Chances are, when you’ve browsed an edition of Welcome Home at your local coffee shop, doctor’s office, or along with your daily mail, you probably saw someone you know featured in the issue. Welcome Home Community Newspaper has been a part of San Antonio’s North Side for over 14 years, and is proud of its distinction as an invaluable source of local news for its ever-growing readership.
In today’s world, you may have a difficult time finding a newspaper that shines a spotlight on the good things in life – the accomplishments of our amazing youth, inspirational stories behind charities and non-profit organizations, and the residents and local businesses that comprise the heart of our community. However, northern San Antonio residents are fortunate to have just that; a community newspaper that exudes everything that its owner and staff believe in: optimism, hope, and good news.
Like all good ideas, Welcome Home was born in response to a need in the community. Inspired by the concept of a welcoming service for newcomers to the area, it quickly became apparent that the burgeoning northern San Antonio community could benefit from a neighborhood news outlet for residents and businesses.
In May of 2001, the first edition of Welcome Home Community Newspaper was published. From its humble beginnings as a single edition reaching 6,000 homes, the paper has steadily grown to five editions featuring customized local content each month. The publication reaches nine San Antonio zip codes, over 65,000 homes and businesses in direct mail, and over 15,000 residents in rack distribution.
Since that very first issue, the most important goal of Welcome Home has always been to highlight all of the wonderful people and events in the community. The paper has faced its fair share of challenges, but it has always forged ahead thanks to the support, new energy and ideas from community members and staff.
As Russell Groomer, Owner and Publisher of Welcome Home, has watched the steady growth and success of the publication over the last decade, he has never forgotten what makes the publication so special to local readers.
“Welcome Home is a reflection of who we are as a northern San Antonio community,” Groomer explained. “The stories are about our people – the growth of our local businesses, the success of our kids. We’re honored to be the ones to share those triumphs in our paper.”
Over the years, Welcome Home has improved in quality and quantity, serving many different needs in the community. Recurring columns help residents receive the latest news relevant to where they live and work. Articles submitted by community members are what keep the heart of the paper beating strong. The readers of Welcome Home serve as the paper’s eyes and ears within schools and neighborhoods. Without them, the publication would not be what it is today.
“The residents and community members who submit articles are what make working for Welcome Home so rewarding,” explained Kristin Oliver, Director of Production. “People come to us with such inspirational and amazing stories that it’s truly our pleasure to help spread their message.”
Commemorating the youth of San Antonio is also a large emphasis for the paper. Welcome Home covers three school districts — Northside ISD, North East ISD and Comal ISD — and there is never a shortage of news related to San Antonio’s next generation of athletes, scientists, doctors and musicians. Welcome Home been fortunate to spotlight our future military leaders who participate in the outstanding JROTC high school programs, amazing athletes training for the Olympics, and brilliant and hardworking students. Welcome Home believes that the accomplishments of students in the community, both in and outside the classroom, should always make headlines.
In addition to spreading good news, Welcome Home has always been a strong advocate for local and community businesses. The only paper of its kind in northern San Antonio, Welcome Home provides businesses the opportunity to reach their most likely customer base. Many advertisers have been with the newspaper since the very beginning – a testament to the success generated and loyal customers gained through the services of Welcome Home.
“Over the years, Welcome Home has become the go-to publication for new businesses in the community,” observed Groomer. “We’ve established wonderful relationships with our advertisers.”
One of Welcome Home’s most loyal advertisers, Independence Hill Retirement Resort Community, has been with the paper for years.
“Independence Hill has seen Welcome Home grow from an awesome newspaper that told about all the happenings in the neighborhood, to a way for the community to come together – businesses reaching other businesses AND businesses reaching residents,” described Sherrill Perez, Independence Hill Marketing and Sales Representative. “Welcome Home has been one of the best ways to get people in the neighborhood to know who we are. People always say, ‘I saw you in Welcome Home.’ This is one newspaper families hold on to because it is all about their community, which they care about the most.”
Dr. Monica Allison of Stone Oak Vision Source, another long-term client, writes a monthly informative column in several editions of the paper, another wonderful option for Welcome Home’s advertisers.
“Welcome Home has been a great resource for my office to get my messages out to the community,” said Dr. Allison. “Almost every day, a patient will comment about seeing our articles in Welcome Home so I know people are reading them! We’ve enjoyed adding two more doctors and an expanded office area that nearly doubled our size – all because of the support of the families who read Welcome Home.”
The success of Welcome Home has also allowed Groomer and his staff to host spectacular community events. December 2015 marked the company’s thirteenth annual Winter Celebration, held at North Central Baptist Hospital. In anticipation of this one-of-a-kind family event each year, Welcome Home coordinated its annual Toy Drive with local schools. Thousands gathered on December 5 for an afternoon of carnival rides, tasty treats and real snow – all while helping make Christmas possible for underprivileged children in San Antonio. In addition, Welcome Home is dedicated to supporting non-profits, charities and long-standing traditions in the community like Living Through Giving.
Welcome Home also partners with its sister organization, the Stone Oak Business Association (SOBA), to help organize several events throughout the year. The Business Expo, one of the largest events, benefits a scholarship fund for local schools who help host the event.
Russell Groomer and the staff at Welcome Home work and live in northern San Antonio. Our readers and advertisers are our neighbors and friends. We share the values of our readers and understand the community because we are a part of it. Our main goal is to bring the community together, sharing stories and news, promoting generosity and good deeds, and publishing the best community newspaper possible. We look forward to continuing to grow and evolve along with you, our extended family!