La Mano “cashmob” this Friday

BY CHRIS MELVILLE

La Mano Coffee Bar will hold a fundraising “cashmob” this Friday for the Takoma Park community and its businesses.

La Mano will offer their customers specials and discounts all day Friday on their most popular items. The deals are part of a year-long partnership sponsored by the Old Takoma Business Association and the Takoma Foundation. The venue in return makes a donation to the non-profit Takoma Foundation.

Each month the partnership sponsors a new business and residents are encouraged to “buy local” and support the community. Le Mano’s Carroll Street location will have been open one year in September.

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Photo by Chris Melville.

e Mano began with temporary “pop-up” cafes on weekends around the city, including one at Trohv. With a microloan from the business association, they moved to an independent location near the Takoma Park Metro.

“Businesses have been very receptive,” said Laura Barclay, a representative of the Old Takoma Business Association. “It’s something to talk about for the day. There are a lot of people in town that volunteer and that want to support local organizations.”

Barclay manages the cashmob project.

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Photo by Chris Melville.

The program began March 14th with “Think Local First DC.” Halfway through the partnership, Barclay imagines the event will go another year.

“As long as businesses still feel like they’re getting customers and they’re getting something out of it then we certainly will continue with it,” said Barclay.

Le Mano co-owner Anna Petrillo believes many in the neighborhood are still unaware of the cashmob program but that more are learning about it.

“They don’t really know what it is,” said Petrillo. “But when they learn about it there’s a domino effect.”

Petrillo sees three different crowds attracted to her cafe.

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Photo by Chris Melville.

“In the morning we get a lot of that rush hour buzz, mostly people on their way to work,” said Petrillo. “On the weekends we get a lot of the neighborhood though and also a lot of day tourists,” she said.

Le Mano builds their product around local ingredients. The eggs and dairy are from local farms, the coffee beans are from Ceremony Coffee Roasters, and all baked goods are made in-house.

Petrillo expects the event will bring increased foot traffic and exposure. Le Mano is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday.