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What Our Advertisers Are Saying...

We've been advertising in the MSN for ten plus years, with excellent results. Our ads and articles always get good responses from the many communities where the Shopper is distributed. We've also been very pleased with how easy it is to work with all the folks at the Shopper. They cheerfully assist us year after year with our tight deadlines, ad design, and our many questions.
Kim and Frank, Hillside Springs Farm

We are so pleased with our ads and the service we receive from the Shopper. We have had many compliments from people about how great our ads look. They're eye-catching and with great color. It has helped our business to grow by reaching additional customers from other locations. We have heard some of them say the only reason they stopped in was because they had seen the ad, and they remembered it while they were in town shopping!
Sue Bentley, The Walpole Village Tavern

Thanks for all that you folks continue to do to make this community such a wonderful place to live and work.
Carmen Trafton, Cheshire Figure Skating Club

When I opened my private therapy practice, I knew I'd benefit from advertising with The Shopper because it's often where I look and learn about new happenings in the area. Diane Stolar (Accounts Executive) was very helpful, accommodating, and flexible with me and my needs and explained my advertising options to me. While I continued to run a weekly ad in the Healing section of the paper, I was thrilled when we decided to run a "mini" article of my business that landed front cover, above the fold. This article generated over 30 phone calls in the weeks that followed. I felt the article and photo genuinely reflected who I am, what I do, and how I do it. I would recommend their services to anyone starting out.
Meg Mayer, LICSW

If it wasn't for the Monadnock Shopper News, my magic business simply wouldn't have as many booking as it does now. If you want to find a way the business and work that you're looking for, THIS IS THE WAY TO DO IT!! Everyone at the Shopper is extremely generous and is just so easy to work with! Keep up the great work guys!!
Ben Pratt, The Magic of Ben Pratt

I want to thank the Shopper for all the new customers we have. It's been the best money I have ever spent!!!! Thank you.
Cheryl Moschan, Brown House Bakery

Thank you guys for the great coverage. The art auction is our biggest fundraiser and it means a lot that you help get the word out. Thanks for being such a great resource of community news, which seems to get overlooked sometimes by bigger papers which cover national news.
Letitia, Stonewall Farm

Thanks Katrina and Michelle for all your help w/our Craft Fair at Bentley Commons. I can't tell you how many people said, "I saw it in the Shopper." Muchas gracias!
Lajla, Artisans Online

"Just wanted to let you know that SEVERAL people came to our Lifeline Awareness Day on Friday and brought the Monadnock Shopper ad with them! We signed up a bunch of new people, including family members of staff. Tom and I always recommend the Monadnock Shopper News to people for advertising, because we always get good results. And, of course, I enjoy working with you all! Thanks!"
Ms. Barri Wyman, Cheshire Medical Center/Dartmouth-Hitchcock Keene

"As a new business in the greater Southwestern, NH area, we know how important targeted promotion is to get the word out about our company. Working with Peter Shakour at the Monadnock Shopper has been most enjoyable, but more importantly, very productive. Our message has reached highly qualified buyers, allowing us to grow in a tough economic climate. We will continue to use the Shopper to spread our message."
Larry & Kathy Sportello, Budget Blinds

"When Fairfield's and Keene Mitsubishi wants to sell cars, they have turned to The Monadnock Shopper News, the most cost-effective way to reach customers in our market area."
Terry Clark, Fairfield's Pontiac Cadillac Buick GMC

"We have used other forms of advertising, but have found the Shopper has brought the best results."
Gary Gammans, G&R Autoworks

"The Monadnock Shopper has been an effective way of getting our message out to the Monadnock Region. I strongly recommend The Monadnock Shopper. It works!"
Rev. David M. Berman, Christian Life Fellowship Church



1958: Growing A Newspaper In A Basement In Keene

By Cami L. Jack

Midway through 1958, Gabriel and Barbara Shakour started publishing a small paper known as The Keene Shopper in an 8x10 room with three desks. The room also happened to be in the basement of their home. Fifty years ago, the “Shopper” was a small publication, containing nothing but advertisements placed by small, local businesses in an effort to improve their profits and educate local consumers.

Fifty years later, you hold in your hands the natural evolution of that tiny advertising publication, a business that has grown up around it, and the hard work and dedication of three generations of employees, family, and local business owners. From that one basement room sprang a weekly community newspaper that’s had its own building since the early 1960s, has increased its circulation from 14,000 in 1958 to 42,000 in 2008, and has gone from three employees then to almost 20 employees now. What was (as recently as 20 years ago) painstakingly pasted together by hand is now created, laid out, and sent to the printer on computers. Today, we publish The Monadnock Shopper News, an evolution in the name brought about by the realization that to serve our readers best, we needed to provide them with news of immediate and local importance, not just the ads for products and services from local business owners.

Just about the only thing that hasn’t changed at this paper is its overriding mission, to support and serve local small businesses. Original publisher Gabriel Shakour was himself a small-business owner (many readers will remember the Keene Drive-In Theater), and knew full well the challenges and rewards inherent in doing business in our “tiny little corner of the world.” Since its inception the Shopper News’ mission has been to be helpful to local business, not adversarial, as a great deal of daily and national media can be. Second-generation Monadnock Shopper News publisher Mitchell Shakour says it best: “We’ve stayed true to helping small businesses in the community. The success of other businesses is our entire goal, and we will do whatever is legal and ethical in the service of that goal.”

“We don’t run negative ads,” he continues. “We want to keep this a family paper, based on the higher, common values that unite the members of this community: God, motherhood, and country.”

While the growth of the paper you’re reading certainly serves as a testament to publishing a quality product that makes local residents happy by providing good news that is useful and necessary, Shakour also points out that the rise of The Monadnock Shopper News is also reflective of the rise of free community papers nationwide. As a member of several regional and national newspaper associations, he can easily quote statistics to prove the growth and value of the industry as a whole, pointing out that there are now more audited free papers in the US than there are audited paid papers, which flies in the face of the conventional wisdom that predicts doom and gloom for print media everywhere.

So thank you, loyal readers, advertisers, and community organizers for supporting the first 50 years of The Keene Shopper, The Keene Shopper News, and now The Monadnock Shopper News. Thank you to the talented, local writers who submit their columns each month as a valuable resource to residents who love to read about things like the economy, nature, alternative medicine, family, and whatever happens to be timely and interesting. Thank you to those advertisers who’ve supported this paper over years, to allow us to pay the bills to bring The Monadnock Shopper News to its readers. Thank you to the readers who send us their press releases, poems, letters to the editor, and notes to let us know we’re doing a good job. Thank you to the Monadnock Region as a whole, for being the educated, demanding, supportive area that allows a paper like ours to enjoy 50 years of being “The Weekly With A Heart.”

Gabriel M. Shakour at work at his desk circa 1980.

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