From the Editor: An Open Letter to White Castle

From the Editor: An Open Letter to White Castle

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 13, 2017)

Dear White Castle Family,

I am writing this open letter to invite you to become the naming rights sponsor of The Oakland County Times Event Page.  This spot is the most coveted on our community news website, and there is no major brand in the world that I would rather have than White Castle to be showcased here.

The Oakland County Times is a high quality, independently owned, nonpartisan, grassroots, community-driven local news website.  We have grown from one small town in 2009 to a county-wide framework in a market that matters to your business.  We reach 61,788 unique readers per month, with average monthly page views of 247,340 and a daily readership of 3,858 people.  These numbers continue to grow, and we continue to provide community-driven journalism, event posts, and investigative journalism that makes a difference in the Metro Detroit Area.

I run this project, along with many volunteers, freelancers and collaborative efforts.  We have grown from one small town to a viable model for sustainable local news.

My quest right now is to secure our first major sponsor.  It is time to hire someone part time to manage the Event Page and the postings that go with it, so we can better serve the readers that rely on us for information.  It’s also a great chance for a business to get their name out as the naming-rights sponsor of our Event Page and related stories. I want this to be the “White Castle Event Page” or “Events You Crave” or something along those lines.

This is a great chance for you to affirm to Metro Detroit that White Castle is a place that cares about communities and is hip enough to know where to reach an online audience.  As people read The Oakland County Times each day, visions of steamy sliders, crisp French fries, and irresistible items like chicken waffle sandwiches and cheese sticks will fill their brains.  All at a cost that is lower than any other advertising option available to you.

People in Oakland County crave news. They come to this site because they are hungry to be part of their community and to have a nonpartisan, trusted source of information and inspiration.

You may be wondering – why White Castle?

The answer is two-fold.  Part of it is sentimentality and part of it is pure respect.

Business-wise, I admire White Castle.  Like the Oakland County Times, you took one small business and grew it into a chain while still keeping it a family-run, high-quality enterprise.  Even with the success you’ve had, family members still have a hands on role in keeping the traditions and standards alive.

In high school I worked for White Castle #23 in Troy, MI.  I was impressed with the higher than average hourly rate, as well as the training programs for staff.  I worked my way to being a Crew Manager II before heading off to college in Grand Rapids (where sadly there are no White Castles).  The ethics I leaned in my teenage years gave me experience in working hard, cooperating with others, customer service, business and leadership which I am proud to use today in running my own business.

But White Castle also holds a very special place in my heart. There is nothing more comforting in the world than a soft warm slider when I am feeling sick or blue.  Nothing reminds me more of my dad.  And for a person that grew up without a mother, the memories I have of my father are all the more important.

My dad worked over 50 hours a week in a job that intruded upon normal holidays.  While other families were gathering for Thanksgiving or Christmas Dinner, my dad and I were picking up a sack of burgers and heading into the store to prepare for the big “day after sales.”

When we did go to family gatherings or school functions, there were no homemade cupcakes or green bean casserole.  My dad, the poor single father, endeared himself by showing up with sliders.

He worked so much that my sleep schedule was dependent on his late night arrivals home from work.  I would go to sleep around 9 in a lonely empty house and be woken up by the sound of the train whistling by just a block from my bedroom window a couple hours later.  That’s how I’d know that my dad was home.  Pepsi, cigarettes, a newspaper and some White Castles.  These things were part of our tradition as we’d sit at the dining room table and talk about our day, or read the paper and talk about the stories in it.

When I went off to college, on the west side of the state, there were no White Castles there. So when my dad came to visit he’d bring a couple sacks.  Or if I came home that is what we had.  It became even more “our thing.”

He died when I was 21, leaving me alone in the world and heartbroken.  I eventually regained a sense of determination that told me I needed to follow my dreams, and find a way to fix the problems that I saw in the media as I grew up, and to do the kind of journalism that gets talked about around dining room tables.

This determination comes from my dad, and also partly from those early experiences I had in seeing how you run your company.  I valued the detailed training programs, the family visits and the care you had for those you employed.  I believe that business-wise White Castle and Oakland County Times would be a good match.

From my own selfish point of view, if White Castle were part of my website, I would see that as a point of pride and a tribute to my dad. When I eat White Castles, I am close to him.  Seeing your ads each day would bring me an added level of joy.  I am publishing this on Mothers’ Day because I cannot think of a better gift to him than to put my heart on the line in going after something that would make a difference in the world and remind me of him at the same time.

I have contacted your company in the past by phone, by mail and emails.  I have reached out locally, regionally and to your headquarters.  I greatly enjoyed writing about the family nature of your business, as well as your Valentine’s Day candlelight dinner tradition.  I have not gotten any response.

As the time comes ripe to fill this spot on the website, I know that I have to do my best to reach you before considering anyone else.  I hope that people who read Oakland County Times will help me get your attention, by sharing this story online and tagging White Castle in the post or leaving feedback on your website

When you get this, please email me at or call (248)259-8961 so we can set up time to talk about the details.  Thank you for all the memories and I hope to hear from you.


Crystal A. Proxmire

Editor & Publisher

Oakland County Times

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