EAST LONGMEADOW, MA – From Mass Live Business by Elise Linscott – February 9, 2020 – Jennifer and Reza Shafii opened their first print shop in 1985 when they were fresh out of college, graduating from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Their business then consisted mostly of printing business cards and graduate students’ thesis papers.
Within 10 years, the couple grew their first Copy Cat print shop into a chain of multiple locations around Western Massachusetts. They sold that business and, in 1997, opened a commercial, business-to-business printing operation.
TigerPress debuted in Northampton and is now based in East Longmeadow. The Shafiis’ business today runs the gamut, printing magazines and books, product packaging for Fortune 500 companies and golf score cards for nearly 1,200 courses around the country in a division known as Tiger Scorecard.
“I think my favorite aspects are that we have such a great team of people that work here. Coming in to work every day and having the same team makes it a great experience,” Jennifer Shafii says of the 80 full-time employees of TigerPress.
“The other aspect I love is we’re very green,” she adds. “We have 2,500 solar panels on our roof, and we also have this huge baler where we do bales of paper we recycle. And, I like that our print quality is so beautiful, the things we print are amazing. It’s like art in motion.”
Printing operations run seven days a week at TigerPress in its 100,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, a long way from the 600-square-foot space they first rented.
TigerPress also works with a number of regional businesses, typically within a 300-mile radius, but ships products all over the country. While they have a number of longtime customers, new customers often find the business through the website, tigerpress.com, online marketing, or through the team of a dozen salespeople.
After 35 years in the business, there isn’t much that surprises them anymore, the Shafiis say.
Their daily focus is ensuring the business is running smoothly, growing according to customer demands and new equipment – it’s a “capital heavy” operation, Reza Shafii says. Printing presses can cost upwards of $2 million and a few hundred-thousands of dollars for digital presses, which need to be purchased every few years to keep up with new technology.
“A lot of the time I walk the floor, talk to operators, listen to their concerns and ask how we can help or how we can do better things,” he says.
That contact, both with employees and TigerPress’ customers, is even more essential today in a landscape that changes rapidly and has seen many of their competitors close shop.
TigerPress’ varied business is another factor that’s helped them stay in the game, including making braille signs, which is a rarity in the industry.
And, the ability to bring their dogs to work every day – you can find photos of the two boxers, Giuseppe and Elsa, on the company’s website – is another nice perk of their office, the couple says.
For more information contact Jennifer Shafii, CEO at 413-224-2100 x126.