And the weekend isn’t even half over…

It’s been a fine Spring day.

The day start pretty early, I did some things around the house. Some “administrative” home stuff. 

Then, off to the town library to help out with some Spring garden clean-up. It’s something I’ve wanted to offer to help out with in the past but it always seemed like it happened at times during the week when I was at work. Now I’m not so sure – it seems like maybe they do things on the weekend but I just don’t hear about them.

Well we did a bunch of clean-up, mostly raking up the piles of leaves that had sat through most of the winter. One of the members of the Friends of the Metuchen Library spent some time digging up and chopping down a 15-foot tree that was soon going to be causing problems for the tree it was growing too close to. More picking up, etc… then I walked over with one of my neighbors to La Gateaux, which is a new coffee shop in town. Coffee, croissant, some good chat, then home.

It wasn’t even 11am yet. Big start to the day, huh?

An hour or so later we were out and about doing some more errands. Ran over to the Indian grocery to pick-up some nuts (they have good nuts at reasonable prices). Then we went to the Raritan Bakery which we recently discovered. It has a really nice selection of baked goods and has the perk of a little ad-hoc barbecue stand setup out front where we bought some food for lunch.

Back home, nap time. Next up is this evening we’ll drive to Montclair, NJ for a house concert to see some nice folk music.

 

How to run a “Win the Window” event in your local town

This post is based on ideas from Highland Park’s February Win the Window 2014 event.

These are my ideas to try to sketch out what would need to be done by a small group in order to run a similar “Win the Window” event in Metuchen, NJ.

Your comments and feedback are welcome!

Overview

A “Win the Window” event is one in which a group of small businesses in a downtown donate prizes, all those prizes are displayed in one store window, shoppers are given some way to enter the contest, and at the end of the month a person wins all the prizes from the window.

Things to do

  • Get a core set of 5-10 businesses to commit.
  • Make the initial project small enough so that it can be organized and implemented in one month by two or three volunteers.
  • Set a target value for all donated items of $15.
  • Decide early on which business will be the one which displays the window with all the prizes.
  • Print and distribute entry cards to all participating businesses, along with a simple set of rules for participation.
  • Pick a date for the final drawing.

Rules (needs work and more detail)

  • Every time someone shops in one of the 5-10 participating businesses during the month, they will receive an entry in the drawing. To “shop” a person must buy $10 or more of something in a single transaction.
  • On the first day of the following month, a drawing is made by one of the organizers to select the person who wins everything from the window.

Questions, notes, and thoughts…

In Highland Park, I think the entry was limited to one per family in each shop. It’s not clear whether or not a purchase was required but it seems like not. I think it would be better to require a purchase and to allow as many entries as there are qualifying purchases. Is there any downside to this?

Thinking it would be good to have every business donate their prize of a similar value, about $15.

No more K Produce Farm?

Just heard our best local produce shop (K Produce Farm – Edison, NJ) has closed.

That sucks. They were a great place to shop.

Hopefully I heard wrong, and they are really still open. In which case you should run over there and shop as much as you can!

Maybe it’s time for the Metuchen Farmers Market to take-up permanent residence downtown in one of the abandoned storefronts… One can hope… It’s not my original idea, I’m just promoting an idea I heard on the Internet…