July 28, 2023 By PrintAction Staff
Roy LaBuick is the second-generation co-owner of the Minuteman Press franchise in Moose Jaw, Sask. It began operations in January 2014. Roy runs the business along with his wife Shannon, son Robert, and parents, John and Carol. The franchise does all kinds of printing, from signage and textile to promotional assets. A Moose Jaw resident since 1974, Roy looks after outside sales and manages the company’s sales staff. Shannon looks after clothing sales and accounting/bookkeeping. Robert runs the sign shop. Carol also does accounting/bookkeeping. John works on estimates, installs and equipment purchases for the shop. The franchise also has four full-time employees in its graphics, finishing and sign departments. The 52-year-old Roy offers a small-town perspective on the Canadian printing industry, which we rarely get to hear these days.
What is the state of the print industry today?
RL: I believe the state of the print industry is very strong and will only get stronger as the years go on, as there has been a large shift to supporting local in recent years. Businesses that were using online printing and marketing services are now partnering with locally owned operators, as they offer a better level of customer service than the e-commerce platforms.
What attracted you to the print industry?
RL: My father, John LaBuick, has been in the print industry since the 1960s. He and my mother, Carol, started a newspaper in Moose Jaw, Sask., in 1974. As a teenager, I spent lots of time at the shop after school, on weekends, and during my summer holidays. I worked in the different departments at the newspaper. I drove delivery trucks to drop papers off at carriers’ homes, worked in the production department learning how to paste up ads, making negatives and plates for the press, as well as worked in the editorial team. When I graduated high school, I moved into the sales department and loved being able to meet new people and helping customers with their needs.
How can the industry attract more young people?
RL: We need to let the younger generation know that the print industry has many different avenues for professional growth. You can have a great career in sales, graphic design, or by owning your own printing company. The industry is not the same as it was 30 years ago. The technology is different now. The work environment is fast paced where you are constantly learning every day. It is a lot of fun helping a customer come up with an idea to help improve their business.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
RL: While having an online presence is important, you need to have in-person chats with the businesses in your community to find out their needs and how you can help them. We have been on the street since day one talking to local businesses and finding out their needs. It is important to notice what your customer is using in their business, be it stamps, cheques, envelopes, forms, or marketing materials/ promotional items. We always are offering them quotes. The more quotes we get, the more sales it turns into. Getting the quotes to the customer within 24 hours will sometimes turn that prospect into a faster sale. If you can deliver the final product to the customer as quickly as possible, then they will start coming to you for other projects.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
RL: If you see a need in your market, then you may want to pursue. For instance, if customers are asking you for signs, stamps, clothing, and promotional items, and you are not doing them, you may want to get into those areas. Printing is not just on paper anymore.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
RL: There are a lot of exciting things in the print world today from the varied equipment that is out there now and what it can do to help your business grow to how customers are looking for ways to get you to help them promote their business so they can be more visible in the community. It is a very fun and rewarding industry to be in as every day is different from the next.
Roy LaBuick’s response was edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit
This article originally appeared in the May/June 2023 issue of PrintAction.
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