Meet your merchant: House of Print and Copy still going strong after more than 25 years
House of Print and Copy
1501 East Main St., Grass Valley
Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays
Studies have shown that the recipe for job satisfaction tends to be a combination of connecting with others, taking on challenging and absorbing tasks, having a purpose higher than one’s self and feeling as though you’re truly good at something.
Walk through the doors of House of Print and Copy in Grass Valley, and it’s almost as though the staff is a successful case study.
“It’s a fun place but also very professional,” said Sheila Campbell, whose company Q.I. Medical has sought out the services of House of Print and Copy for more than 20 years. “We’ve stuck with them for a very long time. Patti runs a good crew over there.”
“Patti,” is Patti Ferree, who has owned the East Main Street shop since 1991. In the 1980s, Ferree worked as a bookkeeper at a now-defunct copy shop before teaming up with business partner Sandy Conlee, to buy House of Print and Copy.
“Sandy had a background in the print industry and I knew how to keep the books — I oversaw the budget aspect,” said Ferree. “It was a good partnership, but it was difficult at first because we had to pay off the debt and loan. For the first two years, we took no wages. But it was worth it — we had faith, we saw the potential and we knew our work would speak for itself.”
The duo’s hard work paid off, as over time they built up long lasting relationships with members of the local business community.
“Our commitment has always been to fulfill or exceed our customers’ expectations,” said Ferree. “They know that we treat their projects and deadlines as if they were our own. They came to us because they sought fast, reliable and economical service. They stayed because we treat them like family. We have built a reputation for fast, affordable, professional printing with unbeatable personal service.”
In 2014, Ferree was able to buy out Conlee’s half of the business when Conlee decided to move to Montana. Since then, Ferree has continued on as sole owner with a loyal staff of nine.
While the longtime services of printing, copying, binding and graphic design continued, Ferree also opted to expand services to include shredding and scanning, as well as CD and DVD duplication. The company also began sending out larger products to a third party, such as color catalogues, 3-D printing, thermography, banners, yard signs, canvas wraps, posters and more.
“I would love to add a wide-format printer, but we just don’t have the room here,” said Ferree, who owns the building. “But we still absolutely get the job done — our customers are happy.”
In November, Ferree jumped at the opportunity to hire veteran pressman Norm Dean, who brought with him his Ryobi 2 color press, which has expanded the store’s capabilities and speed.
“He told me he could do magic on his own press,” said Ferree. “He was right. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us.”
Ferree added that she’s most grateful for her hardworking, hand-picked staff, all of whom work well together in tight quarters and under constant deadlines. One employee has been with the company for more than 22 years. Another is her grandson, Andy Thomas.
“My employees are all very grounded and ethical — I’m very lucky,” she added. “It’s rewarding to see a whole project through from the design to the printing to the binding. I love getting to see the finished product. The bottom line is I love what I do — I look forward to coming to work each day.”
To contact Staff Writer Cory Fisher, email her at Cory@theunion.com.
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