A little bit about our history
The beginning of what is now known as The New Shopper happened on June 12, 1974 with the banner name The Gentry County Shopper. Joan Phillips, our founder, started this paper after resigning from the local newspaper.
Along with the Gentry County Shopper, Joan thought it necessary to also offer commercial printing to go along with the advertising portion of our business, giving our customers a complete package of services. The Printery was its name and other than a few years as Phillips Printing it has remained that way ever since.
Our first location was in the Peery building the north corner of South Polk Street in Albany, which later housed Sheehan’s clothing stores. The Gentry County Shopper was originally planned to be a monthly publication, it was soon realized that in order to be more effective for our advertisers, the publication must be published weekly.
The first issue was printed on July 9, 1974, in Leon, Iowa with the second issue appearing the first week of August the same year. Since that time the paper has been published weekly. After the first few papers we moved our printing to Gallatin Publishing and, ironically, after 40 years we are printing there again.
The paper’s circulation hasn’t really changed all that much in the past 40 years which started out with 11,000 printed copies and we now publish 11,500 weekly. Joan was joined in the business by her son, Perry, in December 1974 and by her husband, Wesley, in February of 1976. Along with our many advertisers, supporters, friends and family have been a successful portion of Northwest Missouri and Southern Iowa ever since the beginning.
In March, 1976 The Printery and Gentry County Shopper moved to 401 West Jackson Street (currently the American Legion Hall) which was owned by Jim and Phyllis Williamson. The business was then incorporated within the State of Missouri under the name of Giles County Publishers, Inc. and at that time had 10 employees. During the coming years the business agaion outgrew its quarters and we purchased the building owned by Rod and Nancy Gillespie, which was the Sears outlet store, at the time at 115 South Polk. Locklar’s Crafts and Quilts currently resides at that location.
October 1, 1981, Craig Partin, formerly of Bethany, Mo., purchased the Shopper from Giles County Publishers, Inc. and remained at 115 South Polk until we re-purchased it from Craig a few years later.
ln 1984 we had a fire that made it impossible to remain in the building on Polk Street and moved into the old Williamson Furniture building on the southeast corner of the downtown square. David Parman’s law office is now located in that building. It took a few months to remodel and repair the Polk Street building before we could move back into it.
Susan Phillips, Perry’s wife, joined our team full-time in 1986 and is now our business manager and supports many other parts of our daily routine. During this time we sold the print shop to Alan Foster, after Mr. Foster discontinued business operations we resumed our printing business with additional offices in Bethany and Cameron. We eventually sold both of the other locations and have consolidated our operations into our current location as The Printery.
In 1991 an opportunity of a lifetime came our way when the vacant Old American Insurance building became economically feasible for us to own. We purchased and remodeled the building to accomodate our printing and publishing needs and this our current location at 101 West Wood Street here in Albany, Mo.
In 1999 we sold the Gentry County Shopper once again, but it ceased operation by the new owners on December 31, 2009. In March, 2006 we started a new paper we call The New Shopper, it’s the Gentry County Shopper with a new name. Our circulation is approximately the same as it has been since 1974, a few more and sometimes a few less, but the towns remained the same.
We offer our paper to a large geographic area with our mailed circulation, essentially, being US Highway 71 to US Highway 69, from Highway 2 in Iowa to Highway 6 in Missouri. We do not throw our papers in people’s yards and we don’t rely on people picking our paper up in stores…we mail them by the US Postal Service.
We love what we do and who we do it for!
Perry, Susan, Jonathan and Caleb Phillips