We have proudly been serving the Mansfield community for 25 years. As we celebrate this momentous anniversary, we took a look at our beginnings. In 1996, a national company put out classifieds in various markets around the country, advertising an opportunity to “Own Your Own Coupon Business.” When Dave and Nikki Normant saw the ad, they were intrigued. After connecting with the parent company, they had the tools and the templates needed to get Family Values Magazine up and running in Mansfield.
The first issue arrived in mailboxes later that year featuring roughly 20 companies-- including Brass Hanger Cleaners and Alta Greenhouse who are still in our magazine today. Our business saw steady growth and, in the early 2000s Dave and Nikki were looking to expand into a new market.
‘03 Family Values Magazine
Enter Shane Hostetler. Shane was working for a local business in Lexington when Dave came in to share his idea of starting a book in Marion County. The business owner passed, but the opportunity piqued Shane’s interest. He and his wife prayed about it, and ultimately made the decision to take a leap of faith. He met with Dave and after only four hours of “training”, Shane headed to Marion with a copy of the Mansfield magazine in his hand and unwavering determination in his mind. He went from business to business trying to get a foot in the door with anyone he could. “The beginning was hard. I had a wife and a 6 month old at home depending on me, and there were days where I worked until 8:00 at night just so I didn’t have to go home and tell my wife I hadn’t sold anything.”
Dave & Nikki Normant
Shane’s hard work paid off as the first issue of Marion Family Values came out in June of 2003. While his career was new, Shane was no stranger to the world of small business. Both of his grandfathers were local business owners. “My first memory of a business was sitting in my grandfather’s (Bill Peoples/ Farley Peoples) insurance agency at the age of 5. I remember hearing how well respected he was in the community and I wanted to be like him. Fast forward 8-10 years, and my first job was working for my dad and other grandfather washing trucks at Hostetler’s Catering. I learned the value of hard work, the challenges small businesses face, and that when you miss a spot cleaning a silver truck, it’s easy to see.”
Shane continued to manage the Marion magazine while Dave and Nikki took care of the Mansfield publication. In 2008, Dave and Nikki were looking to retire. The Normants approached. Shane with the idea of selling the business to him as an independent publication, completely separate from the original parent company. Again, Shane prayed about it, and took another leap of faith. The sale allowed Family Values to become more than a cookie-cutter coupon book. “One one hand, the transition was terrifying. I had been working with someone and now it was all on my shoulders. This experience helped me better relate to our clients who take risks. The change was groundbreaking as it gave us the freedom to focus on our reader, make updates, develop a digital presence, and evolve as the world around us does.”
Over the next few years, our magazines continued to grow despite the changes in the economy. From 2008 to 2019, the Mansfield magazine tripled in size, and in 2018, we expanded into Wooster. Many things have changed and evolved over the years, but our mission is simple: to create a world where locally owned stores, contractors, hospitals, restaurants and more are winning the fight against big box competitors through deeper connections and smarter marketing.
In 2020, the world of small business was turned upside down during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now more than ever, locally owned stores, restaurants, professional services, and more need the support of our community. Small businesses don’t have the support and buying power that big corporate businesses have. They rely on members of the community to rally behind them.
We strive to be more than another place for companies to advertise, we are focused on helping small businesses. Shane puts it best, “This isn’t just our place of business, Mansfield is our home. We want our friends, family, neighbors, etc. to succeed so our community can thrive.”