News / USA

'Coffee News' Has Global Reach

Restaurant newsletter serves businesses in 700 US communities, 400 other places worldwide

This fellow’s getting some light news and brain-teasers from Coffee News, not with a cup of 'Joe,' but with a beer.
This fellow’s getting some light news and brain-teasers from Coffee News, not with a cup of 'Joe,' but with a beer.

Multimedia

Audio
Ted Landphair

People who are grabbing coffee or a meal at a restaurant are sure to have some time on their hands while they wait to place their orders and receive their food.

All the while, they often wish they had something quick, light, and interesting to read.

A single, thick sheet of paper fills that need and serves neighborhood businesses in 700 U.S. communities and 400 other places around the world.

It’s a weekly publication that’s printed, front and back, in three columns, and placed in racks for customers to pick up.  The middle column is filled with wise sayings, trivia items, notes about the day in history, weekly horoscopes and offbeat stories, such as a recent item about a horse that stands just 36 centimeters tall. The whole sheet takes about 10 minutes to read.  

The two outside columns are packed with ads for neighborhood car washes, wedding photographers, pest-control companies and so forth.

Want some froth with your coffee? Coffee News’s logo conveys its cheery contents.
Want some froth with your coffee? Coffee News’s logo conveys its cheery contents.

The idea originated in Winnipeg, Canada, in 1982, with a woman named Jean Daum. She had seen restaurant patrons pick up sugar packs from their containers on the table and read the brief, entertaining factoids printed on the back, just to pass the time.

She began distributing a little newsletter, loaded with breezy reading material, to restaurants, coffee shops, barber shops - even hospital waiting rooms.  She called it Coffee News.  Pretty soon, other businesses started calling her, asking for copies to give to their customers, and it wasn’t long before she was selling Coffee News franchises all across Canada.

Coffee News contains light content, surrounded by neighborhood ads.
Coffee News contains light content, surrounded by neighborhood ads.

When Baum died of cancer in 2007, Bill Buckley purchased worldwide distribution rights. The former potato farmer in the northeastern state of Maine had obtained the first Coffee News franchise in the United States 12 years earlier.

Just this week, his representative signed up the first Coffee News franchise in Congo, which joins 300 other overseas outlets in 20 countries.  

The lighthearted reading material in Coffee News is still produced in Winnipeg, then edited in Maine by Buckley’s wife, Sue-Ann. Franchisees pay $8,500 for the right to distribute the publication in territories of up to 50,000 people. The franchisees sell the ads and insert them into the newsletter.

Readers get something new and light, advertisers get a captive audience for their messages, and, if all goes well over the course of a year, the franchisee makes a good living.

You May Like

Arab League Delays Forming Joint Force

Delay grows out of one of original obstacles facing pan-Arab force, analysts say: 'They may agree on the principle, but they continue to argue about how to implement the project' More

Pakistan Demands Afghanistan Protect Its Kabul Mission, Staff

Officials in Islamabad say Afghan agents are harassing Pakistani embassy personnel, particularly those living outside of mission’s compound More

US Survey: Trump Lead Grows in Republican Presidential Contest

Quinnipiac University poll shows brash billionaire real estate mogul with 28 percent support among Republican voters More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs