Plankenhorn's Stationery has been a mainstay in the community for more than a century, not only focusing on changing with the times, but also giving back to the community.
The business began in 1899 at the hands of its first owner, Charles P. Plankenhorn, who had already been working in the printing business for 11 years and figured he knew what to do.
According to Charlie Plankenhorn, his father, the original owner, landed a huge customer base for rubber stamps and after a decade moved from its original location on the second floor of Market Square in downtown Williamsport to its current location at 144 W. Fourth St.
They have been there for a century.
"From that point on the business expanded. (It expanded) through trials and tribulations, floods, war, the Depression and recessions," said Charlie Plankenhorn, whose brother Fred also worked in the family business for more than 40 years.
Always staying in the hands of the family, the company is now owned by cousins Chip and Chris Plankenhorn.
The printing business was successful and as a result was followed by more expansions.
The first addition was in 1948 when the Fourth Street building was expanded to Edwin Street. The next expansion came in the mid 50s. A third expansion in 1976 brought a brick building across the street from the facility to serve as a warehouse with limited printing, according to Charlie Plankenhorn.
However, they also had to contend with an expansion of another kind - technological expansion. The times were changing, and so was the printing industry.
"Someone can bring something in now or e-mail it to Chip and he can send it across the street to the camera for a negative. We don't even need to see it. That's fast. It's the computer age," Charlie Plankenhorn said.
However, due to the proactive approaches of the Plankenhorns, they made sure there were tools in place that would enable them to compete with the larger markets, which is part of what has allowed them to continuously operate for more than 100 years.
Some of what can be found at the stationary company are drafting, commercial printing, legal forms, rubber stamps, art supplies, specialty line items, monogrammed stationary and greeting cards, among other things.
Free delivery is offered by the company. Even with small orders, the company's approach to customer satisfaction is what drives them to supply free delivery for most orders.
The family was always there to do what was needed to keep the business moving forward. In bad times, survival happened because they worked hard and survived because they had to, according to Charlie Plankenhorn.
Rubber stamps have been a key item and then the legal publishing field helped out as well.
"We sell forms and corporate supplies all over the state. So when things were slow in the shop, legal picked up. When legal was slow, the store picked up. When the store was slow, printing picked up," Charlie Plankenhorn said.
Their approach to business also got more aggressive as time went on.
"This year we went back to the meet and greet with two of us on the road and getting out to the customers. We kind of took a more proactive approach with an aggressive radio campaign and two salesmen on the road. We are going after the business, not just relying on the business coming here," Chris Plankenhorn said.
Their cost comparisons against other similar companies is very competitive, many times saving the customer money when they see what they are getting at Plankenhorn's. Many times people have left the big chains because of what Plankenhorn's has to offer for the price.
They also give back to the community as well, serving on community committees and service groups.
Individuals interested in the shop may visit its location from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday.