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Family Works: Lake City Printing & FASTSIGNS
Early in his career, Peter Romero had been working with a local office supply company. With his wife’s support, he and a partner opened Lake City Printing (LCP)in 1977. “I was the salesperson, and my partner did most of the production; then I handled delivery and bookkeeping.” In 1986, Romero became sole owner. But he wouldn’t be the last Romero to work in the business.
In 2000, his daughter, Ashley, joined the LCP staff. She had worked there in high school during the summers, and after a variety of other jobs, she returned to the family business. “Ashley wears many hats in the business and works in the art department, customer service, and billing department,” Romero says. “She has proven to be a great team player.”
In 2008, Romero’s son, Matthew, returned from LSU and also started working at LCP. He had plans to expand the business in a related but different way. They purchased the property next door to LCP, and in 2016 opened a FASTSIGNS franchise. “Matthew has won several awards with FASTSIGNS,” says Romero.
A primary reason for the success of the business is Romero’s ability to interact with clients. Ashley says her father is a remarkable salesman. “Everyone likes him. He’s fun to talk to. And he’s very caring.
” In terms of his skills, Romero says the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. He recalls his own father and says, “My daddy was a coffee salesman and he never met a stranger. He would go to grocery stores just to meet people. Like him, I’m a true people person. That’s my strength.”
Now age 70, Romero says he has no plans to fully retire. “I still enjoy my business. I have a great general manager, Adrian Andrepont, and that allows me to have a flexible work schedule. And it is very rewarding for me to see my children every day. It’s one of the reasons I continue to work.”
Romero’s “children” hope their father continues working for many more years, as well. “Any time I have a hesitation or concern, I ask him his thoughts and opinions,” Matthew says. “He’s done a phenomenal job and has a lifetime of experience. I want him around for as long as he can be here.” Ashley says, “I love seeing my dad every day. We’re really close, and it’s a pleasure to work with him.”
Romero considers himself very fortunate. “I had some breaks that went my way and some that didn’t. But I have always enjoyed interacting with my customers and employees. LCP could not have lasted 45 years without great employees. We have 25 employees, and three have been with us over 30 years. Our business continues to grow. No other printing company between Houston and Baton Rouge matches our capabilities.”