Standing at the front counter of Sure Print & Graphics in Orleans, it is quickly apparent that the store's reputation for quality was built on both a sense of "know-how" as well as "know-who".
Longtime staff members greet several of the customers by name as they enter the store. Many clients have been visiting the shop for years as their businesses have expanded from small ventures into established local companies.
Over the past fifthteen years Sure Print has been growing right along them. In 1992, the shop opened its doors with two employees, a computer and two photocopiers.
"Both copiers were black and white," says owner Monica Alongi who worked in the shop with her father when it first opened. "No one even thought to ask for color. In those days it was rare because color copies were so expensive to do; now it's business as usual."
Today the store offers a full range of services to a wide variety of customers: from full-color copies and on-demand digital printing to store signage and vehicle lettering.
Families come by to make copies of family photos or to order personalized Christmas cards and calendars. Local businesses rely on Sure Print to produce professional brochures, posters and calling cards. Corporations from across Canada send training manuals and product guides electronically so they can be printed, bound and shipped out.
In addition to a full-range of printing services, the staff is also available to make recommendations about layout, design or the type of product that would best suit their customers' needs.
"Every job is different," says Alongi. "In many cases our customers come to us knowing exactly what they want. Other times a client may have an idea for a brochure or manual but need our advice and expertise to make that a reality."
Every member of the Sure Print team has been with the company for several years. Most have extensive training in design and print production and professional experience that have allowed them to hone an eye for detail that their customers have come to appreciate.
"Many of our clients have been with us for a while so we have had a chance to get to know them and understand their needs,"Alongi continues. "This puts us in a good position to make recommendations and ensure that they are walking away with a product they can be proud of."
While the store is proud to offer competitive prices customers have told Alongi and her team that it is Sure Print's reputation that keeps them coming back.
"Some of our customers have told us that they worked with other printers in the past but decided to bring their business to Sure Print instead," Alongi says. "They are happy with the atmosphere and impressed with the services we offer."
"As our customers' business grows & expands, they know that we will still be there to meet their printing needs"
"The team members here are professionals and they take their design work very seriously," Alongi says. "They are not just here to work a shift; this is their career." In fact, Alongi is so proud of her staff that she has created a display in the shop with all of their pictures and credentials.
Included on the team are co-owners, Monica's brother Dustin and her sister Andrea who have worked in the shop for several years. Business partner Louis Maurice has been on the team for over twelve years.
While the shop has expanded tremendously from its origins as a small copy shop, it has not strayed from its roots as a family business built on quality work and loyalty to its staff and community.
Over the years the shop has sponsored countless local teams, high schools and athletes who photos are also featured prominently in the store.
"The community of Orleans has been good to us," Alongi says."We are very proud to have been a part of it for the past fifteen years."