Local businesses jump on Pokemon craze

Some local businesses are capitalizing on the Pokemon Go phenomenon to introduce their restaurants and shops to a whole new set of customers.

Shannon Teague, co-owner of Cake, Hope & Love bakery in Beavercreek, acknowledged she wasn’t familiar with the Pokemon characters or games prior to the current Pokemon Go release. But she downloaded the app herself, and now both she and her bakery are enthusiastic participants.

The bakery is running several Pokemon-themed specials, including $2 cupcake days for members of specific teams.

Today's full menu!

A photo posted by Cake, Hope, & Love (@cakehopeandlove) on

And customers who post a photo of a Pokemon they’ve captured while in the bakery can get a free cupcake on their next visit. “Be sure you post it on our page and tag us,” Teague’s promotional poster reminds players.

“We’ve met tons of new customers, and it’s been super-fun,” Teague said.

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The Greene Town Center in Beavercreek is among those large retail developments that have seen a surge in foot traffic and activity from Pokemon Go players, according to Steve Willshaw, The Greene’s general manager. At any given time, “hundreds” of players are walking around the center, and some of the casual restaurants at The Greene have benefited, Willshaw said.

“It’s like the Walking Dead,” he said. “We’re a very pedestrian center so you know, it’s good we have 10 years of experience, and our customers know where all the stop signs and crosswalks are at.”

Jacob Martin, general manager of the Winans Fine Chocolates & Coffee at The Greene, said he has seen “a lot of people running into things while they’re staring at their phones while walking.” But the store has become very Pokemon Go-friendly, Martin said.

“The more people who come in, the more people we can talk to about chocolate and coffee,” Martin said.

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