San Benito Lifestyle

Local Girl Scouts sell lots of cookies without leaving home

Pandemic restrictions force changes to traditional sales approaches.

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season, and the age-old quarrel over which of the 12 varieties is the best is being waged all over the country. Is it the Do-si-dos? Lemon-Ups or Peanut Butter Tagalongs? The brand-new Toast-Yay? (Those with discerning taste already know it’s the best-selling Thin Mints.)

For fans of the S’mores cookies, buy them while you can. Local Girl Scout Ruby Seymour, 13, said that they will not be available again next year and, having sold over 1,400 boxes of cookies this year with her seven-year-old sister Lucy, Ruby knows her cookies.

Last year, Ruby and Lucy sold around 300 boxes. Their mother Libby Seymour said that the girls had set a much smaller goal for this year because of COVID-19 restrictions, expecting to sell perhaps 200 boxes.

Ruby Seymour. Photo by Robert Eliason.
Ruby Seymour. Photo by Robert Eliason.

“In the past, we probably would have set a higher goal,” Libby said. “But this year, you are not allowed to go door-to-door or be outside grocery stores. All you are really allowed to do is sell to friends or set up a stand on your property.”

As with all businesses, the mantra is “location, location, location.” The Seymour family home is on Fairview Road, where plenty of traffic passes by every day.

“We set up the stand and it allows people to get the cookies without any contact with the girls, if that is what they want,” Libby said. “Some people will knock on the door because they want the interaction of being sold Girl Scout Cookies. So the girls will put on a mask and come out to sell to them. But we also have a jar on the table if people come and do not want the contact. People have been amazing and we have not had any issues.”

Selling cookies is one of the few community activities left open to Girl Scouts during the pandemic. With the restrictions on canvassing for sales outside of your own property, the Girl Scouts of the United States of America have helped by setting up multiple resources for customers to use to locate and buy cookies, including a mobile app, an online search by zip code, virtual cookie booths, and a number to which you can text requests. The Seymours also will deliver within the Hollister area.

“We are doing surprisingly well selling in front of our house,” said Ruby, a Cadet Scout in Hollister Troop 20029. “It’s easier for me because I was never as good going door to door as Lucy was—she really enjoys it. But I think people are happy to see us out there and I think people like supporting the local Girl Scout troops. Plus the cookies are really good.”

Lucy is a Daisy Scout in Hollister Troop 20003. Her favorite cookie is the S’more and she has been selling cookies for two years. While she loves earning badges and awards with her friends in the troop, she also has a natural aptitude for getting people to buy from her.

“I like talking to the people and selling them cookies,” Lucy said. “They smile a lot when they get them.”

Lucy is a particular favorite with regular customers such as neighbor Larry Smith, whose daughters sold Girl Scout Cookies when they were younger. 

“Lucy is quite a cute little gal and pleasant to talk to,” Smith said. “She is always there at the door and comes out to see what I am going to buy today. I hit their stand pretty often and I think I have bought about 25 boxes of them. I love the peanut butter sandwiches and the S’mores. But I also like being able to support the Girl Scouts.”

Ruby agrees that Lucy has been a critical asset in their success.

“Lucy is our secret weapon,” she said. “She’s the little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl that everybody thinks is cute. She’s the one who is out there most of the time because I have school.”

Cookies have been the major annual fundraiser for the Girl Scouts for over 100 years, pulling in around $800 million in U.S. sales. All of the money raised goes to the troop and the local Girl Scout Council to pay for activities and programs. The sale has recently been extended through the middle of April. For more information on the cookies, visit the Girl Scout website.

 

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Robert Eliason

I’ve been a freelance photographer since my dad stuck a camera in my hand on the evening of my First Grade Open House. My dad taught me to observe, empathize, then finally compose the shot.   I have had gallery showings and done commercial work but photojournalism is a wonderful challenge in storytelling.   The editors at BenitoLink have encouraged me to write stories about things that interest me, turning me into a reporter as well.  It is a great creative family that cares deeply about the San Benito community.