Welcome to our blog suitably titled Made in Minnesota where we explore different Minnesota-based businesses and learn some helpful tips along the way! The blog format is a Q&A, conversational style that allows you as the listener to lean in and get to know some great Minnesota business owners on a personal level. You will hear stories of big dreams turned reality, obstacles encountered and how they were overcome, things business owners would love to go back in time and change and fun little tidbits you wouldn’t otherwise be privy to! Sound like fun? Pull up a chair and get ready to meet warren!
Today’s featured Minnesota business owner is warren, co-owner of Cornerstone Copy Center, located in Burnsville, Minnesota. Cornerstone Copy Center is a full-service printing company that offers a variety of services and helps customers with projects from start to finish.
Welcome, warren! We’re so happy you could join us today!
Thanks for having me!
We’re excited to sit down with you today and learn your story. Can you start by telling us how long you’ve been in Burnsville?
Cornerstone Copy Center was originally started in Burnsville in 1981 by Ron & Joyce Lund. Daniel began working for them in 1987 as a production operator, running the production room. At the same time, I was doing graphic design out of the house. Once the online/digital craze began, I convinced them to get connected on the Internet and take digital jobs which helped really grow the business.
In May of 2001, Ron and Joyce decided it was time to retire and Daniel and I knew it would be a natural fit for us to purchase the business and continue its operation. In July of 2004, we were able to build and move into the space we are currently in today. We purchased Ross Printing and added our first printing presses in 2004. Then in 2007, we expanded and added another location in Lakeville. We’re proud to be a family-owned and operated business. Many of our employees have been with us 10 years or more!
Q. What are some of the services you offer at Cornerstone Copy Center?
We offer printing, design, bindery, mail service and large-format printing.
Q. What do you like about being based in Burnsville?
Burnsville seems like it’s a hundred miles away to anyone north of the river, but for us, it’s like our own little pocket of the south metro. It’s been a great location for us. We’re conveniently located right off I-35 and there’s plenty to do in and around Burnsville that draws people in. We’ve also found that Burnsville places a huge emphasis on community and the people here are very willing to shop local. It has that urban feel with all its attractions, restaurants and things to do while also being a close-knit community.
Q. Looking back, do you think you were destined to be in this business?
In 6th grade, I started writing my name in all lowercase letters. I always did things a little differently and more creatively than others, so I think yes, I was always destined to be in a creative field. Plus, Daniel went to school for printing technology so we think Cornerstone and the printing industry is a perfect fit for us.
Q. What is your biggest challenge in this industry?
Staying up to date with the ever-changing technological side of the printing world. The presses don’t get used as often as the digital printers and the software to update them is expensive. So, it can be difficult to stay on top of all the technology necessary to remain at the forefront of the industry.
Q. If you only had $500 to spend on growing your business, where would you want to spend your money and why?
We might invest in digital ad space to promote our business.
Q. What are three words you would use to describe your organization?
Please the customer.
Q. Here’s a fun question for you…if you could start any business today, what business would you open?
A photography studio. I do that on the side and really have a love for landscape and wildlife photography.
Q. What is the best advice you could give a business owner who is just getting started?
Something Daniel’s dad told him has always stuck with me – don’t put all your eggs in one basket. We make it a point to have a large variety of customers in various areas of printing. We do that so that when one area is slow, it doesn’t drag the whole business down because there is usually plenty going on in the other areas.
Awesome! Thanks so much for joining us today, warren! We loved hearing a little about Cornerstone Copy Center. It’s been a real pleasure!
If you would like to learn more about Cornerstone Copy Center, you can visit them online at http://www.cornerstonecopy.com/.