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Napa "Cash Mob" Date Set, Organizer Says

This Saturday morning, Sept. 29, 8 a.m. is the appointed hour for a planned "cash mob" to benefit Napa Valley Coffee Roasting as Starbucks opens across the street, says organizer Karen Garcia.

The Napa woman behind a Facebook-propelled effort to create a "cash mob" for a downtown coffee shop has set the date and time for participants to gather and place their orders.

Saturday morning, Sept. 29, from 8 to 9 a.m. is the appointed hour for the cash mob to bring its business to Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company at Main and First Streets, Karen Garcia said.

"Folks can show up any time on the 29th to support our effort, but we'd love to have lots of people there at 8 a.m.," Garcia wrote in an email to Napa Patch Tuesday morning.

The longtime coffee bar and roasting service is about to get a new neighbor across the street when downtown's first Starbucks opens this weekend, and Garcia has been in the forefront of local protests against the advent of the coffee giant so close to a smaller, independent café.

Monday morning, Garcia created the Cash Mob for Napa Valley Coffee Roasting Company, downtown Napa Facebook page, which had gathered more than 45 "likes" by Tuesday at 9 a.m.

The cash mob concept, in which customers are encouraged to flood a designated business with orders, is a way locals who opposed the downtown Starbucks can "do something positive," Garcia said Monday.

"Starbucks may be opening across the street, but we still love our local businesses," she said.

Will you take part in the cash mob? Boycott Starbucks? Both, neither or something else? Let us know in the comments.  If you'd rather remain anonymous, email napa@patch.com.

