities have begun to mob their businesses.

The Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce plans to make cash mobs a regular practice in the Sandy area, Eno said. To suggest that a business be “mobbed,” send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Sandy chamber has served citizens and businesses of Sandy for more than 50 years. With 250 members, the chamber provides networking, advocacy and education for local businesses, their owners and employees.

For more information, call 503-668-4006 or visit

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