"I've greatly enjoyed the printing business since I purchased Insty Prints in 1986", said Bob Antonsen, owner, as he was interviewed at his office at 320 A Old Trolley Road.
"Summerville has really grown and our business has prospered, too. We have more than tripled our space and seen the nature of printing expand greatly in using digital technology."
Mr. Antonsen, a New Hampshire native, arrived at Charleston Air Force Base in 1973, where he served in Explosive Ordinance and Vehicle Maintenance. Bob joined the Air Force in the mid 1950's, served in Vietnam, and earned a Bronze Star and other awards before retiring in 1986. "Pat and I purchased a home here in 1985. We knew that this community was going to be our permanent location as well as a site for my business. Summerville just reached out and touched the two of us and our children," he added.
His business was recently recognized as the "People's Choice" in the category of Best Printer for the past 3 years. "I was really proud to earn these awards, but I have to give the credit to my staff of 7 people," he said. Bob also notes several other elements for its success. "We believe in customer service, as it is a key in keeping ahead of competition and we focus on "timelines" of our customers. We use the newest technology in the area of digital color printing.'
"Most folks don't know that Insty Prints was first to have a Canon commercial color copier, which attracted new customers. We were the first local printer to install the faster copier. It made over 7 MILLION copies in a two year period. Another example of new equipment is our digital "blueprint" copier which meets the needs of many special customers for larger prints," he included.
Antonsen reflected on his family management. "Insty Prints is managed by my daughter Valarie Sherwood and she is assisted in finance by my other daughter Vivian Taylor. Together we have placed a high priority on staff development and we have two employees that have worked with us for 18+ years, as a result."
Bob has also been active in the community. "I am a Paul Harris Fellow in the Oakbrook Rotary. The business is a member of the Summerville and Berkeley Chambers of Commerce. It is our goal to help businesses succeed. We know that a rising economic tide increases business for everyone. We help in small ways, too. There is a box at the door where old U. S. flags can be deposited for patriotic retirement by veterans groups," he said.
As to the future, Bob reflected on his desire to travel more in his RV, "Pat and I visited the maritime provinces of Canada and especially enjoyed touring British Columbia and Alaska. Locally we follow the Stingrays hockey team along with USC football, baseball and basketball. I like to spend time with my kids when I can. I mentioned my daughters earlier, Pat and I also have two sons; Francis, who has spent 20 years in the Air Force; and Bob Jr. who works with the FDA."
Asked if he plans an ultimate retirement, he responded, "No, I think that I am like many other business people where keeping busy is important to good health and physical well being. I am certain that I will always be doing something useful," he concluded.