Casey Printing: Five generations of experience

NORTH COUNTY — With more than 100 years of print experience, Casey Printing of King City emerged as a significant partner for Colony Media team by printing The Paso Robles Press and The Atascadero News, beginning with today’s Dec. 11 edition.

“We’re a small business, a family-run operation that’s been doing business on the Central Coast for 118 years,” said Bill Casey. Casey Printing is located at 398 E. San Antonio Dr., King City and is still a family-run business.

Fred Vivian founded Casey Printing in 1901 with nothing more than a Washington handpress that could only print a single sheet of paper at a time. Now, the company performs a host of print and digital media services as it continues its long history of serving the Central Coast. Casey Printing is family-owned and operated by Fred’s grandsons Rich and Bill Casey, and Rich’s son Ryan, VP of Marketing, is fifth-generation involved with and learning how to run the business.

Along with leading the sales and marketing efforts, Ryan’s role has expanded to learning about how to manage production and people and the changes as the business evolves.

“It is a constant balance of honoring our heritage and contribution of our employees,” Ryan said, “while still pushing toward the future where future employees can spend their careers.”

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“In the past, Casey Printing has printed the Paso Robles Country News, we’ve produced a local telephone directory,” said Rich. “We’ve been involved in the printing and publishing business here for a long time all the way from Santa Barbara to San Jose.” 

A century can hold a lot of prosperous and hard times and for a business to weather the storm demonstrates its ability to adapt to the changing times and technologies. 

“Everybody had their own press room back in them and that all through consolidation downsizing and everything else, they’ve all gone away,” said Bill listing companies that have fallen by the wayside or news organizations that sold there inhouse press and outsourced work.

The gentlemen attribute their lasting power to the company’s ability to welcome and master new methods and machines for printing, and to the community they serve and hire to work with them. Rich said the majority of their employees have been with the company for 20 to 30 years.

“This is where we want to stay and work and that’s why we’re here. The reason we’ve managed to stay here so long is because we’ve had such amazing customers over the years and employees,” Bill said.

The printing company offers several types of printing that include web printing, letterpress, offset and digital output machines. However, customers should not be thrown off by the terminology. All the options boil down to the Casey family having more tools at their disposal to create a superior product with price points that suit the client’s needs. 

In the past, newspapers were the primary media to share information on a large scale. With the introduction of the information highway, the whole industry was flipped on its head. Companies like Casey Printing allow smaller newspaper operations to continue to play a vital role in providing trustworthy information on a local scale.   

“We’ve seen really good smaller community niche publications do well in the face of what is going on in the internet,” said Rich. “For example, some newspapers that we print started in Gilroy and Morgan Hill a few years ago and they’re community newspapers and they are doing really well.”

The company continues to evolve and look for other ways to serve the business community. Casey Printing is seeking to expand its market in the wine industry. The business has also branched out in the medical industry.

“There’s some medical device manufacturers on the Central Coast and they make little parts,” Bill said. He went on to say that local olive oil companies are on the rise and the company does labeling and packaging for them. “Real short-run stuff, they might only do 500 or 1,000 bottles a year, but they want a high-end look.”

As fifth-generation in the business, Ryan is part of the future of the company, and looking at how Casey Printing and print media can have an impact on the next 100 years. Ryan and his family are Paso Robles residents, and bringing the local newspaper into the Casey print house has a special meaning, and his family has a long-standing history with local print and journalism.

“One of the things we share with Colony Media is the rich history of what journalism can do,” Ryan said. “The contributions that Paso Robles Press and Atascadero News made to the Northern San Luis Obispo County area, along with what Bob Chute did with Paso Robles Magazine, it has had a tremendous influence on the community.”

Casey Printing and Colony Media continue a legacy of local print, and both share the value that print holds over other forms of immaterial media.

“What the printed word can provide is a lot more powerful than clickbait,” Ryan said. “Print provides something for the community that can’t be done with anything else — memorializing a historical event, in physical form. There is a big difference between seeing your kid’s picture online and seeing it printed in a newspaper.”

The oldest form of media has new life, according to Casey, as the new generations begin to find value in print.

“It is interesting to watch millennials discover print,” Ryan said. “It is almost like print is a new thing.”