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JNELSON September 25, 2012 at 09:58 PM
hahahahaha. thank you for humor :)
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 25, 2012 at 09:59 PM
Hyde- I was trying to make a 'pun' get it...Hyde and hide. Anyways, my name is Belle and it was cleared by Patch also. He may just not like the content of your posts? From what I saw yesterday, Patch higher ups have asked that the names rules be loosened just a bit, so it really doesn't matter what Steve says. As long as you are using your real name (an anagram, middle name, initials, last name, what ever you want) and your e-mail address is working for Patch staff to contact you if needed...then there is no problem. I do think most of us though like some anonymity, but human sounding names are preferable to myself. Have a nice day...
Hyde (Dirty Napkin) September 25, 2012 at 10:00 PM
Hahah hi Louisa! Thanks.
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 25, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Yes, thank you Louisa! You are doing a fantastic job, and I agree with real names as much as possible too! If there was a "like" button I would have clicked it! I only kept my 'handle' from the Voldemort of news papers, for those who like me migrated over here and decided to stay. That way, people would still "know me" or at least know they were talking to someone they have had conversations with before. I have been thinking about commenting on other sites and using my name the way it is here on Patch (Belle (orchid lady)), so that If I run into others, I am consistent with my online identity. It made an impact on me when I came here that people should feel they are having a face-to-face, or at least know the people you are talking to have integrity, and don't have six different names they go by. Have a great day y'all!
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) September 25, 2012 at 11:21 PM
Well, thanks friends, right back at ya. This issue of names and naming, not to mention name-calling (I retain my often-stated respect for our local newspapers, regardless of what they say about me), is ever present in my thoughts. When the Patch redesign comes next year, the site we —that's you and I — already share will be more user-directed than ever. So I am very happy to feel that we are approaching online conversations with consciousness, even skepticism when appropriate, while preserving the human contact and free yet respectful exchange of ideas/information that I think we all crave. Again, many thanks to each of you for your part in making this possible for all of us.
Karen Garcia September 26, 2012 at 12:33 AM
My thanks to Belle for her careful explanation of what a "Cash Mob" is. NVCRC has nothing to do with this event; it's entirely my doing. I guess in my excitement to create the event I didn't explain it well enough. Cash Mobs are the brainchild of an Ohio Attorney, and began in 2011. Since then they are happening all over the world. "'Cash Mobs' isn’t a political or social organization, a corporation, a movement, or meant to be an answer to economic crisis. By and large, those that organize Cash Mobs are simply people trying to make a positive impact on the businesses in their communities (and have fun while doing it)!" That's a description from this website: http://cashmobs.wordpress.com/. Napa's very first cash mob, for NVCRC, is posted on this website: http://www.cashmob.com/napa-california-cash-mob-to-help-local-coffee-bar. Thanks to all who are agreeing to participate in the spirit of helping our community!
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" September 26, 2012 at 12:42 AM
I am not sure I like the "cash mob" concept. I feel Napa local is showing some greed here. I do not go to NVRC I do not like the product. If they have a following Starbucks will not be a problem. I like the free market concept.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" September 26, 2012 at 12:47 AM
I know Belle and Dirty Napkin from the NVR As Belle and Dirty Napkin. I also use my NVR screen name here with my real name. It is hard to know who is who if we do not use our other name aswell.
Karen Garcia September 26, 2012 at 01:31 AM
Remember, Michael, this is not a Napa Local event. And even if it were, how is it "greedy"? If you don't want to participate, just don't. End of story.
Unfiltered Steve Simoneau September 26, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Well, with a pic of Gladys Kravitz peeking in a window it wasn't much of a stretch to think that 'Hyde' was a homonym for anoniminity. Nice to meet you, Hyde, my name is Steve Simoneau, also known as @theREALnapa on twitter. I appreciate all input on Patch, and if I disagree I won't hide behind the flagging button I'll come right out and say so. The 'Unfiltered' in my handle means that if I think you need a breath mint, your zipper is down, or there's cocaine residue on your nostril then I'm going to say so! Whether or not I agree with a comment, I have respect and appreciation for the Patch contributor with an actual name, preferrably a real name. It shows integrity and credibility. How much credibility and integrity would the public have given Walter Cronkite if he beagn with "Good evening, I'm The News Guy."? A Patch contibutor is a PERSON, we have a NAME, we have OPINIONS, and we are part of a SOCIETY. Be proud to contribute as a human being, stand behind what you think, enjoy the freedom to express yourself because there are countries where they shoot people for doing such things. Louisa does a great job, and long ago asked me politely to please use my real name. I was uneasy at first, but my respect for her won over and I have not regretted publishing my real name on Patch comments or blogs.
R.P.J. September 26, 2012 at 02:27 PM
I find it hard to believe that this is all about a coffee shop, Starbucks, coming to downtown Napa. OMG. My opinion is if you don't want to get your coffee at Starbucks then walk across the street to the other coffee shop, which by the way being a native napan I have never been in the NVCRC because it's too hard to get to, i.e. finding parking, and god forbid if I park in the bank parking lot to run in and get a cup of coffee. I prefer Starbucks, because I can get it anywhere, for instance, at their shops, they are also in grocery stores. I believe we have alot more issues to worry about than putting so much energy towards a Starbucks coffee shop opening downtown.
Mark Rieken September 26, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Has anyone informed NVRC of the pending business coming their way? It is important that they prepare as not to tarnish their good name. If NVRC should be understaffed or find they run out of coffee and the like, their patrons might become bad publicity.
Leo Olyn September 26, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Let's see here - Napa Local called Star Bucks "Predatory" yet they are willing and supporting to do something like this?? Star Bucks started off as a LOCAL coffee shop in Seattle, WA. Heavens forbid that they have been well managed and successful!! Welcome StarBucks and good luck to you with your newest store!
