Tuesday, February 19, 2019 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Community members gather inside of Jamali Kopy Kat Printing Inc. in Bellwood on Feb. 19 to celebrate Dawood Burhani’s and his team’s 20th year in business. | Courtesy Jamali Kopy Kat
Dawood Burhani, the owner of Jamali Kopy Kat Printing, Inc., 2501 St. Charles Rd. in Bellwood, took a moment out of his busy day to celebrate a rare milestone for a small business.
“The business has been here for 46 years and I’ve owned it for 20 of them,” Burhani said.
A few hours earlier, Burhani welcomed into his store Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey and members of the Bellwood and Maywood Chambers of Commerce, for a brief celebration that included cake and beverages.
Burhani has witnessed his share of change on this corner of 25th Ave. and St. Charles. Burhani’s acute knowledge was on display while he reminisced on the building across the street from his store, where Shark’s Fish & Chicken is currently located.
The building, Burhani said, has changed hands often over the last two decades.
“It was once a Lucky Dog, a Happy Dog and some other kind of dog, too, before it became Shark’s,” he said.
The evolution is not unlike Kopy Kat’s, which has had to change its business strategy to accommodate technological shifts.
Dawood Burhani, center, is presented with a plaque of appreciation from Bellwood Mayor Andre Harvey, left, and Bellwood Chamber of Commerce President Christopher Parker. | Courtesy Jamali Kopy Kat
“We used to be an offset printing place and now we’re all digital,” Burhani said. “Offset is great for higher quantity, whereas digital is good for lower quantities. More and more people are doing lower quantities.”
With printing services so ubiquitous and the ability to print so personalized (after all, you can do it from home nowadays), how has Jamali Kopy Kat managed to stay in business?
“Some of it is just persevering,” Burhani said. “We fought through the 2008-09 collapse. We lost a lot of business. A lot of our customers went out of business. That’s when we went from offset to digital. I did a lot of personal investing to keep the business afloat for awhile and now I’ve recouped all of that.”
Currently, Burhani said, many of his clients are local entities like area churches, school districts and villages — including Bellwood and Proviso Township High Schools District 209.
Sean Deady, a graphic artist with Jamali Kopy Kat, attributed the company’s longevity to three major competitive advantages.
“The custom service and design capabilities we have are what, I think, motivate people to keep coming back in for business,” Deady said. “Also, I don’t think there’s another place in the community where you can get office printing done while you wait.”
Burhani said that he fully intends to stay in business — hopefully for another 20 years.
“I’ve made it through the first 20 years and hopefully we can keep going,” he said. “I don’t see any reason why we shouldn’t. We have a better handle on how to manage our finances, so we can meet the customers’ needs and still do a decent amount of profit to keep going.” VFP
For more info on Jamali Kopy Kat Printing, Inc., click here.
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