Cash mob mobilizes to support Ducky Waddle’s

A mob descended on Ducky Waddle’s Emporium on June 13. But it wasn’t an angry one.

Rather, it was a cash mob. The idea is simple: Organizers pick a local business and urge people to shop there at a specific time.

In this case, Encinitas resident Tiffany Fox came up with the idea of a cash mob after hearing that Ducky Waddle’s was at risk of closing. The independent bookstore boasts rare art, poetry, collectibles and books.

“What better business to support than this one?” Fox said. “It represents Encinitas in so many ways. It’s independently owned, and it’s full of treasures that represent the funky spirit of this place. You walk in here and you see things you wouldn’t find anywhere else.”

Fox is the secretary of the nonprofit Engage Encinitas, which chose Ducky Waddle’s for its first cash mob. The new group also hosts volunteer events and educational forums. To get the word out about the cash mob, Engage Encinitas promoted the event via social media.

She was further motivated to organize a cash mob upon learning that many of the store’s customers these days are new to the area.

“To me it was a challenge to the locals, to maybe not take this place for granted,” Fox said. “Maybe people drive past every day and think, ‘I’ll get in there one day.’ But now is the time.”

Ducky Waddle’s owner Jerry Waddle said the cash mob “came out of left field, yet is definitely welcome.”

In the first hour, about two dozen people showed up for the event.

Waddle said he’s thankful and surprised by all the community support lately. Besides the cash mob, a month-long crowdfunding campaign through Indiegogo.com generated more than $8,700. And the campaign sparked quite a bit of publicity, prompting Ducky Waddle’s fans who haven’t shopped there in a while to come back in, he said.

“The campaign and associated publicity will help keep me in business,” Waddle said, adding that the cash mob is another great boost.

Money from the crowdfunding campaign is going toward new books and merchandise, along with relaunching the Ducky Waddle’s website. Years of tough economic times depleted the store’s inventory.

Longtime customer Kyle Koerber persuaded Waddle to try crowdfunding. Before the campaign started, Waddle expected contributions to total no more than $1,000.

“I was surprised — this stimulus will help me sustain myself,” Waddle said. “The support has been fantastic.”

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