Nationally, NOBLE serves more than 60,000 youth through its major program components which include: Mentoring, Education, Leadership Development, and Safety. One time National President and current New Jersey President, Jiles Ship, values the partnership they have with Joe Kim and Minuteman Press in East Brunswick, NJ.
Before he even graduated from college with his B.S. in Computer Science, Joe Kim was already an entrepreneur. Before graduation, he bought a laundromat and over time, he sold that business and purchased a deli and both served his purposes at the time, yet he knew there was something better and he went to a franchise expo to find it. He fully expected to buy a franchise within the restaurant industry and he had his top two favorites; but a man with an education and business experience such as he had was bound to discover something greater. It just happened in an unorthodox way…
Joe explains with a smile, “I went to the expo in Secaucus looking for two popular franchises, one a pizza restaurant and the other specializing in Italian ices. As I was walking Nick Titus, Vice President of Marketing for Minuteman Press International, stopped me. I didn’t intend to stop, but he had a black eye at the time and it intrigued me.”
Today, nine years after redirecting his energy from restaurant endeavors into the B2B services industry, Joe is delighted he was stopped to talk by Nick Titus and is now owner of Minuteman Press in E. Brunswick, NJ. “I asked God for a business that would give me Sundays off so I could go to church and he directed me to a franchise opportunity that gave me Sunday AND Saturday off, too. I work hard every day, but I do feel that God directed me here and that he helps me as I make my business grow,” he adds with a touch of amusement and absolute sincerity.
With his accelerated ability to adapt and learn, every single year that he has catered to the challenges of each of his clients has turned Joe and his Minuteman Press center into a sought-after marketing services solutions provider. “The relationships I am enjoying with the people whose businesses I help to promote are the foundation on which my business is built. I feel word of mouth is a weapon and it is going to be used, either to bring you more business or to hurt your business. If they dislike how you treat people, they will use it to hurt you. I strive to accommodate my customers and be friends with them, going above and beyond for all of them.”
Joe continues to develop this culture of efficiency mixed with friendship, and just one example of its positive effects is reflected in his success with respected client, Toni (from the Barbati family), owner of L & B Spumoni Gardens, a company that is featured frequently on the Food Network. “People know about Toni’s brand and that was clear when I mentioned her business at a BNI function. She was living in New Jersey and going to a well-known copy/ship chain for menus, but she approached me and said ‘they were messing up her menus’. She asked me to take care of her printing, so I brought the entire job in-house and fired up my Ryobi press, saving her money as we printed 20,000-30,000 attractive, properly executed menus.” In a perfect example of how he earns trust by doing, not by empty promises, Toni decided she wanted Minuteman Press to redesign her logo and so they did, to her delight. He adds, “It’s about making sure the love people have for her food is captured in the look and feel of her brand and that meant designing a stronger logo for her.” Toni now trusts Minuteman Press to provide the right advice and do the right thing by L & B Spumoni Gardens.
Joe runs his daily operations in the spirit with which he was trained by his franchisor, to the benefit of every client he assists. He says, “The executives at Minuteman Press International are approachable, everyday people who are experts, yet very down to earth. If you look to talk to other people in the same position at other franchises, they do not give you the same time and attention.”
NOBLE – National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives were disappointed by the poor work of another printer. Minuteman Press came to their aid just in time, with precision and excellent quality.
The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE) is invaluable. They serve as “the conscience of law enforcement by being committed to Justice by Action”. NOBLE has nearly 60 chapters and represents over 3,000 members worldwide that represent chief executive officers and command-level law enforcement officials from federal, state, county, municipal law enforcement agencies, and criminal justice practitioners.
Joe admires the work of NOBLE and is proud to put the full force of the modern printing industry that is Minuteman Press behind their efforts. He says, “This organization began by helping inner city youth and they made such a positive impact that they grew and became a national organization. They provide scholarships and have strong mentoring programs that make a difference in the lives of kids across the country now. My contact, Jiles Ship, was the local chapter president here when I first met him, then he became the national president. He previously worked for the Attorney General and is a very good man.”
As often is the case with non-profit leaders, pressed for time and limited in terms of resources, Mr. Ship needed to print an ad journal for a big event to be held in New Jersey, but their printer failed to get the job done well and he was in trouble. “He just became the Northern New Jersey President of NOBLE and he asked me to fix this horrible ad that had been produced for them. It was also my first year of business and I was determined to help him and, of course, hope for more work afterwards.”
The present spirit of Minuteman Press worldwide is gaining momentum as the partner that builds business together with their clients, but even years ago, evidence of this spirit came through with Joe’s instinct to give more than asked. He adds, “As I discovered what a great organization they are, I did their artwork for free because as a new business owner, I wanted to contribute, but did not yet have cash, so I donated design.”
NOBLE Chapters are where we make the most impact in the community. It is comprised of 59 chapters in six regions throughout the United States and they also have members in Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, and several countries in Africa.
Joe continues with the story of his initial proof to NOBLE that Minuteman Press was their printing salvation in times of trouble, successfully producing the journal they needed for a big event, “Ad journals are always receiving ad requests at the last minute, so working until the last minute, we took every single ad and wound up working overnight just to get it set up perfectly. We impressed Jiles well enough that he ended up referring me to other chapters within their organization. Also, we became friends and wound up traveling to Korea at one point over the years. We have a relationship based on years of trust and it started because I said ‘Yes’ when he was in a last minute bind, years ago.”
Whether members are engaged in a food or clothing drive, presenting the Law and Your Community, reading to children, awarding scholarships, or talking with young people about safety—be it traffic safety, gun safety, internet safety, or bullying—NOBLE cares!
Northern New Jersey President of NOBLE, Jiles Ship does not hesitate to endorse the fine work of Minuteman Press, led by Joe Kim. He says, “When I first met Joe and asked him to complete a project for us, he was very concerned with making certain the job was done excellently and in the end, it was. When I saw that, I knew this was the guy I needed on our side. The relationship between NOBLE and Minuteman Press grew from there and they have gone above and beyond, making sure any event we do is not only presented professionally, but also that every deadline we set is met. Our first business encounter involved him taking time away from his own family and staying with us until way after closing, just to make sure we had the product we needed on a timely basis.”
Jiles continues with appreciation, “We have had an excellent partnership since around 2008 and I continued to utilize his services when I spent time as the National President of NOBLE as well. In addition to the professionalism and high quality of Minuteman Press, Joe has gone above and beyond, donating his time and even products because we are a non-profit that bridges the gap between the community and the police and we also help the less fortunate.
We acknowledged him publically at one of our gala events because Joe Kim from Minuteman Press is part of the NOBLE family and we look forward to working with him in the future.”