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OPI celebrates 60 years as a local, family-owned business
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The Vink brothers stand in front of a large picture designed and created by Office Products Inc. staff to celebrate OPI’s 60th anniversary. From left to right are Terry, Kenny and Craig.

         Melvin Vink set the stage 60 years ago for what has become a continuously growing three-location family business based in downtown Great Bend. But his sons, Terry and Kenny Vink, don’t think their Dad would be surprised at this longevity.

            Terry and Kenny are co-owners of Office Products Inc. (OPI) and Golden Belt Printing (GBP). They and their colleagues are celebrating OPI’s six decades of serving customers and the central Kansas community, Terry said.

            “I don’t think Dad would be surprised about how long we have stayed in business,” Terry commented. “He would have said that time goes awfully fast when you are having fun.

            “And one thing about Dad: he loved his family above all else. And to see us still working together and building a good business would have made him very proud.”

            Kenny added that “Dad taught us how to work together and respect each other. We learned to stand up for our family, business and community. Dad would have been proud even if the business had not grown into what it has become today, as long as we stuck together as a family.”

            GBP, 1125 U.S. 281 Bypass, has been part of the Vink family for only the last five years but it has seen its share of growth too, Terry commented.

            “Golden Belt Printing has been a great complement to OPI,” Terry said. “We have added graphics personnel and top-of-the-line printing equipment.”

            For instance, he noted, GBP produces high-quality, full-color magazines and other materials right here in town. Examples include the Smith & Wesson magazine, athletic programs, brochures and vehicle wraps.

            “We do it all from start to finish,” Terry said. “We don’t have to work with other companies from out-of-town or out-of-state. This is because of our professional staff and high-tech equipment.”

            While OPI always offers virtually any type of office equipment, furniture and supplies, it has expanded its computer department in recent years, Kenny said. It has started building its own computers again so the machines can be customized for what the user needs.

            “In addition, our in-house staff has enhanced our network-security capabilities to offer multiple layers of protection for businesses and individuals,” Kenny noted. “Your data is important and OPI can help you keep it safe.”

            OPI is located at 1204 Main in Great Bend; 516 Broadway in Larned; and 724 N. Main in Russell. Craig Vink, another brother, manages the Larned store.

The Vinks said they focus on customer service at each location, with the personal touch and free delivery. Their 3-inch-thick print catalog, along with the online version, is always available; all proceeds stay in central Kansas.

OPI highlights of recent years include: multiple awards from Canon USA for sales and service of its high-tech copy machines; continued growth in the copy center; and vehicles wraps for businesses that want eye-catching advertising.

If the Vinks could stress one factor that has been the lifeblood of their success, it would be customers who understand the importance of buying locally.

“We have been in business for six decades and made lots of good friends,” Kenny said. “Our customers become like an extended family. Since there aren’t many long-time, family-owned businesses around anymore, we consider ourselves unique.

“And we have our customers and employees to thank for each success. When local people support local businesses, jobs are retained and created. The domino effects of this can be felt by our 41 employees and throughout the communities we serve.”

The Vinks return the favor by supporting many local charities, athletic teams and non-profit agencies.

Melvin Vink and Charles Perry opened Perry Vink Office Machines in 1959 at 1112 Main. Melvin then bought Perry out, and in 1964 the business was incorporated as Great Bend Office Products at 1205 Main.

In the early 1970s, the business moved to 1119 Main and about 10 years later to 1208 Main. In 1994, the Vinks bought the building to the company’s south. The name changed to Office Products Inc. in 1995. The Larned store opened in 1992 and the Russell store in 2010.

The Vinks will celebrate the 60th anniversary with a Great Bend Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours this spring.