A History of Excellence
Universal Speedy Print of Willmar traces its roots back to 1978 when Bob and Karen Williams started a print shop in an old two-story house on the corner of 1st Street and Trott Avenue in Willmar. Bob came out of the printing industry and was an experienced printer, having worked for a large southern Minnesota printer, Brown Printing. In addition, the couple also owned the Raymond News newspaper and affiliated print shop for several years before starting Willmar Speedy Print.
Willmar Speedy Print began as a quick-print shop that started with a single-color press, but Bob and Karen steadily expanded with presses, more equipment and space as the business grew. Before long, they bought two neighboring houses and connected them to expand their shop. In 1988, Willmar Speedy Print bought Universal Printing that was just down the street from Speedy. Bob and Karen’s son, Jim, took over the running Universal Printing.
In 1990, Bob and Karen built a 4,000 square-foot facility at the Speedy Printing location. The two operations were then merged to become Universal Speedy Print. Over the years, Bob continued to add presses and equipment to better service the area. In 1995 the company purchased a 20×26-inch Shinohara 66 four-color perfector press and Avantra 30 imagesetter. The additions allowed Universal Speedy Print to run larger, long run jobs to better accommodate the growing needs of the area.
In 1996, the plant expanded with a two-story addition out the back of the building, 5,000 square feet, that allowed for expansion of the bindery area. A Heidelberg four-color press was also added in the late 1990s to keep up with demand. About 10 years later, the Heidelberg was replaced with a Presstek 34 DI four-color press that delivered even more capabilities. Many other improvements were added in departments over the years, including the purchase of a UV coating system that allowed customers to have finer finishes on their products.
While in high school, Jim Williams worked in the print shop, and after graduating in 1986, he attended Staples Technical College (now Central Lakes College) for Robotics and Automated Systems. After graduating in 1988, he married Tamie and, at the convincing of Bob and Karen, the couple moved back to Willmar to run Universal Printing. Universal’s history went back a long way. It was an old, letterpress shop, and Jim learned to hand pick type and run a Linotype type-casting machine. Universal also had a Heidelberg “Windmill” one-color press and a hand-fed press.
In the new building, Jim worked in bindery and eventually started running presses. He was put in charge of the press room and then moved up to shop manager where he oversaw all the company’s production for many years. In 2011, Jim and Tamie purchased Universal Speedy Print from Bob and Karen, who eventually retired. In 2013, Jim and Tamie expanded their customer base and capabilities with the purchase of Sky Printing of Marshall from Gail and Nancy Schipansky.
Jim and Tamie operated both companies until August of 2019 when they sold their Willmar and Marshall operations to Pete and LeRae Rengel, owners of Rengel Printing, St. Cloud. This allowed the operation to expand its services even more. In September of 2019, Universal Speedy Print moved to its present location at 1403 First Street South, Willmar. Jim Williams continues in his role as General Manager of Universal Speedy Print, which continues to serve the area with outstanding printing and mailing services for all types of clients.
SPEEDY PRINT TEAM
As a family-run company, we value the remarkable people that make Speedy Print great. Our employees are dedicated experts that embody Speedy Print’s company values – many of which have been with the company for many years.
We are always interested in adding skilled, creative, and experienced professionals to our team. We seek innovative people who are motivated, have great customer skills, who want to make a difference, and thrive in a team environment.