By ETHAN MAY
For the Republic-Times
Next March, MAR Graphics in Valmeyer will celebrate 65 years of business. These years have seen countless changes in the industry and their company, but the business has always stayed in the family.
It all began when Myron A. Roever started a printing company in an East St. Louis garage. When the company grew out of the garage, it was moved into a tavern for a few years before Myron bought the old Royal Theatre building on Lake Street in “old” Valmeyer.
Scott Roever, vice president and the youngest of Myron and Audrey’s seven children, remembers playing on two-wheelers and riding the lift in the show building.
As the company grew and expanded its business, Myron was able to build a brand new building across from Borsch Park in 1973.
This is where Brian Coats, marketing director and a third generation MAR employee, remembers coming in with his Grandpa Myron on Sunday mornings as a child.
“It was like I had the place to myself,” Coats said.
That building was expanded five times before the company moved on top of the bluff following the Flood of 1993. While the flood was quite costly for the business, Rick Roever, Myron’s eldest son who now serves as president and CEO, admitted it was most likely a good thing for the business in the long run.
The other building was becoming difficult to add on to, whereas the new building provided a fresh slate where they could optimize new space.
Bobbie Klinkhardt, vice president and Rick’s twin sister, remembers her father still paying all of the employees even though the flood had the business shut down. She also said their competitors were willing to finish jobs for them while their plant was out of order.
When asked about working within a family business, all four family members interviewed mentioned how each person plays their own role using their own special skill set.
Brian discussed how nice it was to know that everyone truly is working for the collective good of the business.
“We complement each other,” Rick added.
Over the years, MAR Graphics has been a generous contributor to Valmeyer’s community. Bobbie said it was important to give back since she and her siblings were all raised in Valmeyer.
Each interview was concluded with a question about the future; it became very clear that their industry is changing quickly. Rick acknowledged that the company will look different 10 years from now. Scott echoed this by saying the company is always looking into adding equipment to open new opportunities.
While Brian also had his eye on what areas will grow in the industry’s future, Bobbie mentioned the next generation of family and how they will fit into the future of the company.
With the family’s teamwork, the printing company started in a garage has survived a handful of relocations and more than a little bit of flood water as they have moved to new heights along with Valmeyer.