Today marks the launch of a very IRL project that we’ve had in the works for months: Local Crush.
You know those pressed penny machines that you find in tourist traps, where you put in 51 cents, crank a big handle, and get a stamped, elongated penny back?
We made one.
Local Crush is a migratory souvenir penny press in downtown Lawrence, Kansas - that celebrates some of our favorite downtown businesses. If you don’t know Lawrence, it’s a hip little town just west of Kansas City - famous for its music scene, the university, and its thriving original downtown. (We love it so much we relocated our software company here!)
Each month, the penny press will move to a new location in downtown Lawrence. You can visit it and collect a souvenir penny that features the host store. We’ll move the press each month for a total of 12 locations, so you can collect 12 custom penny designs over the course of a year. Plus, we’re giving all the quarters to local charities. That’s:
- 12 locations
- 12 souvenir pennies
- all showcasing independent businesses in our town
- and all the 🪙🪙🪙🪙🪙s go to local nonprofits.
In August we’re at Mass Street Soda - a delightful bottle shop that only sells individual bottles of soda (and some candy). You can find hundreds of root beers, sarsaparillas, suspicious “fruit” flavors, and also that weird cola you had once on a road trip and ever since you’ve wondered if it even still exists. It’s always full of kids shopping for something new, and there’s even a novelty section where you are explicitly warned ‘These are Legit Gross: Buy it for the Label Not the Taste.’ This warning is true, by the way, and should be flaunted at your own risk. We recently tried Corn, Dirt, and Ranch Dressing flavored sodas, and they were all truly disgusting.
So anyway: find the press there and get your souvenir penny with the limited-time-only design for Mass Street Soda! And this month, every quarter you put into the machine is going to O’Connell Children’s Shelter.
Next month: it’s headed somewhere else!
Is this going to make us any money? Definitely not. Is it a fun reason to buy a penny press? Definitely yes.
If you’re in Lawrence, come find the press at Mass Street Soda. If you’re not… come visit! Either way, you can see more about the project and follow along at localcrush.club.