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The C. J. Krehbiel Company, also known as CJK Print Possibilities, serves it North American customers base from our 200,000 square foot plant in Cincinnati Ohio. CJK has traditionally specialized in the printing and binding and distribution of four-color multi-page bound documents such as books, catalogs, manuals and magazines. New digital technologies installed in recent years have continued to expand CJK’s capabilities to meet our customers’ needs.
Company founder Charles John Krehbiel brought his personal vision of an innovative printing company to life in 1872. Since then, five generations of the Krehbiel family have continued to lead CJK’s innovation...from the original letterpress of yesteryear to the digital technologies of today and tomorrow. Always with one thing in mind...delivering trademark CJK quality.
The Krehbiel family printing legacy can be traced back to as early as 1833 when Jacob Krehbiel immigrated to the United States from Germany. Jacob and his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio, where at 13, Jacob began apprenticing at the Cleveland Herald, learning typesetting and various aspects of the printing business. While thus employed, he studied for the ministry and was appointed a member of the Northwest Ohio Conference of the Methodist Church.
Jacob’s son, Charles J. Krehbiel soon followed in his father’s footsteps. Charles’ dedication to printing began at an early age. He began working at the Cleveland Leader at age 12, sweeping floors and building fires to supplement the family income, eventually learning how to sort and clean wood type, to set type by hand, and to work on the presses. This knowledge, along with a keen business sense, led the way to Charles’ future success.
The Krehbiel family moved to Cincinnati in 1867 when Jacob accepted an assignment of co-founding a Cincinnati German speaking Methodist Church. Soon thereafter, Charles found employment at the John Tanner Job Shop and later at the Methodist Book Concern where he met future partner James Moss. The two friends opened their own print shop, C.J. Krehbiel & Company, at Third and Walnut on Thanksgiving Day, 1872.
Over the next few decades, many changes took place in the business. Charles purchased Moss’ interest in the business after his partner’s death. The company made several location changes, finally settling near the Miami and Erie Canals in downtown Cincinnati at the corner of Hunt and Broadway.
Around the turn of the 20th century, The C.J. Krehbiel Company attracted customers such as Standard Publishing, Baptist Book Concern, Bobbs-Merrill, West Publishing, and Southwestern Publishing. Other notable accounts included Bethesda Hospital, Cincinnati Milling Machine, Mabley and Carew, The Van Leunan Company, Frank Herschede Company, and Kroger Grocery & Baking Company.
In 1912, a fire destroyed much of the printing equipment. However, Charles replaced the equipment with the latest linotype, monotype, and binding machines, modernizing his establishment in spite of disaster.
In 1927, CJ passed away. The management of the company passed to his three sons, Wilbur, Robert, and Charles, Jr. Thus began the strong family foundation that remains instrumental to Krehbiel’s success today.
In August of 1938 Charles W. Krehbiel (Chuck) and in September of 1946 Robert C. Krehbiel (Bob) joined the company as the third generation of management. Expansion quickly resulted from increased business in the educational, insurance, and law markets.
By the end of the 1950’s, technological changes required The C.J. Krehbiel Company to assess its location in downtown Cincinnati. Most printing was no longer completed by hand; machinery dominated the industry. Krehbiel managers realized the new machinery would operate more efficiently in a one-story complex rather than the multi-storied building they occupied downtown. As a result, in 1959 the company moved to its present location in Fairfax, Ohio.
Since then, the Fairfax building has been enlarged four times, occupying nearly 200,000 square feet. The latest offset and digital printing and binding equipment is employed throughout the operation. Since the 1970’s, this total in-house printing establishment has been managed by the third and fourth generations of the Krehbiel family. Robert, of the third generation, is Chairman of the Board. Robert III is CEO, Charles “Tuck” W., Jr. is COO and John Krehbiel is CFO.
The decades of 1980 and 1990 saw a steady growth in Educational Publisher consolidation. This consolidation allowed Publishers to maximize their efficiencies in editorial, purchasing of paper and printing, and distribution. In step with this, the printing industry went through stages of consolidation. Children’s books not classified as educational material were purchased extensively overseas, as well as from Canada and Mexico.
To meet the needs of publishers and to reflect how technology made full color texts more cost effective, CJK took the initiative to become proficient in four color process printing. To offset a decrease in some of the textbook volume, the Company produced full color trade books, and arranged manufacturing contracts for specialty magazines, pocket calendars, coupon books, diaries, catalogs, and commercial work, while maintaining excellent performance reviews from loyal educational publishers.
The fifth generation of Krehbiels started work in 2002. Doug Krehbiel started in Customer Service, then transitioned to Billing, and is now serving as Vice President in Production Management, as Chain of Custody Coordinator, in Paper Procurement, and is also handling our Recycled Paper Program.
By 2004, the decision was made to refresh our corporate image with a new logo and company motto. The C.J. Krehbiel Company name became the CJK as known today, but embedded in the core of this company are the same proud traditions and family leadership that were established back in 1872. Despite the many transformations and adaptations CJK has made, a few things have remained constant - the integrity of the Krehbiel name, our commitment to our customers, and the product quality associated with the Krehbiel name.
Krehbiel—a name that has been trusted for almost 150 years.
Our customer support and account management teams provide the best service in the industry. We're passionate about our products as well as our customers and it shows in the level of service that we provide.
We're always happy to help find the solution for your needs. If a solution doesn't already exist, we'll create one just for you, so please Contact Us.
The C. J. Krehbiel Company, also known as CJK Print Possibilities, was established in 1872 in Cincinnati Ohio. CJK is the choice for customers looking for printing, binding, and mailing of four-color bound documents such as books, catalogs, manuals, weeklies, and magazines. These services, enhanced by the personal touch of a family business, makes life easier for our customers.
CJK featured in Cincinnati's Letterpress Museum
DEC 30, 2016
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