ADCO: Printing for Northeast since 1967

By Northeast Information

For 57 years, ADCO Litho Plate has fulfilled Kansas Metropolis’s printing wants, working out of its store at 6043 E Truman Rd. Proprietor Theresa “Terry” Cunningham is proud to proceed her household legacy. In 1971, Cunningham was handed her father’s enterprise, ADCO Litho Plate, on the age of 18.

After struggling a serious coronary, her father, Chester Banks, was advised by docs he couldn’t proceed the enterprise, however he refused to close down, handing it over to Cunningham, a current highschool graduate, and her mom, Paulette.

“I owe too many individuals an excessive amount of cash,” Cunningham remembers her father saying. “I’m not going to take chapter. You ladies are going to run it.”

As younger as Cunningham was on the time, she was no novice within the print business. She had been working within the store after faculty and in the course of the summers since she was round 14 years previous, simply one other in an extended record of actions she and her sister had loved with their father. Regardless of her youth, Cunningham’s father had religion that she may take over the enterprise.

“My dad didn’t have any sons, so we did every little thing that he would do with a boy,” Cunningham recalled. “We realized shoot a bow and arrow, realized shoot a gun, we went fishing, he taught us play baseball, soccer, basketball; he was a person earlier than his time, really. He all the time stated, ‘You are able to do no matter you suppose you are able to do.’”

Chester’s confidence steeled Cunningham and her mom for the duty, they usually succeeded within the enterprise, working collectively side-by-side for many years. Paulette lived to be 92 years previous, working at ADCO Litho Plate till she was 80.

The story of how Chester began the enterprise reaches again to WWII and throughout the Atlantic to Europe, when he served within the US Military. Chester met Paulette in Paris in the course of the battle and realized fluent French to have the ability to courtroom her. After the battle, the couple married and remained in Paris to rejoice.

Paulette’s brother was a printer and took Chester to work with him someday, taking him up on the scaffolding of a printer to indicate him the method of printing large-scale army maps.

“He grew to become enthralled,” Cunningham stated.

After a 12 months in Paris, the couple returned to the USA and settled in Marshall, Mo., the place Chester determined he needed to turn into a printer. By means of the GI Invoice, he was capable of take courses in the course of the day and drive taxis at evening to offer for him and his new bride.

Ultimately, they moved to Kansas Metropolis and in 1967 he determined to begin his personal enterprise as a lithographer. ADCO expanded into printing when he noticed the overflow of printing wants, taking up massive native purchasers comparable to Sears, Montgomery Wards and Safeway. 

When requested what she would say to a brand new era of girls coming into their very own enterprise and dealing with the identical challenges she did almost 50 years in the past, Cunningham stated she would advise them to do enterprise the old style manner: in particular person. 

“Today, you get no private contact to get to know an individual,” she stated. “You get an electronic mail or a voicemail. You can not construct that type of enterprise relationship with the tactic that we talk with our clients as we speak. If you may get face-to-face with them and turn into private with them, I feel a lady has a significantly better likelihood of perhaps buying the enterprise than over the telephone or on an electronic mail as a result of they don’t get to know you.”

ADCO Litho Plate proprietor Theresa “Cunningham” Cunningham beside Heidelberg windmill press. 

As if the hurdle of being a feminine enterprise proprietor in a male-dominated enterprise world wasn’t tough sufficient, particularly in 1971, Cunningham stated she additionally needed to proceed to regulate to modifications in printing, specifically “going digital.” 

Because the printing course of moved from a guide activity that took hours to arrange, to just about fully digital, she removed her presses. The one press Cunningham owns as we speak is an previous Heidelberg windmill press, nonetheless in working situation, however sits unused beneath a big tarp. Uncovering it and turning it on, the motor hums, the flywheel spins, and the 2 arms rotate in a fluid movement — the grippers empty. 

Whereas her Heidelberg will stay coated in an almost empty warehouse, Cunningham stated she remains to be eager for the longer term.

“So long as I’m right here, I will probably be printing. I’m the best-kept secret of the Northeast.” 

ADCO Litho Plate at 6043 E Truman Rd., focuses on printing wedding ceremony invites, brochures, enterprise playing cards, carbonless varieties, envelopes, fliers, labels, letterhead, banners and indicators.  Specialty promoting merchandise embody pens, magnets, indicators, notebooks, espresso cups, can Koozies, flash drives, hats, tents and tablecloths. The licensed Girls Enterprise Enterprise (WBE) additionally presents binding, graphic design, format, and different providers.

For inquiries, cease by the store Monday by Thursday from 8 a.m. to three p.m., name (816) 241-2754, or electronic mail [email protected].