Including Events for The Canadian Forces Snowbirds, The LaBuick Family is a Constant Ally to the Community
John and Carol LaBuick made sure their family could work together. They owned weekly newspapers and they were eagerly read by people throughout southern Saskatchewan. “We ALWAYS had a family business,” says their son, Roy LaBuick, and it ignited his entrepreneurial journey through more than one industry. Instinctively hard-working, Roy spent weekends cleaning the newspaper shop, worked his way into production and eventually into newspaper sales on behalf of his parents, after high school. When his parents sold the paper in the early 1990s, he was just getting started and was full of ambition to become a leader and take charge of his career, not as an employee, but as a boss.
“I owned and managed Joey’s Only Seafood and my brother managed a Dairy Queen franchise,” Roy says. People flocked to his restaurant and it seemed anything a LaBuick endeavored to do launched and soared. Yet, there was a complication beyond his control that spelled the end of his time in the food industry, but not without a fight. “Two or three years after opening my restaurant, I developed a severe seafood allergy and I was a mess,not happy at all. My wife, Shannon took on a bigger role and pulled all the weight of management when I simply could not be there. I was not happy and believed that when you are the owner, you don’t just walk away; but it got to the point where I couldn’t breath and had to leave the building.”
To his credit and to the credit of Shannon, they hung on for 7 more years, navigating the demands of the work days around Roy’s serious condition. While it was not in him to quit, it was also not in him to settle for a substandard life. It was time for a big change and his parents, John and Carol, were also ready to move from semi-retirement back where they belong, serving their community as leaders in an entirely new way.
“We came across Minuteman Press International in 2012 when Dad was in Calgary. He stopped into a franchise there and spoke with the owner about what it was like and it got his curiosity. We met Neil MacLeod and before long, were touring seven or eight Minuteman Press franchises in Alberta and one in Saskatoon. We asked them all a lot of questions and we liked what we saw,” explains Roy.
John and Carol were the first to fly into New York for corporate training and many family members, including Roy and his son, joined forces with them to become premier Canadian marketing services providers in Moose Jaw. “My son Robert and I got involved right at the beginning in 2013 with renovations to our location, setting up of equipment and the on-location training program by Minuteman Press training specialist Darwin Caswell.
After John and Carol bought the centre in the fall of 2013, January was marked by Roy as the time “we hit the ground running.” He continues, “We weren’t setting the world on fire during our first year, but we were doing something that had not been done in the print/sign industry in Moose Jaw. We were visiting people, telling them what we can do for them in design and marketing (very similar to what we used to do when we had our newspapers) and gradually built a following, proving what we suspected that there was a definite need. We developed a culture that took care of our customers knowing that some might only spend a couple of hundred dollars with us, but to them that $200.00 is very important so we make sure they receive the best service and quality regardless of the size of their order.”
Experience blended with care gave John, Carol and Roy the ability to hire just the right people and give them the proper balance between management and the elbow room to do their jobs. They believe management is about giving people responsibility and the freedom to bring new ideas and solutions to all aspects of the business. Teamwork is the key ingredient to a successful shop. Everyone pitches in.
Roy adds, “A major piece of the puzzle in setting up is to get the right person in your graphic design department. We were fortunate that Wanda White (who originally started in the printing business with our newspaper company in 1987) contacted us with interest in re-joining our family business. Having Wanda with 30 years of graphic design experience and who is not afraid to jump right in and get things done was the piece of the puzzle that fit perfectly. Shannon, my wife, takes care of our front counter, handling customers,and working with Carol in accounting. As Robert is now taking university courses in business administration and graphic arts we have added Matt Hebert a graphic arts graduate to our staff to assist Wanda with graphics, finishing and sign production.”
John LaBuick has been in the printing industry since the 1960’s and with Carol has seen many changes to the industry from “hot lead” production to today’s high tech computerization. But one thing never goes out of fashion is “first class customer service and quality workmanship”. Their greatest triumph is that they have established a legacy, allowing their children and grandchildren to say, “We are the Modern Printing Industry”‘ through Minuteman Press ownership. Roy is ready to help them with their exit strategy and their franchisor is ever-present, with a history of helping families establish such legacies. “My parents want to retire by the end of the year, so we are transitioning to allow them that. They earned it. He has seen a lot between the 1960’s and 2018 and I get to put his 50 odd years of printing experience to work and benefit each and every member of our staff as well as our customers.”
