A most well-known brand and creators of some of the nation’s favorite baked goods made its home in Torrance, CA. To spread their “Aloha Spirit” King’s Hawaiian has partnered with a seasoned expert in the modern printing industry, Minuteman Press franchise owner Raymond R. Ochoa.
The journey to modern day print mastery and Minuteman Press ownership for Ray Ochoa started with his choice to attend a unique trade school (offering a 5-year program) as a teenager. Don Bosco Technical Institute reviewed his aptitude test and immediately placed him into the program that was his first choice, printing.
Ray explains, “For five years, my day was divided between academic and vocational studies (printing). I learned the history of printing, graphic design, color theory and hands-on training on various duplicators and presses and I graduated with my A.S. degree in Graphic Communications in 1985. The last six months of my time in school, they released me into the print world, where I got a job in the printing industry and the owner graded me.” He went on to score high not only with his first employer, but also down each of the many paths his passion for printing took him during his career.
Early in his career, Ray went on to work for a variety of the top pre-press and printing companies in Los Angeles. He specialized in page composition and high-end digital color retouching on proprietary systems (prior to the rise of Photoshop and the Mac). He developed his customer service skills while working side-by-side with top art directors, collaborating on complex retouching projects for the automotive industry.
“We would spend hours retouching a single image to make it perfect,” he says. His impressive career included a variety of management positions all over the country, helping companies grow into multi-million dollar operations as he continued to gather special training and experience. Then, when his network led him to become Vice-President of Sales for a leading company within the entertainment industry, designing and printing DVD covers and related artwork, he anticipated DVD sales were going to drop over time.
As he moved on to work for one of the largest privately held companies with a digital printing division, he realized he could no longer ignore his inner calling to take ownership of a design, printing and marketing business in which he could build an elite and prosperous future for himself and his own clients, but there was a life-altering catalyst that sealed his fate to become an entrepreneur. “My mentor was my Dad, encouraging me to go to school and forward into the printing industry. He passed away and it lit a fire in me to go pursue my dream of business ownership.”
As was his nature in all things, Ray went straight to the top and aligned himself with a new ally, the modern printing industry’s leading franchisor, Minuteman Press International. He purchased an underperforming Minuteman Press franchise in Torrance, CA and with his business partner Steve Morasky, plus a staff that he describes as ‘meticulous and seasoned in the industry,’ he began the reconstruction of a struggling business that had gotten away from its proven system of operations.
“At age 50, I finally did it. I bought my own printing franchise. Our motto is ‘We are in the ‘happy customer’ business. We need to make a profit and we want to have fun doing it.’ We have only been open for 8 months and I have already received five awards from corporate and we are continuing to grow. Minuteman Press International provided me a platform to create a state of the art facility, utilizing ‘easy to use’ software that manages the project from estimating, through invoicing. This helps me save time that I have been able to use to strengthen relationships and has helped build sales this operation needed.”
King’s Hawaiian “Bakery and Restaurant” and King’s Hawaiian “The Local Place” connect with their patrons with the help of Minuteman Press
A tradition that began in the 1950s in Hawaii, King’s Hawaiian’s delicious baked goods and restaurant opened their first factory in Torrance, CA to produce their coveted King’s Hawaiian Bread, distributed today to grocery stores nationwide.
In 1988, they opened a full-service bakery and restaurant in the same Californian city, with a unique selection of Hawaiian and American dishes to enjoy along with their fresh baked goods, eventually adding another location “The Local Place.” The brand is a household name for reasons universal to the best in any industry; they are excellent, they make sure everyone knows it and Minuteman Press is how King’s Hawaiian restaurants in Torrance makes certain that message is consistent.
“King’s Hawaiian was a client of my center before I became its owner, and when I visited them, changes were happening. Our contact person was no longer with the company, so that relationship ended and I went to introduce myself to Steve Kane. I let him know I was the new owner of Minuteman Press and I shared my experience and started working for him right away, printing special promotional items for Father’s Day on a very tight timeline. He liked me, our company and was happy with our quality,” Ray is pleased to say.
It was another vendor that disappointed King’s Hawaiian on Father’s Day that set up Minuteman Press, led by Ray, to do what they do best, sweep in and save the day as a marketing services provider. “The vendor they selected was not going to be able to meet their deadline, so the day before, they asked if we could print bonus cards for them. We stayed until 2am to take care of it perfectly for them. The next morning, we delivered what they needed to both locations. That is what we do,” he adds.
“No one is walking out of my shop with printing that doesn’t look excellent. King’s Hawaiian knows I am there for them. That’s the key to that relationship.” – Ray Ochoa, Minuteman Press franchise owner, Torrance, California
After saving the day and taking care to print the highest quality table tents and menus, Steve asked Ray if they could take care of signage. “I told him we could actually do ‘back lit’ signage and he liked that. Now, we take care of their signage and we work hand-in-hand with their design firm on all types of menus. We introduced a digitally printed water-proof menu recently. Every couple of months, they have new promotions with new artwork and need new printing for all of their points of sale materials for both restaurants.”
As for the personal element that makes all business relationships that much better, Ray chimes in with his experience of King’s Hawaiian foods, “I love what they do and I eat there. I tell people about them. So, we have a great relationship. Anytime they are in a pinch, I will always be there for them.”
Steve Kane is the Manager of Retail Operations for King’s Hawaiian and he is particularly grateful that Ray has taken the time to truly come to know their brand. His shares his appreciation, “Since I got involved with Ray and his printing services I have been very pleased by his professional approach to fulfilling our needs and requirements. Ray took the time to get to know the King’s Hawaiian’s brand and has always met our sometimes very tight deadlines. The product quality that we have received has met our expectations. Ray has been able to produce the quality of products that we are requesting.”
Since Minuteman Press is the modern printing industry, King’s Hawaiian is assured that their future growth will be supported with fresh suggestions and the ability to design, print and promote their message with precision and consistency. “Ray has not just taken our orders and met our deadlines and requirements. He has also been a partner by recommending new products, materials, and services that we initially were not aware of. That’s important. He collaborates with us to produce the best products possible at competitive pricing,” Steve adds.
And after a lifetime dedicated to design, print and now marketing mastery, Ray Ochoa is gratified that his entire career led him to buy a printing business that is rapidly reaping the rewards of his print passion, combined with the proven system of Minuteman Press International. “This is my last job. This is it. I have worked for companies both large and small, both publically traded and private; but as a Minuteman Press franchise owner, I am building relationships here, not just numbers. It is a beautiful fit and I wish I did it earlier. I am very happy.”
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