F.A.Q.’s for TLD

How will a partnership with TLD help my business?
Depending on your business type and partnership package, TLD can help you in a number of ways. With a basic listing in our print magazine, your business’ name and contact information will be available in each of the 55,000 magazines that get distributed in your region. Online, you will be able to add photos and list detailed information about your business to engage the consumer.

We know there is no one size fits all approach to running a small business. That is why all TLD partner packages are customizable to fits the unique needs of your business. Need social media support to draw traffic to your website? Have a new product you’d like help sampling? Looking to connect to new markets? Select that package that fits your business and get exactly what you need. You can also add on things like discounted professional photography, in-store signage, and more!

When are the Guides printed and distributed?
We design the annual Guides to Local Food in house and print each publication in mid to late May. Distribution begins in late May and early June with our regional release parties and continues, as needed, throughout the year.

Are the Guides free?
Yes, they are a free community resource.

What regions get the Guide to Local Food?
As of 2018, TLD publishes two Guides to Local Food: The Northern Michigan Guide to Local Food and SE Michigan Guide to Local Food. The Northern Michigan Guide covers the UP, and everywhere north of Mount Pleasant. For SE Michigan, the Guide covers 11 counties, including the Capital Region.


Where is it distributed?
The Guides are distributed all throughout the communities we serve: farmers markets, coffee shops, breweries, wineries, hotels, libraries, chambers of commerce, doctors’ offices, restaurants, retail stores, etc. We also distribute Guides at every event we attend.


How can I request Guides for my business?
Send an email to info@localdifference.org with your name, place of business, phone number and address. A local food coordinator from your region will contact you to coordinate magazine delivery.


Who looks at the website?
Everyone! Our searchable database is a great place for consumers to find local food, for businesses to connect to one another, and for folks to find resources on local food. According to our Google analytics, 45% of our website visitors are from out-of-state, including places like Illinois, Oregon, New York and California. 55% come from within Michigan, and 31% are from Ann Arbor, Detroit, Lansing or Grand Rapids.


Who looks at the newsletter?
We have several thousand newsletter subscribers that cover a wide array of people from our partners in the local food system to consumers throughout Michigan. We curate a newsletter that covers the northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula as well as one for Southeast Michigan.


Which regions does TLD Serve?
Businesses anywhere in Michigan can sign-up for TLD's digital services online. Currently, the two print publications cover the northern Lower Peninsula, Upper Peninsula and Southeast to the Capital Region.


How does TLD make business decisions?
All our business decisions are guided by our mission and founding principles.

We categorize our partners in many ways so as to help the consumer find what they are looking for. For example, consumers can easily search by product in a specific county or discover if their favorite local dairy is sold near them.

Is TLD in competition with Edible Publications?
We are strong partners with both the Edible Grand Traverse and Edible WOW (Wayne, Oakland, Washtenaw) publications. While our work may overlap a bit, we complement each other very well. The quarterly Edible magazines highlight local food through long form stories, recipes, and advertisements while the annual TLD Guides to Local Food serve as directories to farms and food businesses with some short feature stories. We are complements to one another and work great as partners in both Southeast and Northwest Michigan.

Is TLD a nonprofit?
No. We are mission-driven, triple bottom line business. We complete our community food systems work following a sustainable, for-profit business model.


Does TLD apply for grant funding?
No. However, we do work as contractors with our community partners on innovative, grant-funded projects. We are also happy to write letters of support for any of our community partners who are seeking grant funding for projects related to our mission.


Is TLD self-sustaining?
Yes. The work we to do support local farms and food producers and educate consumers is supported by the services we offer. As TLD expands into new regions or works to creates solutions to address a community need, we may seek initial financial support. This “seed funding” provides a springboard from which we can then develop a sustainable, market-driven revenue model.


How do you define Local?
The short answer is we don’t define it; everyone views local differently, so we give consumers the information they need to decide if a product is "local" enough for them. That said, we currently use our materials to highlight products from within the state of Michigan.


What is a Certified Local Food Event and why should I make my event one?
This certification encourages local food sourcing and zero-waste initiatives at events of all sizes. By becoming certified, an event showcase its strong commitment to our local food community.
Certification is a value for events because it provides the validation, transparency and proof to attendees, and the community, that the event is “walking the walk”. Associating the CLFE logo with an event is brand enhancing and generates positive community support. More and more, people are increasingly interested in where their food is grown, the growing practices, and the knowing who grew it. Certified Local Food Event status allows an event to communicate this information. Additionally, sourcing local ingredients for an event contributes directly to the local food economy and growing local jobs.

Interested in learning more? Email events@localdifference.org or check out our events brochure.

Will TLD expand beyond Michigan?
Our long-term business plan has TLD expanding outside of the state to provide our value-tested suite of services to other food communities. If you are interested in learning more about this, please contact us at: info@localdifference.org

Will retailers like Meijer and Walmart be able to use TLD?
No. The largest retailers we work with are local, family-owned chains. Smaller retailers can differentiate themselves, and highlight their local offerings, by using TLD branded, in-store signage. Learn more here.


Are marketing materials customizable?
Yes, everything is customizable. Don’t see something that fits your needs? Work with our designer to create what you need. Learn more here.

Did we miss something? Send us a line here and we'll get back to you as soon as possible!

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The TLD Local Food Companion

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