It's printed using soy-based ink, has its own "beer bicycle" and got Mrs. Yoder's Donuts mixed into Bev's Ice Cream.
The DNA of Greater Richmond Grid magazine, a free, bi-monthly glossy, can be traced back to the Greater Richmond Partnership's Work Magazine, circa 2006.
"[Work] was started as a way to bring into the marketplace stories about nontraditional business-related [issues]," Partnership president Gregory H. Wingfield says.
The Partnership eventually decided to sell the intellectual rights to the magazine, and Palari Publishing — founded by Ted Randler, then the Partnership's vice president of media, and David Smitherman — took over. Work split into several magazines: Grid, pertaining to lifestyles; Urge, which covered Richmond arts; and Sports Backers Quarterly, about athletic events and activities organization.
Paul Spicer, vice president of marketing and public relations at Health Diagnostic Laboratory, Inc., and Leslie Strickler, senior vice president of global communications at HDL, Inc., joined forces and purchased Grid from Palari in January 2012. The new Grid, a Certified B Corporation, packed back into one publication the business, culture, entertainment and sports components of its predecessors. A team of freelancers, part- time employees and volunteers focuses on penning positive stories.
Spicer's aim was to motivate those reading about community events to actively participate, too: "We wanted to get the readers more involved." In keeping with this goal, each section and subsection of Grid is a call to action — whether to Eat Local, Give or Be Active — as are issue themes: Jump In was the river issue, Play Hard took up recreation, and Make Something was inspired by the makers movement. That's how the beer bicycle came about. Made from recycled parts, including a bar top fashioned from 200-year-old salvaged oak, the bike was commissioned by Grid as a showpiece, and holds small beer kegs along with copies of Grid.
Spicer feels that Grid reflects a community that is eager to support its members. "People say, ‘Can we take one more brewery or one more coffee shop?' And the difference in Richmond is that people [are] genuinely concerned about the community succeeding."