SHAPCO PRINTING — BROTHERS BOUND BY INK
A FAMILY owned printing company is not unusual. But one that was started by three 20-something brothers, which has endured 30 years of growth and that’s debt-free, is surely note-worthy.
Today, Shapco Printing is one of the largest sheetfed commercial printers in Minnesota. Located in downtown Minneapolis, this full-service company offers computer-to-plate, offset and digital printing, binding, kitting, and mailing and fulfillment services. Shapco has up to eight-color, 40˝ printing capabilities on paper (up to 40-pt. board) and plastic substrates.
Joel Shapiro, 51, along with his co-owner brothers Robert, 50, and Alan, 56, have built a competitive edge based on their high-end printing capabilities combined with quick turnarounds.
“We do whatever is necessary,” says Joel Shapiro. “We will work longer hours, increase capacity—whatever it takes. Our value is in providing fast service. By the time other printers have shown the proof, we already have the job done.”
The brothers Shapiro have printing in their blood. Their father owned a 10-employee shop, American Color Press in Minneapolis, for about 20 years. Due to a terminal illness, though, he was forced to sell the company in 1972. Four years later, his son Robert began pondering career options after graduating from the University of Minnesota. Robert had always enjoyed the printing business growing up, so he decided to start his own company.
“We started with one part-time employee,” recalls Joel Shapiro. “Sales in year one were $124,000 and Bob worked 100 hours per week.”
Joel and his older brother, Alan, also put in as many hours as they could, even though they were still full-time students. Over the next year, Joel graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in accounting and Alan completed law school. After one tax season and one year as a prosecutor, respectively, both brothers decided to join Robert full-time.