The spotlight is on Upslope Brewing Company as Minuteman Press provides print that supports their intent to merge good times with sustainability.
When his son’s professional baseball path was halted by an injury, George Sawicki found a way to give him a fresh start in a new career and so he bought a Minuteman Press franchise in 2011. As a talented corporate attorney who gained respect, in part, by working with big names such as Hugh Hefner and Oracle, George knew to go straight to the top of the modern printing industry. “I have a good friend working for Minuteman Press International and he told me about an existing franchise available in Boulder that was underperforming and needed new ownership. When my son got hurt, I bought the place, but I liked running it so much, I stayed on as an owner in spite of the fact that I bought it for my son.”
Even if a brand is strong, respected and has a decades-developed, proven system of operation, sometimes, the franchise will only perform as well as the dedication the owner is willing to put forth towards growth and that encompasses many factors. “It used to be hard to run the center and that was because I kept the original staff and I really needed to hire fresh people. Now, I love being a franchise owner and everyone on my team is willing to step up. In fact, the only one who cannot do everything is me. I do not design and I do not run the press, but everyone else is cross-trained and you can say we open the door for one another. Everyone steps up as needed,” according to George.
George continues with a word about what is central to his success, “We treat people the same way we want to be treated. We follow the doctrine of Minuteman Press International and it works. After all, people running a company with 40+ years of experience know what they are talking about.”
Boulder is a warm, friendly community and its people like supporting local businesses, where there are a lot of start-ups and specific industries that are prevalent and in need of digital print, design and marketing. He adds, “This area has a lot of technology companies, non-profits, breweries and now that marijuana is legal, even more start-ups. In fact, we print labels for hemp and marijuana business owners. Paper is made from hemp, too.
George goes on to acknowledge just 3 among the wide-range of companies with whom he works:
- “Head Rush, makers of zip-line equipment came to us initially for coil bound books and now we do everything print-related for them. (They remembered me from my days as a corporate attorney; it is a lesson that shows the people you meet in a former life can come back to you in positive ways later).
- Adventure Fit, a company that hosts bike races that need printed banners, VIP passes, posters, signage and more. They held a big taco festival and we took care of all they needed for that event and more.
- Metronics is a giant medical company with 100,000 employees and we do work for one of their subsidiaries that produce hearing aids that are changing people’s lives. “
He did say his original intent was the buy a printing franchise from Minuteman Press International as an act of generosity for his son, but George started having too much fun as a franchisee to pass over the keys entirely and he is also making a tremendously positive impact within his community. He says, “Now that we have a great, hand-picked staff in place and are operating this business in the tradition of success it was built upon, it is FUN to see what we can make here as we build business together with our customers. For instance, we support a number of non-profits and one of my favorites is OUT Boulder. Mardi Moore is the Director of the office in our area and recently, they successfully supported a valedictorian who wanted to come out during his speech, but was discouraged. They are having a big festival soon and we are printing all of their signs and their art is wild and dynamic, so it is always exciting to work with them. Of course, we also take care of their letterhead, envelopes and business cards, but providing branded promotional items for their many events is always a pleasure.”
Upslope Brewing Company specializes in hand-crafted, natural beers and Minuteman Press supports their efforts to make sure their customers are having fun with their brand with just the right printed presence to kick off all of their parties.
“One interesting thing about Upslope is that its number-one ingredient is snow-melt.” George notes. The founders of Upslope moved to Colorado intent on sharing their love for beer and adventure in a responsible way that supports the spirit of adventure that drives them. This is why they use 100% recyclable cans and lead with sustainability as a goal, intent on doing everything they possibly can to “leave a mark with our beer, not our footprint”.
Here are some ways Upslope helps to protect the playground they hold so dear, the planet Earth:
- Using an average of 4 barrels of water for every barrel of beer produced compared to the industry average of about 7 barrels of water for every barrel of beer produced.
- Partnering with Trout Unlimited to conserve, protect and restore North America’s cold-water fisheries and watersheds. Through our 1% For Rivers campaign, we donate 1% of all Upslope Craft Lager can sales to our local Trout Unlimited chapter.
- Packaging that includes 100% recycled cardboard.
- Adhering to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) fiber sourcing requirements to promote sustainable forest management.
100% of Upslope events are Zero Waste Events through recycling and composting and all of those events in need of design print and promotion are supported by George and his staff at Minuteman Press in Boulder. “Upslope is a microbrewery and they are sold nationally. Their beers are very delicate, flavorful and not overwhelming. They do a lot of FUN things such as “The Get Down Party” an event for which we print everything they need from posters, signage, banners and VIP tickets. They also set up a tap house on the top of one of our 14ers. It is a big deal to climb a 14er in Colorado, so Upslope put a tap house on top of one of them. They have a fantastic corporate culture, much like we do.”
Since he takes every chance he gets to meet people and market the products and services his Minuteman Press franchise offers, George made sure the folks at Upslope got to know him and his people. “We would stop in to Upslope tap room to buy a few beers and it wasn’t long before I got to know their Marketing Manager, Katie, very well. She used to drive by our center on the way to a competitor and one day, decided to stop by and visit us. Today, we print the stickers that go on their 12 packs, describing the unique beer in every one and the most challenging thing about that was matching their colors perfectly. They use a burgundy that was particularly difficult to match, but it was a welcome challenge that we met to their satisfaction,” he notes.
Katie Hill, Marketing Manager at Upslope, rests easy thanks to her partnership with Minuteman Press, knowing that the integrity of the brand she represents is in the best hands. She says, “George and the team at Minuteman Press Boulder produce all of Upslope’s sales and marketing collateral and the quality and service is consistently top notch! When it comes to showcasing our brand, quality at every level is paramount, and that starts with our sales materials, the first thing many of our potential customers will see.
On top of the high quality printing, George always makes sure we are taken care of and delivers the best customer service possible – he even entertains our crazy, last minute requests, which, working at brewery, can happen a bit more often than it should,” she adds with a smile.
It is serious business to honor a brand and Minuteman Press in Boulder does exactly that for Upslope on every level, but they also have an absolute blast preparing for the big party Upslope throws for its fans in their company parking lot, “The Get Down Party”. “It is an amazing party and it is free, but if you want to drink endless beer, you have the option to buy a VIP pass, one of the many items we print for the event. They have so many good bands on three different stages to enjoy and have had 2 years in a row of excellent weather with huge crowds. We make sure Upslope branded signs, banners, posters and handouts are branded in an outstanding way to help set the mood and encourage people to stay. Thousands of people get there early…and they stay to have a fantastic time.”
It makes Katie’s job as a marketing manager for a popular brewery easier knowing that their entire marketing campaign will be as continually perfected for public consumption as is their outstanding beer. “Upslope will be a loyal customer with Minuteman Press Boulder as long as George and his team are here! In addition to the fantastic quality and top tier service we get, George has made Upslope feel like family, which is why we love working with him. He helps sponsor some of our large community events, too,” she adds with a smile.
“No matter the project, if it involves printing, we go to first to Minuteman Press and George to see if it’s something he can do. He’s our man!”