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Menomonie Market Announces New Format of Newsletter, The Morsel

Hello, co-operators! We picked April to unveil our new and improved newsletter because March is usually a pretty slow month—an easy time to make a big change, right? Well, like the rest of the globe, Menomonie Market Food Co-op has been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. What a month! 

Hard times bring out the true nature of people, and as I’m sure you can imagine, the true nature of our staff is amazing: caring, tireless, committed, creative, fearless, energetic, hard-working, and kind. We have done more work in the last month than I thought possible; we have changed our physical space, reinvented our deli, handled record sales, created new services, and taken on new social and legal rules; we have taken on things that didn’t used to be our work. And on the other side of their long days, our staff has the same concerns as everyone—How do I keep myself safe?  My family? Will my needs be met? How can I take care of my mental health at this time? This is a heavy lift for EVERYONE; for all the ways we have stretched to help you in this time, we see you making us masks, sending us cards, smiling at us from a distance, and shopping with us to keep our business strong. Thank you for all that you have done for us.

Now, the newsletter! Page by page, Kendall, our Marketing Manager, unveiled her new design to us, and one by one, we shrieked, shouted, oohed, and ahhed. This new format is designed to keep you informed on store, community, and industry news each month. The features you loved from the Morsel are still intact, and along with staff, owner, board, and farmer spotlights, we will have the best parts that a good newspaper offers, like an advice column and a comic strip. It will also be published every two months instead of biannually so you’ll be more informed than ever. We think you will love having a better grasp on the ways that your co-op is working to build a healthy and thriving community. In this issue, we’re focusing on the kickoff of our Sustainability Team at Menomonie Market, and how this important work will unfold over the next year.

Check out your new one-stop-shop for all things co-op, new each month and available in paper form in the store and online all the time! See it for yourself and tell us how you like it at mmfc.coop/morsel.

What's Changed

A quick description of the new format from Marketing Manager, Kendall Williams.

Format
The biggest change we made to our newsletter is switching the print format from magazine-style to newspaper-style. When brainstorming design options, we really wanted to come up with a design that would pay homage to our newsletters of the past while still creating a template that would be easier for us to design each issue. A newspaper format with six pages, front and back, is the one on which we ultimately landed, so we put a fun, modern spin on the publication style we all know and love and are thrilled with the final design.

In addition to the new print format, we also redesigned the news section of our website to match the new look and will now be publishing all articles both in the print version and on our website. That way you don’t have to pick up the print copy each month if you don’t want to wait to read the latest news!

News Sections
Our print newsletter, as well as the news section of our website, will now be divided into three news sections: store news, community news, and industry news. The store news section will feature just that—all of the latest news about store projects, sales, events, and more. The community news section will feature interviews and advice from our owners and other guest authors in our community. And the industry news section will feature updates from the food cooperative, grocery, and farming industries. We’ve also color-coded each section so you can easily tell which you’re reading.

Publication Frequency
Of course, this may not happen during the COVID-19 outbreak because our day-to-day lives have all been upended, but our goal is to publish a new issue every two months during the first full week of the month.

Mailing
To save on print and postage costs, we’ve made the tough decision to no longer mail copies of our newsletter directly to your door. Print copies will now be available in-store only, a digital copy will be sent out to our email list, and all articles will be published on our website.

Reasons for the Change
So, why did we make such a drastic change? Earlier this year when we were wrestling with what to do with this newsletter, finding the perfect format really came down to cost.

The honest truth is we were spending thousands of dollars per year printing and mailing a newsletter filled with articles that were outdated within a matter of weeks of it landing in mailboxes. We were also spending hundreds of hours designing spreads for each issue, and when we thought about all of the awesome projects we have planned in the coming months, we knew we needed a new format that wasn’t so labor-intensive to create.

The challenge we faced was finding a format that was less expensive to print, that could be published more frequently than just twice per year, and that took less time to create. We believe this new format is our answer because:

1. We can print it in-house, saving us thousands of dollars that can now go to other projects that will better serve you.
2. We can use the new design as a template in which articles can quickly be changed, allowing us to print issues more often and saving us hundreds of hours in labor per year.
3. We can deliver more relevant news, keeping you better informed on all of the happenings at our food co-op than ever before.

We’re very excited about this new direction of our newsletter and hope you enjoy it too! Download the April issue, our first in this new format, by clicking here.

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