Video vignettes

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Denton Freedom House, a nonprofit, owns and manages Zera Coffee Co. at the corner of East McKinney Street and Bell Avenue.

Firm’s project documents local businesses

A new series of mini documentaries about local businesses could help a local marketing firm promote Denton to future clients across the world and continue to grow the Denton business scene.

Called Project Denton, the series of 5- to 6-minute videos tell the stories behind three area businesses. They were created over the past year by Square 205, a marketing and branding firm downtown. Zera Coffee Co., the DIME Store and Redwood Studios are featured in the first installment of what the firm hopes will be an ongoing project.

“We want to show off the capabilities that we have here, and we want to show off what’s going on in Denton from a more professional standpoint and more of the entrepreneurial spirit of Denton,” said Paul Echols, president of Square 205. “It’s not just the businesses, but where those businesses came from and what they’re doing.”

The videos that launched about a week ago are now being shared on social media, and will hopefully gain traction outside of the city.

For Mike Cheves, chief marketing officer of Square 205, it helps show clients the benefits of coming to Denton, and the types of businesses they’ll be surrounded by.

Cheves just spent a month in South Africa, where he formed relationships with business owners who want to bring their companies to Denton and that also want Denton-made products and businesses in their city.

“The big deal here is to get people to come to Denton,” Cheves said. “Project Denton itself is to find these great stories, get them in the news and get them national and international, and do whatever we can so we attract companies.”

The companies featured in the videos aren’t clients of Square 205 and didn’t pay to be featured in the series. While they don’t aim to make it a news channel, creators want Project Denton to be a visual resource to help people better understand the businesses in the community.

It is also a continuation of a Web series that Echols did in 2010, before facing budgetary constraints. The project went pretty well, he said, but they didn’t have the budget or time to dedicate to the project. When the idea resurfaced last year, they decided to follow through and start with three videos. In the future, they hope to continue to release videos regularly, averaging maybe three a year.

For Lisa Moore, the general manager at Zera, the video showed a side of the business that a lot of people don’t know. The coffee shop is owned and managed by Denton Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that helps men with addiction problems through ministry and work at the coffee house or another business owned by Denton Freedom House. To showcase the mission behind the business like this gave Moore chills, she said.

“I think it definitely gives a glimpse of our heart and our love for Denton and the community and people,” Moore said. “I got chill bumps and started crying when I first saw it for the first time. I was very excited and very pleased.”

JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.


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