In today’s volatile business climate, we hear about small family businesses closing their doors by the dozens every day. That’s why the story of Steinert Printing’s owner, Warren Steinert, is so uplifting. Warren celebrated his 80th birthday last fall and in late January, he will celebrate 65 years in business—the same family business he started at age 15 with his brother Kenley. Warren’s business has seen 12 U.S. Presidents, 3 wars, two recessions, and the advent of computers from behemoths that filled entire rooms to today’s handheld smartphones with 1000s of applications. Through the decades, Steinert Printing has met the challenge of an evolving industry in a changing world, and has kept their business true to their family values and traditions. It has been an interesting and challenging journey, but it’s not over.
In December 1947, Warren and Kenley Steinert received a rather unique Christmas gift from their parents - a 6 x 10 hand operated Kelsey printing press. Warren was 15 and Kenley was 12. With their small press, a few fonts of hand set metal type and a couple of tubes of ink, the Steinert Boys, as they became known, began printing stationery, cards, programs and other items for friends, acquaintances, churches and businesses around their hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Work had to be done on weekends and evenings because school was still the number one priority.
After graduating from high school, Warren and Kenley made a fulltime job of their printing business. By 1960, the basement shop was bulging at the seams and it was time to make a move. A 2,000 sq. ft. building was purchased at the corner of Eighth Avenue and Ohio Street. After 12 years of running the business out of the basement of their home, it felt pretty good to be on ground level. The business was still entirely family--just Warren and Kenley, with Dad as support in building tables and cabinets and Mom doing the packaging of finished jobs. Warren and Kenley's wives did the office work and whatever else it took to get the work out.
In the mid 1970s, more space was needed, plans were made and land was purchased on the west side of Oshkosh, just off Highway 41. In late 1975, a 10,000 sq. ft. building was constructed and the new facility opened in July of 1976. The new location for Steinert Printing offered the visibility needed to attract new business plus room to grow. The company now had the room to add more digital equipment and software, binding and finishing equipment, die cutters, foil stampers, embossers, full size cutters, and automatic padding equipment. The ability to provide this wide variety of services kept Steinert Printing growing. By 1992, they had eighteen employees and expanded by an additional 8,500 square feet to accommodate the growth.
Over the past half century, the printing industry has grown in many different ways and Steinert Printing has grown with the changing times. Since Kenley's retirement in 2000, Warren and his son Mark, have remained dedicated to the growth and longevity of Steinert Printing. High speed, high quality color equipment makes it possible to offer the greatest value in digital short run products. Laser imaged conventional presses offer more value at higher quantities, too. Steinert Printing has made it their promise for 65 years and counting, to provide the expert advice, and the finest quality, resulting in the best value for all of their clients.