How many local businesses can celebrate 125 years of service to Redlands? Only one—Citrograph Printing Co., the oldest continuously running business in Redlandsand the oldest continuously running print house in California. Owners Al Hernandez and Ryan Bailey want their loyal customers and new friends to celebrate alongside them, with special events, exclusive 125th year merchandise and customer specials to be offered throughout the year.
A peek inside their storefront on State Street offers a glimpse of the company’s history. Portraits of the four former owners hang on the wall. A retired printing press sits near the window.
It all began more than one year before the city of Redlands became incorporated. Citrograph Printing Co. owner Scipio Craig founded the company and established the town’s first newspaper, “The Citrograph” in 1887. Though the newspaper presses stopped when Craig passed away, as he had planned, the printing side of the company has continued.
The company operated in three different locations before it landed on State Street and has had six different owners. After his death, Craig’s family sold the business to Robert Hornbeck, who later sold it to employee Ernest Truesdail, who sold it to his employee Richard Caudle. His son, Richard Caudle, Jr., assumed the business in 1992. When he was ready to retire, he offered to sell the business to Bailey and Hernandez. Bailey was Citrograph’s graphic designer at the time. Bailey and Hernandez purchased the business in 2002.
Caudle taught Hernandez much about doing business in Redlands, about how to go the extra mile for customers and how important it is to give back to the community.
It wasn’t long after buying the company that Hernandez and Bailey founded the Citrograph Scholarship Fund, providing scholarships to students at the University of Redlands.
“We both made our way through school on our own, so we figured once we got established we would start a scholarship,” Hernandez said. “Four months after we bought the business, Richard died. That prompted us, and we thought, why wait? Let’s do something in memory of Richard.”
The fund was founded in 2002 through the Redlands Community Foundation, a nonprofit liaison between donors and recipients. In 2003, the first scholarship was awarded to a University of Redlands student in the music program.
“That started us on the track. Now every year there will be a scholarship for music, graphic design and business at the University of Redlands, which was one of our company’s first customers.”
In 2012, Hernandez and Bailey celebrate the 10th anniversary of both events they host annually to fund the scholarships—“Vintage Redlands”, a walking wine tour, and “For the Love of Food and Wine”, a dinner and wine pairing at Farm Artisan Foods.
The duo also serve on boards and committees, including the University of Redlands Town & Gown, Redlands Community Foundation, and Family Service Association of Redlands, and Redlands Sunrise Rotary to name a few.
Though the shop’s decor is reminiscent of days gone by, business at Citrograph includes 21st century printing services, promotional advertising, website design/maintenance/hosting and graphic design.
For more information, call 909-792-3901 or visit www.citrograph.com