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February 28, 2020
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The Stones go to printing

By: Irene Hilsendager
December 20, 2019

Chuck and Pat Stone are the proprietors of Express Printing, on the corner of State Farm and Commerce Blvd. in Rohnert Park.

Upon entering the shop, your eyes will wander to the many posters hanging on the walls and post cards are in a neat row on the front counters. It may look as if this store front is a very small mom and pop business but large in printing out orders. 

The building goes back many years. It was a video store at one time, a printing franchise called Sir ‘speedy and the Express Printing.

Chuck Stone, a throw-back gentleman, was born in Loma Linda, Ca. He has one older sister and one that is deceased. He attended school in Gridley, Ca. but managed to move to northern Ca.

Pat, wife of Chuck, was born in Santa Monica, Ca. being the youngest of five. She attended schools in Santa Monica and went to college to be a naturalist. She received her Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources management in forestry.

So how did a girl from Santa Monica and a young man from Loma Linda cross paths and move to Sonoma County? Pat said, “We crossed paths many times before actually meeting each other.” It seems both Chuck and Pat followed the bands of the Grateful Dead and many more from that era. Chuck said, “I moved to northern Ca. as there were more concerts up in the northern region and I wanted to get out of southern Ca. and besides there are more like-minded people living in northern Cal.”

The couple married in 1990 at the CYO camp in Occidental and settled in Forestville. They have two children, Cora, 27, who lives in Portland and Trevor, 24, now lives in Forestville. Pat always liked to work outside and being a naturalist, northern Ca. fit in perfectly with her lifestyle.

In the meantime, Chuck was working for the National Cash Register Co. In 1980 he went into apprenticeship and onto journeyman. Chuck also worked in Calistoga and trained on a four-color press. After being laid off he had to look for a job. In 1999 while working for John Peck in the Avila Building on Commerce Blvd, he was suddenly laid off and again had to job hunt. He walked into Express Printing at the next corner looking for a job and ended up buying it as Dave and Chris Caton, former owners, decided to retire.

Chuck says working with big or little presses really has the same concept as the science is the same. With little printing presses you ding up your arms more as space is really constricted, with big presses you can actually stand in front of it and wipe everything down.

Since Chuck is familiar with the AB Dick Printing press, which is an offset printer, but I am sure he could run any printing press around the area, but both are quite happy doing what they do every day at Express Printing.

The print business forms, advertising, flyers, post card, business cards, glossies and some days do 48 to 50 jobs a day. They get many re-orders from customers through emails and phone orders being a very reliable firm as they are. Both Pat and Chuck love to hike, fish in the high Sierras and also do a dying art of making soap of all scents and sizes. There is a family cabin at Mammoth Lake that they share with family. 

Chuck plays bass in a band, The Spyralites and Pat makes miniatures. She placed first in the 2019 Sonoma County fair and also the best of show winning a monetary prize. 

Their retirement plans are to travel, fish and hike and just lazy around at the cabin. 

If you wish to see Pat’s miniatures and Chuck’s old fashion printing press, go to 5430 Commerce Ave., Rohnert Park. And their mantra is if you want great service with friendly people go to Express Printing.