The Longfellow Business Directory has been an important part of the Longfellow community going back to the 1990s. It was started to help foster better communication within the business community, and partially paid with Minneapolis Neighborhood Revitalization Program funds. When the grant money dried up, the Longfellow Business Association (LBA) wanted to continue publishing this important directory to link residents with local businesses. The LBA approached the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger about taking on the project despite the absence of an outside funding source.
While prior Directories had contained some advertising, the question posed to the Messenger was whether there would be enough support in the Longfellow business community through advertising to cover the costs of the printing and distribution of the Directory to the Longfellow community. The answer was “yes.” The business community agreed this directory provided an important link to local residents as it was delivered to each home in the community and was also available directly at local businesses. It’s a way for businesses to connect with customers and a way for residents to identify the myriad of businesses within walking distance. It’s something residents can hold in their hands, flip through, and keep in a drawer for easy reference.
The question, “Where did I see that?” becomes a lot easier to answer. You saw it in the Longfellow Business Directory.
The first Longfellow Business and Community Directory published in cooperation with the Longfellow Nokomis Messenger was produced in 2004. Do you remember the vibrant mosaic of the Lake Street Bridge in full autumn bloom on the front cover? The text on the cover described it as “Your guide for everything you need to work and live in the Longfellow area of Minneapolis.” Since then the Longfellow Business Directory has been published every two years, and is released with the December issue of the Messenger.
The 2024 Longfellow Business Directory is the 11th book that the two organizations have partnered on. LBA staff gather the information on Longfellow businesses, and Messenger staff sell the ads, produce the layout, and handle the printing and delivery. Starting with the 2018 Directory, a portion of the proceeds from the Directory has been earmarked as a contribution to the LBA annual budget to further support an integral neighborhood resource at the intersection of community and business.
Be sure to tell us how you’re using this book – and how it’s helping you shop local and support the businesses right down the street.
Ken McCraley & Anna Tsantir
Longfellow Business Association Board
Denis Woulfe & Tesha M. Christensen
Longfellow Nokomis Messenger