After having the business in his home for years, my father secured a store location at 84 Dunlop Street East downtown Barrie in 1983. It was a small location but served the business well for 5 years. It was at this location when I joined the family business.

The frontage of the store was only 6 feet wide and opened up at the back of the shop to a size of 18 feet by 22 feet. In that area we had three offset presses, a paper cutter, the rubber stamp production area, a dark room and a washroom. Needless to say it was a tight working environment, but in a small area I could get two presses running at one time while performing other manual operations.

My mother Alma helped out at the store and was our window display expert. She decorated for every occasion and loved to celebrate the holidays. Dad always purchased the latest computer, meaning there was usually a used computer available at Gage. Notice the state of the art Commodore 64 and a dot matrix printer for sale in the front window.

As I took over production and inside sales duties, Dad continued to perform delivery services and outside sales as well as accounting for the business. We were both involved with business planning and marketing initiatives and it was fun to work together on new ideas.

Advancements in the print industry were moving rapidly at this time with the introduction of the cost effective personal computer, even though our first computer cost over three thousand dollars in the late 1980’s. Time consuming typesetting and dark room processing was replaced with desk top publishing and graphic design software that really reduced make-ready time.

With new technology came a huge learning curve that continues to this day. The computer has certainly made our lives and businesses easier to manage, but at the same time has demanded us to keep up with the quickly changing developments in digital technology. For printers, it challenges us not only with purchasing decisions for new equipment but also adapting to ensure the viability and success of our industry. We are always looking at ways to innovate and grow with the needs of our clients.

We Gage our success by your success!

Stephen Gage
Gage Business Communication Inc.