There was little fanfare last year when printing companies changed hands. Readers of the Rural Route noticed nothing but a picture of Calvin Frey and John Burgess on the inside cover of the April 2014 issue. Burgess was ready to retire from Kimbal Printing and Frey was looking to expand. From outward appearances the transition was seamless.
Many of us were not familiar with Innovative Print. As I delved into the background, I found a “local boy makes good” story, the kind of small town narrative you like to read about. It started in 2007 when Calvin Frey began an evening and weekend business from his parents’ basement. In 2010, Ken Brubacher joined the team, and later Arlin Weaver and his company Riverhouse Graphics.
In the fall of 2010, the business moved into the garage at Frey’s own house. As things continued to grow, they soon needed an addition to make room for new equipment. In 2012, they purchased GET Printing’s operations in Millbank and moved into that building. Innovative, now a team of 11, continued to grow, and in 2014 was ready to buy Kimbal.
Locally, apprehension arose as to what would happen to our nearby printing access, and what would become of The Rural Route. However,
Kimbal employees Irmgard Kuersten-Kirkorian (graphic designer) and Lloyd Riddols (shipping) were retained, and it was soon apparent that everything would continue as before.
Kimbal Printing’s files, stock, and equipment were transferred to a suite in the Launchit Minto complex near the stoplights in Harriston. Downsizing has its drawbacks, and for a while this office was a hectic place. But Irmgard made the transition with style, and continued to welcome clients with her usual smile and professional manner.
LaunchIt Minto, a new project for the Town of Minto’s Economic Development Plan, was created to assist new businesses to start, grow and succeed in a creative environment. Innovative Print did grow, and more faces joined the team; however, Kuersten-Kirkorian continues to be the valuable mainstay that locals praise and rely on. The small office was soon a crowded place.
After renovating the former Homuth Drug Store/McIntee Real Estate building, Innovative moved across the street to begin a new phase. The Grand Opening for the new office was held on July 29th. Ribbon cutting and tours of the building were followed with a barbeque hosted by the Millbank staff.
Looking at Innovative’s promotional materials, I must admit it took me a while to realize the significance of the zebra. It’s a new design that came into being last year; it represents how black and white printing has evolved into color. The collar of the zebra is made from a circle of the four standard printing process colors–Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black. The “o” in the Innovative logo also has these four colors.
Change always brings new learning, and it’s a colorful world we live in.