As Brandi handed over a box of Peanut Butter Patties and a thank you card to a customer, Kess counted out the change. The other members of Girl Scout troop 1010 rounded up potential buyers and directed them to the booth.
With only about two weeks left to sell Girl Scout cookies, troop 1010, made up of fifth-and-sixth graders, is well on its way to surpassing its goal of selling 3,500 boxes.
And that's much more than most troops of the same size can sell, troop leader, Reba Hammond said.
"For 10 girls you usually sell 2,000 boxes," Hammond added.
The girls arrived in front of the Save Mart off of La Posada around 3:30 p.m. yesterday and hustled to set up their booth. But they didn't just put the boxes neatly on the table. Instead, the scouts seemed to have a particular placement for each box.
"It's all marketing," Hammond said. "They know how to market these babies."
Hammond explained that the cookies are placed in rainbow order because that leads patrons to look at all of them. First came the second-best selling Peanut Butter Patties in the red boxes. The top seller year after year, both nationwide and for local troop 1010, are the Thin Mints, which were placed neatly in the middle because of their green colored box.
And there are more rules to selling cookies than one may think. Hammond said that the scouts may only ask patrons if they want to buy cookies on their way out of stores. The booth has to be a reasonable distance away from the entrance. And only two scouts should be behind the table at a time.
Aside from learning marketing skills, the scouts are becoming skilled salespeople. After selling 3,300 boxes last year, troop 1010 upped its ante by setting a goal for this year that is 200 boxes higher. Troop co-leader Michele Brucato said the troop is already about 95 percent of the way toward reaching that goal.
The Girl Scouts began their sales in January by going door to door and taking pre-orders. Once the cookie shipments came in, the scouts delivered those orders. Now that it's March, the girls are setting up booths around town.
Each troop uses the money they make from the cookie sales to fund itself for the entire year. Brandi is troop 1010's big seller. She has a little trick up her sleeve, though. Last weekend she and her family went down to Las Vegas for NASCAR. They stay at a temporary RV park where Brandi filled up a wagon with cookies and went around selling them to NASCAR fans. She sold about 200 boxes there. So far this year she has sold nearly 800, inching in on her self-set goal of 1,000 boxes.
"I'm not sure if I'll make it though," Brandi said modestly.
A main reason Brandi wants to sell so many cookies is to be able to do more service projects for the community. A favorite of hers is when the troop sponsors a family for Christmas.
"We buy them presents," Brandi said. "It's always fun going shopping and coming up with a budget for each member of the family."
Hammond said aside from sponsoring a family for Christmas, her troop also made blankets for the homeless and Valentine's Day cards for veterans.
"We're a very active troop," Hammond said. "We do a lot of fun stuff but we also do service projects."