Over 50 shoppers descended on Monica Yeakel’s “First Class Florals and All the Comforts” on Saturday to participate in a ‘cash mob’ to increase the visibility of the business and show support for the local owner.
A cash mob is a group of people who assemble at a local business to support both local businesses and the overall community. They may also serve a secondary purpose in providing social opportunities.
When Animal House owner Aubrey Martin found out that Yeakel was traveling weekly for chemotherapy and running her own business, she hopped into action. “Supporting local is important, and when I found out that Monica has been in cancer treatment for years and realized I had bought flowers by phone and never been in the store, I decided to do something to increase her visibility,” Martin said.
Yeakel’s store was a popular spot on Route 1 in Newcastle for many years. It burned a few years ago and Yeakel relocated to her new location at 17 Back Meadow Rd., in Damariscotta.
Many of her loyal customers did not know the shop had reopened. “I am so glad to find out where she is,” said Nancy Durgin of Wiscasset. “I thought she stayed closed after the fire.”
“Make Merry For Monica: An Event to Support All the Comforts and First Class Florals” became a Facebook event with over 1,100 invitations sent out. “The idea is not that everyone will come at once, but that many more people now know where her store is and can shop anytime,” Martin said.
The community pitched in with Martin, Andrea Parker, and Heather Hilton contacting friends to bake.
Cookies, pies, hot chocolate, and tea were served to shoppers, while Nick Azzaretti told Christmas stories to enraptured children.
Karol Clark valiantly led carolers singing old favorites while Kim Fletcher of Fletcher Face Art painted Holly and “Olaf” on up turned faces on the porch in the unseasonably warm weather.
Inside the shop were holiday decorations and Christmas trees at every turn, decked out in antique, new and handmade ornaments with even a ‘living room’ with a fireplace and couch add festive touches to the charming shop.
The shop is a full service florist and serves FTD as well as Teleflora.
As she tackles holiday orders, Yeakel dispenses kindness and unfailing goodwill to her neighbors.
She may be a little tired, she admits reluctantly, but her business is booming and she is happy. She travels for chemotherapy weekly and tries not to let the more than nine years battling cancer slow her down.
“I can’t thank all my friends, family and community members for the loving show of support,” she said Saturday. “I was overwhelmed by the kindness and caring of this whole magnificent day. Thank you, thank you.”
First Class Florals and All the Comforts is open Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., sometimes by appointment.
Flowers can be ordered online at www.floristdamariscotta.com or by phone at 563-3013. Stopping by for a dose of cheer is preferable because neighborliness is better in person.