Have you ever opened your door to a pair of people asking, “Would you like some free cake?” Well if you live in certain neighbourhoods of Redhill, you may have experienced just that yesterday, as the Casserole Crew took to the streets, spreading the word and some free cake love to the people of Redhill.
Baskets of cakes (unfortunately not homemade…. THIS time…) and flyers in hand, two pairs of us wandered up and down neighbourhood lanes, knocking on doors, offering up cake and the opportunity to join a community-centred food project being born in their very own area.
While most of us might dread the knocking of a “door-to-door salesman,” we tried to approach things a bit differently, and that difference payed off. Expecting doors to be shut in our faces more often than not, our plot to lure people with free cakes turned out to be a brilliant way to break the initial barrier between strangers. Upon offering free cakes, people were so amused, bemused, and curious, that they couldn’t help but wonder “What’s the catch?” Even more brilliantly, when they discovered the catch wasn’t something we were selling, but in fact a plan to get ‘neighbours cooking for neighbours,” intrigue turned into nods of understanding and appreciation. Granted there was still a
handful of door slams and “Thanks but no thanks,” but in general, people we far more endeared rather than off put by our proposition (after all, how annoyed can you be with people offering free cake?), and because we targeted areas where there are already Casserole members present, as soon as our new recruits sign up, they’ll be able to get cooking and eating straight away!
Our Cake-to-Door experiment was a great test in just how meaningful person-to-person interaction is when you are trying to start something new. Taking that extra bit of time to talk to someone, offer them a little something nice, and show them just what the ethos of Casserole is all about. This was also the start of a whole string of community activities we’ve been plotting for the month of April, which I’ll go into more in the next post (HINT: rhymetime and free lunch are involved!), to continue to see how we can best spread to word and grow the Casserole community.
One final note, we had another top secret mission during our Cake-to-Door time. Katie Smith, quite possibly our most enthusiastic and supportive Casseroler, has been right along side us from the very beginning – spreading the word, cooking meals and referring members. As a thank you, we left her a little token of appreciation for believing in us from the very start.