“Being locally owned and operated in this community means a lot. Even though we are a Minuteman Press franchise, it’s clear we are the LaBuick family business that’s been a part of the Moose Jaw community since 1974. We live and spend our money here supporting fellow local business owners and local charities.” – Roy LaBuick
Roy went on to say the “The first step in the process was for me to attend the corporate training program in New York and that it was a lot of fun being with Pete Taglino and Dave Scadin (Co-Directors of Training) who have a wealth of knowledge.” Minuteman Press International continues together the most driven and intelligent entrepreneurs in large part because there is little doubt about its proven system. Executive Vice President and Director of Training, Michael Jutt is among the printing industry’s top minds in technology and marketing strategy and new franchise owners appreciate his faith in them and the certainty he and the rest of the corporation has about how to create lasting success.
Roy says, “Mike Jutt really takes command of the room. This is a good thing because he takes complex situations and methods for business growth and simplifies them so we just stop and say to ourselves, ‘Yeah. That makes a lot of sense.’ You can tell by the way he talks that if he didn’t believe in what he does, he wouldn’t do it.”
Minuteman Press franchise owners are living and supporting their communities because building business together breeds relationships. Roy talks about how they deepen their ties with neighbors and business partners, “We are members of the local Chamber of Commerce, The Royal Canadian Legion (of which I am the President), CFB (Canadian Forces Base) 15 Wing Moose Jaw Fellowship, Tourism Moose Jaw, Moose Jaw Business Club plus sponsors of minor sports teams and the like.”
He continues, “The CFB 15 Wing Fellowship is a group of people who formed a non-profit organization named for our military base with their permission. We raise money for charity associated with the base through events like car shows and concerts. One of our main events is our “Highway to Heroes” huge car show and concert with over 600 antique automobiles and attendance over 8,000 people. Minuteman Press is very involved in this event with many of the promotional and signage requirements. I was invited to join this group of people 4 years ago and now one of the organisers sitting on both the advertising and sponsorship committees. My parents tell me that they brought me to my first air show when I was 9 months old, something must have stuck. Our family believes if you’re going to join…get involved.”
The Canadian Forces (CF) Snowbirds, 431 Air Demonstration Squadron are a Canadian icon comprised of Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members and National Defense Public Service employees.
“It all starts with that first little request for a quote” says Roy. Originally contacted by their supply representative about 3 years ago,as they were in need of basic printing tools like business cards for the pilots. The base likes to support local suppliers where possible and especially if the source is close to the base. “The Snowbirds found us through our Minuteman Press International SEM program as word got to their supply people they didn’t need to drive to Regina (75 kilometers) for stationery and customized rubber stamps, decals and many other items. This also led to other military departments throughout the base requesting our services. In the past we have done a variety of jobs including vehicle wraps, customized calendars, signs, banners, security decals and even two 20 ft x 10 ft trade show tents with full decals. The tents are used all year round whereever they travel.”
One little contact through Minuteman Press SEM has led to having the name now spread throughout the military base which Roy looks forward to being a long-time resource for their many different requirements.
As the Snowbirds soar into their 48th season, they are picking up speed when it comes to thrilling crowds across North America. “Every member of the Snowbirds team is a full-time member of the Canadian Military,” Roy says. “They perform flybys over cities across Canada and the United States bringing aviation expertise as one of the only 9 member Demonstration Squadrons in North America.” “It was interesting,” says Roy, that when he was at training in New York he toured the Republic Airport in Farmingdale, NY. “Our guide asked where I was from, and when I told him, he knew Moose Jaw was home of the Snowbirds. He, in fact, invited me to return as his guest for Memorial Day because he knew the Snowbirds were going to be performing. Even though that was not possible, it made me proud of our team and to be invited.”
“The U.S. has their Blue Angels and we have our Snowbirds. As a Canadian, I have my loyalty to the Snowbirds. They are from my home town and we feel very special to have them in our city. When you print their business cards for them and see them in action it makes one feel proud to be associated with such truly professional people. Again from something as simple as a business card order to all the other jobs we now do…who could have imagined?”
The rise for the requests for customized printing of all sorts usually starts with a simple order and is how the best Minuteman Press owners make their names known and respected. “We do with small businesses what we did with big names like the Snowbirds. We start with small jobs then are ready to accommodate more as they grow to trust our ability to provide the services they need in a quick and professional manner. It’s a proven formula.”
To learn more about #1 rated Minuteman Press franchise opportunities and speak with one of our experienced franchise representatives at no obligation, call 1-800-645-3006. Continue your franchise research and access Minuteman Press franchise reviews at www.minutemanpressfranchise.ca