LOCAL HOUSTON MAGAZINE IS THE CITY GUIDE FOR HOUSTON. IN A DIVERSE, EVER-GROWING CITY WITH THRIVING SUBURBS, LOCAL HOUSTON KEEPS READERS UP TO DATE ON ALL THINGS LOCAL.
Local, originally established in 1998 as 002houston, targeted the residential and nightlife boom in downtown Houston. Its original name reflected Downtown’s ZIP code, 77002. As Downtown grew and the development boom spread into areas including, but not limited to, The Woodlands, Sugar Land, Bellaire, Montrose, EaDo, the Energy Corridor, The Heights and Pearland, the magazine’s content grew with it.
Local provides relevant news targeting those who live and work downtown, but with increased coverage throughout Greater Houston with editors covering food, culture, art and style.
Whether you want to check out one of the many festivals or kayak on Buffalo Bayou or bask in Galvestonʼs beachfront and history. Whether youʼre hungry for BBQ brisket or crave authentic Vietnamese fare (or any other of the bevy of nationally acclaimed restaurants). Whether you need art for your wall or an architect to design your home or office. Whether you want to learn about the latest workout or sit on the sidelines and catch a game. Whether youʼre looking for a vintage look or the seasonʼs hottest trends – Local Houston has you covered.
Today we print 72,000 monthly, free magazines. We are CVC verified and distribute throughout Greater Houston in over 900 drop points. We have a strong online presence with consistent interaction with our followers on all platforms.
Local sets the trends others follow. From our e-blasts sent out on a weekly basis to our social media campaigns, page layouts and editorials, Local Houston covers the cityʼs vibrant scene each month with photos and interviews of the people who keep Houston one of the coolest cities in America. (Per Forbes Magazine).
Our readers are the educated, affluent Houstonians that keep the vitality of our city fast-paced and cutting-edge – and they are interested in your products and services. Local Houston magazine reaches that audience each month, telling them who you are, where to find you, who theyʼll meet there and why their friends are talking about you.
Locally Grown: A Story 16 Years in the Making
by Tim Moloney | Photography by Anthony Rathbun
As 002HOUSTON MAGAZINE, 16 years after its founding, transitions into LOCAL HOUSTON, it was time to get the story behind the name change. As the magazine’s former Arts and Entertainment Editor and resident Wise Guy, I’d been along for much of the ride.
However, it wasn’t until I sat down with founder and publisher ALEJANDRO MARTINEZ and Editor-in- Chief CARLA VALENCIA, that I realized what a gem we have in this locally written, locally shot, locally produced and locally supported publication.
TM: Alex, what were you thinking when you and your partners started the magazine? Weren’t there already enough magazines?
AM: I wasn’t really thinking. Actually, Chef Arturo Boada was opening Solero back then and I was helping with the graphics. He asked me to create a newsletter for downtown because things were starting to happen and so many projects were being planned…the light rail, the new hotels, the sports facilities. There was going to be a billion dollar investment in downtown, so the magazine seemed like a good idea.
TM: How did you find writers and people to work on it?
AM: Our first writers were students from the University of St. Thomas. We put notices on a board outside their student center. Remember, this was pre-Craigslist or Facebook. It was an actual bulletin board.
TM: And then over time, you got the best local writers and photographers working with you…
CV: We have worked with so many great people, and watched many of them develop careers. Sarah Gish was our first “name” writer, and then Monique Kursar, Laurann Claridge, Lance Walker, Jeff Lane, Jeff Shell, Michael Garfield and Nadia Michel. And photographers….Ricardo Merendoni shot every cover for the first year; we’ve worked with Kennon Evett, Jack Potts, Kim Coffman, Anthony Rathbun, Jaime Lagdameo, Cody Bess, Gabriella Nissen, Colin Kelly, Pam Francis, Sofia Van Der Dys and Daniel Ortiz. And we’ve had awesome interns too; one of them, Evan Wetmore, is now the editor of Houston Modern Luxury!
TM: At what point did you start covering other parts of the city besides the 77002 ZIP code?
AM: Right at the end of the first year. We ran out of stories about downtown.
TM: What makes you different from other magazines in Houston?
CV: I think with this new name, it totally captures what we are. WE ARE COMPLETELY LOCAL. We use local talent, cultivate local talent. Everything we produce, we do it right here. We’re not shooting fashion spreads in New York or Chicago or Dallas or Miami. It all happens in Houston with Houston talent. And I think we support our local advertisers a lot better than most.
TM: So what should the Local Houston reader expect to see in the new magazine?
CV: It’s a total redesign, and a more curated approach to editorial. Instead of featuring 10 products, we’ll focus on the four best and tell you why. The same with restaurants – we’re not going to do tons of listings anymore. If you want to see listings, they’ll be online, but they won’t be in the printed book. We will instead focus on the best of the best each month. That doesn’t mean the most expensive or exclusive either. It just means what suits our local readers. We’re a guide to the city; we always have been. Now it’s just an easier, cleaner read and a sharper viewpoint.