Anne Schramm September 26, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Those of you who are condemning Starbucks and all who go into them should frequent one sometime just to see the business they get. The Starbucks on the corner of Redwood and Solano is always packed, no matter what time of the day. Communities can coexist with corporate and local business. Your product is what determines that, not a bunch of angry locals. I never post here, mostly because I don't want to be attacked for a viewpoint, and that's what I see here, people attacking other's points of view. I am a firm believer in listening and learning, but not condemning others for their views. My view in this is leave Starbucks alone. If the roasting company provides a good product, they'll coexist. Amen.
jennifer September 26, 2012 at 05:35 PM
It's nice that everybody is supporting NVRC but won't this 'cash mob' totally slam them? Does anybody work in the restaurant or hospitality industry?
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) September 26, 2012 at 06:23 PM
Welcome to all new posters. I hope you will always feel comfortable here. Thank you for taking part. We are all "the media" now!
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 26, 2012 at 07:19 PM
""Besides, you can't play the" victim" forever. After the initial opening, there will likely be more buzz and then like everything, the dust will settle and only time will tell. But then again...this is just my perception."" Hi Kristina :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I have to ask however, why do you keep implying that NVRC is the one who is 'behind' the 'cash mob' and playing the victim? I do like the ideas you suggested for NVRC. They are great ideas and I hope that someone from NVRC reads them. Wouldn't you be concerned about a nationally recognized brand opening directly across the street from your business? I suppose that is what made me decide NOT to get anything from the downtown Starbucks. I found it a bit 'predatory' (but that is what free market is about I suppose). I personally wouldn't have had any issue if they had opened down the street, or in the "mall". I don't venture downtown much, and usually make my coffee at home, so this is just a 'values thing' for me.
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 26, 2012 at 07:20 PM
Good question Jennifer.
Kristina September 26, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Belle, Thank you. I am reposting with corrections from "you" to "NVCRC" and removed the "victim" reference since this was aimed towards the wrong individuals. As far as whether or not I would be concerned, of course I would. But I would try to spin it positively and as I mention below, use it as on opportunity to differentiate my brand. Amen Anne. I am also a first time poster. I work for a downtown business and while several "competitors" have opened up nearby, our management believes in the service and quality that we provide. Therefore, we do not feel threatened. As far as the definition of a "cash mob" from Belle & Karen goes, thank you for the clarification. At the same time, I was sharing my initial reaction as a consumer and at the end of the day, it comes down to *perception* versus *reality*. My advice to NVCRC would be to use the Starbucks opening as a way to strengthen and differentiate your brand as the "local's choice". Focus on providing "perks" (no pun intended) like loyalty punch cards, poetry/open mic nights, book signings, local business meets, a free coffee on your birthday, etc. I think people will be much more receptive to this approach.
Karen Garcia September 26, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I don't want to become repetitive, but some folks here seem to voice their opinions without having read the previous comments. So here goes, once and for all: 1. This Cash Mob event is not an attempt to "condemn" Starbucks. It's just a way to appreciate NVCRC. 2. If this is a success, and the community expresses an interest, maybe there will be future Cash Mobs around Napa, as there are in many towns around the US, Canada and the world. Why would anyone argue with the concept of a group of people spending money at a local business? I just don't get it. 3. NVCRC has had nothing to do with the planned Cash Mob. Far from playing the "victim," they have steadfastly refused to get involved in the SB controversy, except for creating their "Slingshot" blend. 4. Napa Local is not behind this Cash Mob event. 5. I have not attacked anyone else's opinion, nor have I seen that done by anyone else who has expressed support for the Cash Mob. 6. If you love Starbucks, go there. More power to you. I continue to be amazed at some people's need to create controversy where none should exist. Again, if you don't want to participate in the Cash Mob, just don't!
Karen Garcia September 26, 2012 at 07:55 PM
Napa Local is not behind this Cash Mob event, Leo. And how is a one-time cash mob, supporting a local business, predatory?
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Thanks for clarifying Kristina! I get your point. You do have some very good ideas, and I hope that NVRC will look in to them.
Belle (Orchid Lady) September 26, 2012 at 08:11 PM
Karen, I know what you are doing, and it's a great thing. The web links that provided above are a great resource for people to get an idea about what a cash mob is and what it can do. Thank you for taking the time to be involved in our local community and do anything to make it better! :)
Patty Peterson September 26, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Karen, thank you for organizing this and I hope it turns out to be a very positive and proactive event for the Roasting Company. I plan to show up early Saturday morning to show support for not only the RC, but for the other independently owned shops we have in downtown. patty peterson
Karen Garcia September 26, 2012 at 10:14 PM
NVCRC knows about it and says "they're ready!"
Hyde (Dirty Napkin) September 27, 2012 at 12:52 PM
Oh well hello again RK!
Hyde (Dirty Napkin) September 27, 2012 at 12:56 PM
See you at Starbucks, on their glorious first day! I support them, because I have many friends who work there.. Always polite, courteous, and very clean. Nothing wrong with a little competition. :-)
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 01:17 PM
I'm very glad Ms. Hyde is finally commenting on the site! And BIG thanks to Steve for his very courteous message of support: I missed it Tuesday, but I really needed it today.
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) September 27, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Let the brewing begin: http://napa.patch.com/articles/starbucks-opens-in-downtown-napa They opened at 5 a.m., although they hadn't yet had any customers when I talked to the barista a few minutes later. But they're open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when they'll close at 11 p.m.
Karen Garcia September 27, 2012 at 02:52 PM
They know about the event, and they told me they "are ready." They even published it on their Facebook page.

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