Danielle Lee, all of 13 years old, definitely understands how choice of location can be a major factor in ensuring business success. She sold Girl Scout cookies right outside a medical marijuana dispensing facility near her home, and her cookie sales skyrocketed. They sold out within 45 minutes, prompting her to request for more stocks.
This happened despite the much higher price of cookies this year, as set by the Girl Scouts of Northern California. At $5 per box, it is the highest-priced Girl Scouts cookies in the country.
She has been selling Girl Scout cookies in this location for the past few years now, commenting that the people who come out of the shop tend to be hungry. Her mother, Caroline Lei, called the Green Cross dispensary in San Francisco to ask if her daughter can sell Girl Scout cookies outside their facility, and Holli Bert, community liaison for the dispensary, said yes.
"We love to be able to support the community, and we love the Girl Scouts, so we thought why not?" Bert said.
She also said that safety and security is important to the dispensary, and Danielle has never been in danger while selling cookies outside their door.
"We have security personnel out front and our staff are out front," said Bert. "We're a really respected dispensary. We take community service very seriously. We have surveillance cameras, so it's a really safe environment for the girls."
Caroline Lei helped her daughter at the stall they set up outside the facility, and she said 117 boxes of Dulce de Leche and Tagalong were sold in two hours last Monday, which was also President's Day. The day after that, they sold cookies outside of a grocery store, and sold only 80 boxes. Half the proceeds of all sales will go toward Alzheimer's-related charities and causes.
Caroline explained that selling Girl Scout cookies is one of the many ways that she can teach her two daughters about goal-setting, people skills and business ethics. Rather than being a political statement, their decision to set up a stall right outside the medical marijuana dispensing facility is more of an opportunity for her to start talking to her daughters about drugs.
"I'm not condoning it, I'm not saying go out in the streets and take marijuana," Caroline said in an interview. "It also adds a little bit of cool factor. I can be a cool parent for a little bit."
The state of California has legalized marijuana in 1996 for medical purposes. Despite the clamor and lobbying to legalize marijuana for recreational use, the move has been taken off the table for 2014 by the backers of the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act.
Girl Scouts USA does not seem to be alarmed at the news that their girls are selling cookies outside of a medical marijuana dispensing facility, stating that the power lies in their volunteers and their parents to choose the location that is best and safest for them to sell the cookies.
"Girl Scout Cookie Program is girl-run and all the money stays in local councils," said Kelly Parisi, chief communications officer for Girl Scouts USA. "Each Council makes all the decisions on how the cookie program is run. As always, our primary concern is the safety and well-being of the girls we serve. Volunteers and parents are empowered to relocate their booths if conditions change and the location is no longer suitable."
"Girls are selling cookies, and they and their parents pick out places where they can make good sales. We're not telling people where they can and can't go if it's a legitimate business," Girl Scouts spokeswoman Dana Allen told Mashable.
The story was discussed on Reddit and on the Facebook page of the Green Cross dispensary.
Danielle Lei is certainly laughing all the way to top of the Girl Scouts cookie sales tally sheets, an evidence that it's true what they say in the business world: "Location, location, location."