If you have passed by recently, you may have noticed that our funeral home in White Bear Lake is looking a little differently these days. This winter we are undertaking a major renovation in order to give the people we serve exactly what they want from our funeral services.
In early 2012, Mueller Memorial, in conjunction with the Funeral Service Foundation, helped to fund a research project in an effort to understand the public’s perception of the funeral profession.
Olson Zaltman Associates, a Pittsburg-based marketing and research firm, implemented its patented ZMET research method to draw out the “unconscious metaphors and cultural archetypes that people associate with funeral homes and their products and services.” The Funeral Foundation ZMET study‘s very comprehensive results revealed, and in many cases, affirmed, the public’s changing demands within the profession.
As the only funeral home to participate in sponsoring this study, Mueller Memorial received early access to the research findings and has carefully considered what we could do to meet the changing needs of the families we serve.
One of the most frequently expressed concerns of those surveyed involved the funeral home buildings themselves.
In the past the inner chapel of a funeral home was intentionally built without windows. This served a specific function because bright, natural light generally did not create the most favorable appearance for an open-casket visitation. So, most funeral home chapels or reception rooms were built without windows as a way to accommodate the desired lighting, but left visitors feeling confined, some in the ZMET study even describing it as “tomb-like.”
In response, we are taking down walls and adding many tall windows, as well as an expanded reception area to create a bright, open space for visitors to comfortably chat and commiserate.
If you have ever talked with a Baby Boomer about what they want for their own funeral it is likely that you have heard, “I just want it to be a party.” The ZMET study confirmed that this is a very common wish.
We kept that idea in mind when planning our reception area and have included a large, open space for banquet and high-top tables, a kitchen to accommodate caterers, and we will even have a built in bar for those who want to host beverage service.
Of course we will always be able to meet the needs of families who want a more traditional service, but now we will be able to provide the people we serve with expanded options for making their funeral service a unique experience that reflects the life and personality of their family member or friend.
The renovation is being completed in stages to allow services to be held in White Bear Lake without interruption during construction. Remodeling is scheduled to be complete in May and we hope that you will stop by to see how pleasant a funeral home can be.