Durham ‘cash mob’ takes on weekly farmers market

Durham ‘cash mob’ takes on weekly farmers market

reporter photo

DURHAM — Last week, Durham’s Weekend Warrior Cash Mob took to the town’s farmers market to help bolster local business. 

The market had “a very good crowd” according to market master, Jon Scagnelli. 

“It was a combined effort of our regular customers, beautiful weather, the local Weekend Warriors and the Lobster Tails food truck,” he said. “I had a few people stop by the market booth and say they were a local Weekend Warrior.” 

The Weekend Warrior cash mobs were orchestrated by the town’s Economic Development Commission after Christine Michaud, director of the Durham Public Library, shared the idea with Janet Morganti of the EDC and First Selectwoman Laura Francis. Michaud got the idea after reading “This is Where You Belong” by Melody Warnick, a guide which details how to build a greater sense of community where you live.  

Warnick’s book will be the focus of this fall’s “One Book, One Durham” program which tasks the people of Durham with reading Warnick’s book and taking part in different community events hosted by the library.

A schedule of these events can be found at https://www.durhamlibrary.org/book-durham/.

“Building community and building your local economy...this book addressed many things I heard percolating in different areas in the community,” said Michaud. 

Michaud and the EDC hope that these Weekend Warrior cash mobs will keep more money in the local economy. Kim McNally, assistant director of Durham Public Library, said “$68 stays in the community out of every $100 spent locally.” 

Morganti said that she was expecting to continue the initiative next year as well. 

“We’ve gotten some good feedback, like on the first weekend which was gift shops and boutiques,” she said. “People actually went in and said that Weekend Warrior was the reason they were there.”

In order to improve the initiative in the future, Morganti is hoping to find a way to include kids in the initiative, identify those who are Weekend Warriors with either “a badge or a bag” and to get the word out more using social media. 

“We’re going to create a survey to send out to shoppers and the vendors and businesses to get their feedback,” she said. “That’ll help us figure out what we want to do differently.”

The Weekend Warrior initiative is closing out its final weekend on Saturday, Sept. 14. The focus is on restaurants, food and drink. 

Twitter: @everett_bishop