After she got involved in promoting business in Hillyard, Pam Farnsworth, the owner of PJ’s Café Express on North Market Street, found herself with a couple of thousand e-mail addresses in a file.
“It started in November when we were trying to do the grand opening of Market Street, and we needed a directory of the businesses up here,” said Farnsworth. “No one had one, so we started gathering e-mail addresses.”
The database quickly grew to almost 5,000 addresses and that gave Farnsworth an idea:
“I decided I wanted to do something for the community, so I put together a newsletter for Hillyard,” Farnsworth said.
She spent 150 hours working on the e-mail list and now Hillyard’s Hobo Bulletin is distributed via e-mail on the fifth and the 20th of each month. Hillyard businesses can place business card-size ads and coupons for free in the e-mail newsletter.
“We are struggling in Hillyard really bad, I mean, we are going day to day, so I’m just trying to do something to try and get peoples’ interest back into Hillyard,” Farnsworth said.
The Hobo Bulletin is free, and it features coupons from many Hillyard businesses as well as announcements and articles about Hillyard history and community development.
Farnsworth said she picked the name because hobos are a big part of Hillyard history.
“Yes, they would steal rides on the railroad but they also worked,” said Farnsworth. “They weren’t street people who want everything for free. They had odd jobs, and they are a big part of history up here.”
Farnsworth welcomes submissions.
“I want to try and feature a Hillyard nonprofit in every issue,” said Farnsworth. “If someone wants to write about history, or anything else to do with Hillyard it’s more than welcome.”