HAYWARD -- A city councilman is trying to make Saturday a banner day for a local businessman.
Councilman Francisco Zermeno is organizing a "cash mob" at The Cobblers, a Foothill Boulevard business. He's urging residents to show up at 1 p.m. Saturday to spend money at the shop, which sells and repairs shoes.
"Even if everybody only spends $10, if you have enough people, that can make a day for a small-business owner," said Zermeno, who often ends his remarks with the phrase, "Hayward on!"
He added: "It should be a fun event, and maybe it will introduce new people to this great shop in Hayward."
While cash mobs are not new, this will be a first for Hayward. Cash mobs started last year in the Midwest as an offshoot of flash mobs, in which a group of musicians or dancers break into a surprise performance at an unconventional venue, such as a mall food court. There have been cash mobs this year at other stores in the area, including San Lorenzo, Castro Valley and Pleasanton.
"I think it's a keen idea and said, 'Let's try it in Hayward,'" Zermeno said.
Zermeno said he chose The Cobblers because the shop is practically a Hayward institution. "We want to encourage unique shops," he said.
The Cobblers is one of the oldest stores in Hayward. The family-run shop has been on Foothill Boulevard since 1958, according to its owner, Rudy Grasseschi, who said he wasn't exactly sure what a cash mob is.
"I don't really know what
Zermeno's idea of a cash mob at The Cobblers was endorsed by Kim Huggett, president and CEO of the Hayward Chamber of Commerce.
"It's a great little shop," Huggett said. "Rudy has been a fixture in Hayward for years. He's stayed downtown, and he has hopes for the rebirth of the downtown."
Huggett, who said he has had heels replaced on at least three pairs of shoes at The Cobblers, said he planned to be part of Saturday's cash mob.
Zermeno tried to organize cash mobs at The Book Shop and Tu Tienda Azteca on B Street this summer, but the efforts fell short. He said he didn't promote the events enough but that he's learning. This time, he's using Facebook, contacting the media, and making an announcement at Tuesday's council meeting.
And he's planning another cash mob at 1 p.m. the following Saturday, Dec. 8, at Sun Gallery, 1015 E St. He envisions a Hayward cash mob every month or every other month.
Though cash mobs sprang from flash mobs, "We won't be dancing," Zermeno said, laughing, though he would like everyone to bring a $10 bill to wave in the air.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.
When: 1 p.m. Saturday
Where: 22443 Foothill Blvd., Hayward (parking in rear of store on Maple Court)
More information: Contact Francisco Zermeno at 510-732-2746