Engaging sidewalk talk in CassPublished 9:22am Friday, March 28, 2014
Although the over-stayed guest, better known as winter, still covers our sidewalks in an unwelcome white carpet and our lakes in frozen covers, the birth of spring is sure to knock on our doors soon.
The rebirth of our downtown on Broadway Street is also arriving in the form of food, shopping and sidewalk talk. The Main Street members, who meet the fourth Monday of each month at 5:30 p.m. at village hall (public welcome), are filled with ideas, enthusiasm and action. In other words not just side “talk,” but side “walk.”
Focusing on events and festivals for each season, drawing new business to the Central Business District and encouraging our community to shop and dine local were the highlights of this past Monday’s meeting. What came out of it, besides the need to start organizing some of the upcoming events ASAP, are two other very important key concepts: The 3/50 Project Campaign and Sidewalk Farmers’ Market.
If you haven’t heard of it before, the 3/50 Project is a program to promote and emphasize shopping at local independent brick and mortars. The idea is to commit $50 each month to locally owned businesses, total. Maybe that means rethinking where you currently invest your money, opting to pick up that greeting card or gift in a locally owned business instead of the big box you’ve been going to. Or maybe it means eating out once a month because you realize slamming the brakes on all spending stalls economic recovery.
It’s just that simple. It doesn’t cost a business anything to sign up and they can be listed on the site as well as be part of the smartphone app. Their exclusive smart phone app, LookLocal, dials you into nearby treasures, featuring independent, locally owned brick and mortar businesses who have signed on as supporters of the 3/50 Project. Retailers, restaurants, florists, coffee shops, bagel stops, watering holes, and bed and breakfasts … all that, and then some. The best part is it is free to download and offers free basic listing for businesses. Learn more at www.the350project.net and look for the signs in our local establishments.
The second really exciting outcome is having the Cassopolis Farmers’ Market right on Broadway Street each Saturday beginning Memorial weekend through fall. Thanks to the village council, who has made it possible, the vendors will be able to set up right in front of businesses who have given their permission. This will allow easy access for residents, shoppers and diners to our downtown to get fresh produce, cottage foods as well as art and crafts each Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
There is no charge to be a vendor. For more information, please contact, Nick Fox, the market master, at (269) 414-8559.
It is thrilling to see the growth, the positive outcomes and so many wonderful people working together to make Cassopolis the place to come home. I’ll close by saying, “goodbye, winter, hello, spring. Welcome to our new downtown!”
CeeCee Wilson is the organizer of Cass Can, Inc. and owner of Last Tagine in Paris, LLC. Find them on Facebook.