20 Under 30: Andy Cobb
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Photo Kevin O'Riley
Owner, Traders Printing
Born: July 5, 1979
It’s not uncommon for a 28-year-old to own his own business. What’s uncommon is for that business to be 80-plus years old.
Traders Printing is an institution in Andy Cobb’s life. When he graduated from high school, he moved into the then-shabby loft above the shop at the corner of Patton Avenue and McDaniel Street downtown while he learned the ropes from his father, who had owned the business since the ’60s. (Andy still lives in the now-much-nicer loft today with wife Heather and month-old daughter, Avery). A reservist in the Marines at the time, Andy trained while simultaneously being trained in mortar munitions. “There are two things I’m good at—blowing things up and printing,” he says with a laugh.
In 2003, Andy got tired of watching the business his father built lose out to the Kinkos of the world. Instead of re-upping in the Marines and going to Iraq, he took control of the ship, and has, almost single-handedly, saved the business. Due in part to the wise purchase of assets—including client lists—from other local printers who were shutting their doors, Andy has grown Traders’ business almost 300 percent in the last five years. Traders may even outgrow its space, though Andy says it will always keep a location downtown.
Andy’s a busy guy (and not only because he’s a new father). He’s a relentless Center City promoter, serving on the board of downtown’s Community Improvement District. He’s also past president of the Downtown Springfield Association. Dealing with parking quibbles and attending meetings is Andy’s way of helping to better the downtown that means so much to him—and to his future.
What's Your Favorite:
The Reverend Horton Heat
Childhood cartoon character?
Beer of all kinds from pilsners to stouts
Local bar AND restaurant?
Patton Alley Pub, Mille's
Coolest you've ever blown up?
Among all the things I've demolished, I would say the coolest was a tank with an AT4. (Bazooka)
Color of ink?
Reflex blue in printing ink and baby blue in tattoo ink
What’s the first website you check every day?
tradersprinting.com, of course
One night, no consequences, whom do you seduce?
My wife... yes, I am that well trained.
What’s the best thing about being younger than 30?
Being awarded as one of the top twenty by GO Magazine!
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