Rod Stoffel, president and owner of JP Graphics in Appleton, has no trouble remembering his company’s anniversary. After all, his parents started the company the year he was born. He’s grown up in the business, seeing it grow from a modest beginning to a successful, award-winning printer.
In 2019, JP Graphics, which originally was founded as Jim’s Printing in the basement of the Stoffels’ home, hits the 50-year mark and remains family-owned.
Stoffel joined the company in 1990 and bought the business from his parents, Jim and Rochelle Stoffel, in 1998.
“They started with nothing,” says Stoffel, who has consistently grown the commercial printing company.
JP Graphics, which has a Master Certified Printer designation, now employs 50, runs three shifts five days a week and serves clients nationwide. Their print products include packaging, calendars, folders, point-of-purchase materials, catalogs, brochures and other impact marketing products.
“What started in the basement of my childhood home has grown into an award winning printer,” says Stoffel. “We have a lot of horsepower — more than a lot of printers our size — that allows us to turn work around fast.”
Hard work and employees who support the company’s goals are key to JP Graphics’ success.“It’s not by chance,” Stoffel admits.
The early 2000s were a boom time in the printing industry. JP Graphics has fueled its growth primarily by acquisitions. In 2000, the company purchased Pro Graphics Printing, followed two years later with the acquisition of Mastercraft.
With the 2004 acquisition of the Graphics Communication Center, JP Graphics moved into a 50,000-square-foot production facility, which added space for new technology and advancements.
When the recession of 2008-09 hit, however, JP Graphics endured setbacks just as many other businesses did but was able to rebound. While the print industry changed and is still undergoing change, Stoffel is optimistic his company will continue to grow by 10 percent each year.
A key to the company’s growth is staying current with new technology. In 2014, JP Graphics made a major investment in technology, installing a new six-color Komori G40 press.
“Since then, we have added a new full line of mailing equipment along with wide format UV printing and cutting equipment,” Stoffel says.
While some people claim that “print is dead,” Stoffel says “a lot of people prefer to have that touch [paper offers].”
Driven and focused on forward thinking, Stoffel credits his strong leadership team with helping JP Graphics succeed for half a century. The team, he says, “has understood the need for some change in how we operate.”
One of those changes is finding qualified workers. “The changing workforce is a huge challenge. It’s hard to find quality people,” Stoffel says. “It’s also important to keep your customers happy.”
Looking at the awards the company received in 2018, it’s clear JP Graphics is doing just that. The printer received the Manufacturing Business of the Year Award from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business of the Year Award from the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce.
“To be selected for both awards in the same year shows that what we are doing here is pretty special.” Stoffel says. “We’ve made some strides but have our goals set high.”
JP Graphics is planning an open house to celebrate its 50th anniversary this spring.
3001 E. Venture Drive
Appleton, WI 54911