AUSTIN: MKTC Consulting has rebranded to Corner Market Communications, an integrated communications agency that specializes in food and beverage CPG brands.
Additionally, Sami Newman, a previous consultant at MKTC, has stepped into the COO role; and Tina Clabbers, most recently the global consumer PR director for Whole Foods Market, has come on board as chief of strategy. Clabbers and Newman both report to CEO Meghan Kelleher.
“In all of my jobs, I have been fortunate to be able to work in food,” said Clabbers. “I always say my happiest moments are spent around food and other people who appreciate it.”
Faith Troutman also joins the firm full-time as account executive and Sirena Abalian as an influencer and affiliate coordinator.
Currently, Corner Market employs five full-time employees with a network of up to 15 freelancers. The agency will grow to six with the addition of Cayley Werner, a current intern who will join the team full-time in June.
Corner Market operates remotely, with its headquarters in Austin, Texas, and employees in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Kelleher founded MKTC Consulting in August 2017 to bring "strategists who execute" to startups who needed practitioners with in-house and agency experience to better support accelerated growth brands, according to a Corner Market Communications statement.
Kelleher began thinking of the rebrand in January 2022, decided to add full-time roles in July and started the process of creating Corner Market in October. MKTC partners were informed of the rebranding in December.
While the original vision of MKTC lives on through Corner Market Communications, Kelleher and her team decided to relaunch with a new name, brand and expansion of full-time staff to more readily serve the needs of the firm’s partners.
“MKTC was a placeholder LLC for me as a solo operating freelancer and then it quickly grew as a business over five years,” Kelleher said. “It didn't represent our clients, what we worked on or even the team, so we rebranded it.”
MKTC specialized in media and influencer relations, campaign/partnership development, nutrition programming, sustainability planning, brand positioning, crisis communications and event planning. The focus of Corner Market will be to expand upon the firm’s existing repertoire and continue underscoring results-driven storytelling.
The new firm’s “secret sauce” is its sole focus on food and beverage CPG brands. Kelleher noted that it is rare for a comms firm to hone in on one category.
“We always say we're hungry storytellers,” Kelleher said. “We love the brands we represent and so they're frequently in our grocery cart; they're in our meal prep.”
The agency first worked with brands across food, lifestyle and technology, but quickly focused on packaged food and beverages. More than 40 brands have been supported by MKTC, now Corner Market, including Magnolia Bakery, Momofuku Goods, Applegate, Banza, Gotham Greens, UNREAL, Primal Kitchen, Sound Sparkling Teas, Curious Elixirs and Kind Snacks. MKTC also worked with Oatly in 2017 to execute the unconventional press strategy that drove its cult following.
Prior to MKTC, Kelleher was a communications manager at Waze and a senior communications manager at Kind Snacks.