Neil Morriss can hardly believe that his business has been in operation for 25 years. A lot has changed in the arena of printing; with self-publishing, design and online companies available to the masses.
“I wouldn’t start this business today,” Morriss said smiling. “But I’m in it.”
The two-room office is bulging with paper stock, binding materials, printers and orders that are ready to pick up. Located “just over the hedge” from the Chevron gas pumps at the main intersection in Waimea, WIP maintains its position as the town’s printer by offering personalized help to the community.
“The reason we’re in business is there’s some assembly required,” said Morriss. “We line it up, cut it, fold it. And our cabinets are full of paper. We’re ready for the job before it comes in the door.”
Morriss attended Hawaii Preparatory Academy, graduating in 1972. Out of college, he became a banker in New Hampshire, his “first career.” Morriss’ father died in 1978, and in 1980, he returned to Hawaii Island to manage his family-owned 550-acre macadamia nut farm.
“It was Lot 10, one of 13 orchards,” Morriss said. “We sold it at peak market in ‘78, and I had a little money to start a business.”
Morriss founded NMI, for Neil Morriss Inc. Super Office in 1988, offering desktop publishing. He purchased his first Xerox production copier when he first opened, and helped produce newsletters, fliers and copies. Morriss reminisced about his first office location, situated in the back building of the current one that WIP occupies, and his move to the present location.
“Then a rocket scientist shows up,” Morriss said, nodding toward Matthew Pearce’s back office.
Pearce, who took a bit of time out of his busy day, said he moved to Waimea in 1990 and began offering layout, design and typesetting services. His former career was as a flight software programmer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
“What’s good about this job is that everything we do is different every day,” Pearce said, who is personable, cheerful and helpful.
From laying out full-length books, to creating unique restaurant menus, business cards, fliers or resumes, the WIP team aims to please. Morriss said Pearce has “every typeface under the sun, and he knows how to use them.” WIP also has top-of-the-line printers and can meet specific deadlines.
According to their website, “There is a short chain of command, and a commitment to our customers through responsiveness to their needs and the industry trends.”
Waimea residents who have patronized WIP know this to be true. Morriss and Pearce work well together and have continued to offer excellent and personalized service, in spite of the giant Internet printing companies that people may easily access.
“We do a lot of multitasking here,” said Morriss with a laugh, and turned away to assist a customer. “Reminds me of when I sold popcorn and candy at the old ’60s Kahilu Theatre.”
For more information, call 885-6161 or visit www.waimeainstantprinting.com.