By BRIAN SMITH
While some businesses seem to come and go at the drop of a hat, Hartness Print Central has outlasted many in the city.
Located at 106 Houston St. on the downtown square, the business celebrated its 65th year in operation with an open house Wednesday.
Lori Bennett has been actively involved in the business since 1984. She readily admits, however, she has been a part of the business since she was a toddler, much like her grandchildren are now, as they were seen actively running around and “helping.”
“We have fourth and fifth generation family members here helping,” Bennett said with a smile.
Bennett says she still has one customer that has been coming to them since the business opened.
Just like any business around for more than half a century, Bennett says there have been many changes in the over the years. But some things haven’t changed, like a press her grandfather Carl Hartness used for the business when it first opened. That press is still in use, mostly for die-cutting jobs.
The press, which now sits in the front window, is not the only older piece of machinery in the shop. An old-style 1980s video game sits across from the front counter and is still a conversation piece today.
Carl Hartness was once the owner of the Weatherford Democrat, which had a print shop of its own. Bennett said when things got busy, Hartness Print Central would take some of those print jobs. A fire at the Democrat forced Hartness for a time to do all the print jobs out of his shop.
Bennett contends technology has changed the printing business over time.
“Technology has allowed people to do much of the work we did themselves,” Bennett said. “We still do a lot of business cards and brochure printing the customer has designed themselves.”
Bennett said one of the things that has kept the business around so long is its customer service.
“We have the world’s most loyal customer base,” Bennett said. “We like to think we know what we’re talking about most of the time.”