Support growing for shopping local in South Valley

February 24, 2013 12:36:37 AM PST
The Hanford cash mob launched as a way to bring in new business for stores in the downtown area.

The cash mob focused for day on a specific shop in downtown Hanford. It was in an effort to increase business and bring awareness of locally owned businesses.

Saturday's inaugural event brought in dozens of new customers to a local tea house. Inside the L.T. Sue Company Tea Emporium, a steady stream of fresh brewed tea was served to the Hanford cash mob supporters.

Owner Steve Banister said, "We just didn't want to be overwhelmed where the customers couldn't have the type of experience we like them to have. That didn't happen. It's been busy all day."

Proof of that busy day - cups of iced or hot tea - translated into an 11 percent increase in sales in just a few short hours.

Arianne Wing of L.T. Sue Co. Tea House said, "A lot of new faces, a lot of old friendly faces. A lot of people coming by to wish us well."

The cash mob customers are looking to help local businesses, the ones that keep the charm alive to succeed.

Richard King of Hanford said, "It's that connection to older Hanford, and all the wonderful things that have come and gone in china alley. It's quite a history."

The history is what prompted owner Steve Banister to open the tea house. He says a portion of his profits goes back into preserving downtown Hanford's historic China Alley.

Banister said, "I have always loved it, ever since i was a little kid. We would eat at the dynasty and tell me to go play out in the alley when things were safer. As a youngster I would explore all of the different stores in the area."

Hanford cash mob organizers are looking to monthly events. They hope local business will grow by this word-of-mouth effort.

Hanford cash mob organizer Francisco Ramirez said, "We want to keep the City of Hanford in the minds of people and say 'hey, this is a great place to go to and enjoy yourself downtown and spend a little money while you're down here.'"

The cash mob will move on to another business next month, the exact time and location are still being decided.


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