Posted By RichC on January 16, 2020
While soring through my office file cabinet to make room for more current folders, I ran across an old lease contract and photo from an “almost happened” business decision. It would have been a decision and a location move that may have changed our future and had ripple effects even for the lives of my kids (like those “time machine” movies).
Flash back to 1986, when I was running a part time printing business out of our garage and basement when we were in our small Aurora-Hudson Road house. I worked a day job primarily in sales and then rebuilt printing presses and ran small print jobs in the evening.
Eventually we decided that it was time to either sink or swim and that I should go into my own business full time. So in 1985, I paid NAPL for some research to understand where commercial printing services were needed and what city offered the best location for a commercial printing business to succeed. I don’t recall all the locations, but remember that our decision came down to either Raleigh/Durham NC or Port St Lucie, FL – not Ohio. Having a sailboat, we opted for Port St. Lucie and put our house on the market at the same time I quit my job, we were having our first child and Brenda would be staying home a few months before going back to work … in a new location! Gulp … but being young, naïve and “without children” had us thinking this was a good plan (Brenda’s parents even sat us down to make sure we had thought this through .. but we opted to forge ahead).
So the week our daughter Katelyn arrived, I headed south leaving Brenda and Katelyn in our SOLD house with Brenda’s mom for the week in our $500 high-mile 1970-something Chevy Caprice wagon. I haul everything that a moving van would not take plus a few tools to get ready to start the business … and find a place to live since the buyers were closing on our current home. It was stressful.
Upon arriving at the commercial unit (photo above), where I previously put down a $700 deposit and had signed off on the remodeling plans, I found out the landlord had left the country. Seriously … he went to the Bahamas. He under investigation for tax fraud and was being sought by the IRS. My deposit was gone, no work was done, I could get the keys to the space to start working on my own and 1000 miles away in Florida without my wife and newborn daughter was the last place I wanted to be.
We made the decision to drop the moving idea and instead looked for a house in Hudson, kept my job a little longer and then the following year with a severance package (Knight-Ridder closed our Ohio office), started Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co after remodeling a freestanding commercial building in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio in 1987 (photo below).
And as they say, the rest is history … and a history without any regrets!