MERIDIAN, ID — If you are looking for a business to just hang out at, many people might think of a coffee shop or even a barber shop. But what about a print shop? For 50 years now, a Meridian business has done exactly that while serving the community's printing needs. Six on Your Side's Matt Sizemore introduces us to Modern Printers, in this week's Made in Idaho.
"Other shops that are set up with a particular design of how they're supposed to work do it a little differently but we're more homey. That's what we are, we're homey! You know?" said Modern Printers President and Owner Greg Walker.
The always homey Modern Printers in Meridian was born in 1968 by Dick Marks and bought out by his step son, Greg Walker in 1998. It's a sale that almost didn't happen.
"We had discussed it before but I didn't really want to do it and as time went on, it became more and more appealing to me. And it's been a very good business. I've had exceptional employees and working in Meridian and for the people of the Treasure Valley is an incredible, incredible thing. I mean people are great here, I love it here," said Walker.
Modern Printers can accommodate anything their customers might need in terms of digital, press printing, and more, but the business is more than just...well, more than just a business.
"We have folks that just come in. just to talk and see what's going on, and we do accommodate them. That's part of the lifestyle of being a long-term Meridian citizen and business owner," said Walker.
"It's like the Cheers of printing. That's what we always call it, I'm not kidding. People come in and we just start talking and they just want to hang out," said Modern Printers Graphic Designer Scott Pentzer.
One thing you might notice inside of Modern Printers is Greg's obsession with the famed mythological creature, Bigfoot.
"The reasons I put these photographs out is because when people see them, they tell me stories, and I've had 5 or 6 great stories that these guys really felt like they had an experience with Bigfoot. I myself have not seen a Bigfoot," said Walker.
But they love the big guy so much, they've been drawing him into their annual window painting in front of the shop for almost a decade now.
"And so that first year, I think I did a Meridan thing but I hid Bigfoot. You know, I did a railroad crossing and I did, of course, the water tower. Gotta have the water tower. And I put a Bigfoot on top of the water tower. Like really tiny," said Pentzer.
Whether you believe in Bigfoot or not, you can count on Modern Printers to be a staple in the Meridian community with it's 50 years of pride in being a true Made in Idaho gem.
"I'm printing, but I actually consider myself to be a shopkeeper in Downtown Meridian. And that's what I am. And that's really all I want to be, you know? So I feel very lucky to be here. I really do," said Walker.