[attach]5581[/attach]When Mike Schulze called his father Rainer to tell him he’d lost his job, the younger Schulze got an unusual response.
“I called him and go, ‘Guess what? My company is pulling out of Ontario and they’re leaving three of us business analysts high and dry,’ ” Mike says. “And he said, ‘Good.’ ”
Combining his technical skills with his father’s 50 plus years of experience in the printing industry, he joined the family business, On Demand Printing, two years ago with the goal of eventually allowing his dad to retire.
“With the shift from traditional printing over to digital printing there’s a lot of stuff that the two of us can partner up on,” says Mike. “So it’s quite a convenient and coincidental marriage of talents.”
“The business is unique because we have the full technical background with Michael,” adds Rainer. “And I have the background in finishing the craft so the match up is very, very good. I’m not a high tech guy but he is. I’m the finisher.”
After 17 years in North York, they recently relocated to Kingston Road and Victoria Park Avenue and added a storefront component. Not only does Rainer live in the area, they said the move was also inspired by the fact they wanted to be located somewhere less industrial in order to gain more walk-in clients.
“We wanted to get into disposable print, that’s what I like to call it, things like business cards, flyers and brochures, all those things that people print and people use and then come back for more,” Mike says.
Rainer, who first started the company under the name Graphnet Mapping, which they still maintain, says the industry has changed a lot since he started in 1957. Over the years he says he went from letterpress printing to offset printing to the current digital climate.
He says a textbook, which once took half a year to produce, now only takes two weeks. They also print self-published books, historical books and maps, and have a yearly contract to print geomaps for ambulances in Toronto.
Mike says most people in the community have found out about the company through word of mouth and seeing the business as they walk or drive past. He says there is also a tight knit business community on Kingston Road. Another highlight, he says, is the amount of traffic they’ve received.
“Here the number of people that we’ve met and the number of friends that we’ve met already in the last few months has been astounding,” Mike says. “It’s so much fun to come into work and not know who you are going to talk to.”