About Us

About the Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze is a free weekly newspaper that reaches more families in northern Rhode Island than any other paper - by far. It is locally owned, and independently audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Missouri, which gave the paper it's Gold Standard Award for excellence 5 straight years!

Founded in 1996, the tab-style, demand circulation paper began with a press run of 10,000 in the towns of Cumberland and Lincoln, R.I.

In competition with three daily newspapers, The Valley Breeze focused on the more positive stories in its towns and gained rapid acceptance, growing to 14,000 circulation in just 18 months. During that short time, more than 100 small hometown businesses began advertising with the paper every week, finding they were able to reach more readers with far fewer dollars.

In August 1999, the paper began its second edition serving suburban North Smithfield and Woonsocket, R.I. with another 14,000 papers. In 2001, the nearby town of Blackstone, Mass., was added to the coverage area. The online edition was launched in December 2004.


In February, 2006, The Valley Breeze purchased the Burgess family’s 50-year-old Observer paid weekly newspaper of Smithfield, R.I. and the North Star free weekly of North Providence, R.I. Both communities are adjacent to our primary market. The Observer was converted to a free newspaper in March 2006. What was once a paid circulation of 3,000 is now free distribution of more than 12,000 papers.


In August 2009, The Valley Breeze founded its 5th newspaper, serving Pawtucket, R.I. Each week more than 9,000 papers are distributed there today.

All told, we now distribute nearly 60,000 community newspapers in 5 distinct, local editions each week in suburban northern Rhode Island. Virtually all of the papers are picked up by readers before the weekend begins. More than 350 local advertisers are in Breeze papers each week, making it the best available source of local news and shopping information.


On March 27, 1996, The Valley Breeze began in the Cumberland home of its founder, Publisher Thomas V. Ward, a photojournalist and editor, in partnership with Deputy Publisher James Quinn, an advertising artist. Joined by Editor Marcia Green, the trio had many years of experience in the area's daily newspapers. The paper rapidly outgrew the Ward family living room at 216 Pound Road, Cumberland, and moved to its first office 9 weeks later.

What began as a 20-page tab is now 72 pages or more each week in its Cumberland-Lincoln edition, and slightly smaller in its newer editions.


The Breeze staff has grown to 22 full-time employees and another 10 part-time employees, as well as 15 drivers who deliver the newspaper to more than 800 locations every Wednesday and Thursday morning. Papers are located at grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, coffee shops, banks and public buildings, among others. For a specific location near you, email ethan@valleybreeze.com.

The newspaper is a member of the Northern R.I. and North Central Chambers of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Business, and the New England Newspaper and Press Association.

The Valley Breeze
6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204
Lincoln, RI 02865

Phone: (401) 334-9555
Fax: 401-334-9994

For questions or comments about our site contact: webmaster@valleybreeze.com