In 1992, small business owners Mark and Deanna Theobald were looking for a cost-effective way to advertise their Burger Stop restaurant in Layton, Utah. Unable to find what they wanted, Deanna set out to make her own. In June of that year, Deanna teamed up with Albertsons Grocery Store to do a co-op flyer. Other businesses saw the flyer and wanted in.
“We realized that this really could be its own business” said Mark, “We decided to price it out to see how much it would cost to mail it out.” The flyer grew to be two sided, then to a black-and-white eight-page magazine. They named the flyer Hometown Values because they wanted to encourage people to shop locally, and because Utah is a morally and economically value-driven market.
By December 1998, Hometown Values Magazine was a flourishing full-color, 16-page publication, and in 1999 Mark and Deanna’s daughter, Tami, left her corporate job in California to join forces with her parents.
Keeping the magazine relevant to the local area was very important to the Hometown Values brand, so as new areas were added, so were new localized versions of the magazine.
“The magazine definitely filled a much-needed role, and it works.” said Deanna “We have clients that have advertised with us since the beginning.” By 2004, Hometown Values was being published statewide eight times per year.
For the Theobalds, 2004 proved to be a rewarding and challenging year. While Hometown Values received awards and recognitions for being one of the fastest growing companies in Utah, Mark Theobald experienced kidney failure after battling health issues for years.
At the same time, the rest of the Hometown Values family was working twelve-hour days to manage the tremendous growth of the magazine. It was during this time that Media One (Now Utah Media Group) approached the Theobalds about selling Hometown Values. After careful consideration, the Theobalds sold Hometown Values to Media One in 2005.
After the purchase of Hometown Values Magazine, Tami remained with the magazine and helped manage the transition while Mark and Deanna focused on their other businesses and on Mark’s health. The magazine continued to grow and was eventually published each month. Innovation based on client needs continued to play an important factor, and new product offerings in and around the magazine continued to be developed and introduced. In 2011, Mark and Deanna were asked to come back, and have continued with the magazine ever since.
Today, Hometown Values Magazine is Utah largest direct mail publication, being mailed to over 550,000 homes each month in 14 different regions, (from Logan to Santaquin). Looking ahead to the next 25 years we recognized the need for our brand and influence to evolve and grow, says Trent Eyre, Publisher/GM of Hometown Values Magazine. As a result, Hometown Values recently introduced a full service digital agency. This new agency provides services that range from social media, email marketing, web design, to video production and SEO/SEM, content marketing and more. Says Eyre, “together with Hometown Values Magazine, we now offer marketing solutions in the Utah marketplace that no other media or marketing company can offer”.