North Texas Daily

CopyPro closes after 30 years of service

CopyPro closes after 30 years of service

CopyPro closes after 30 years of service
March 30
13:00 2023

CopyPro Copy Center was once an active local business with eight employees and an influx of orders. Customers would throw a ball for the store dog, Whiskey, and students would visit to work on projects at the store’s front window tables.

Today, the building stands empty amongst the bars and dining options within the Fry Street Landscape.

The copy shop, located on the corner of W. Hickory Street and Fry Street, permanently closed its doors on Feb. 28 after 30 years of service – 27 of which were owned by husband-and-wife duo Amanda and Al Glidewell. The two sold the last of their shop supplies and furniture through March 14, as Fry Street lost yet another family-owned business to changing times.

Having served printing and copying needs for large numbers of Denton students, restaurants, churches and businesses, CopyPro experienced a “scary” decline in revenue during the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to an eventual decision to close.

“Yeah, it was just dead, dead, dead down here,” Al said. “We were just kind of impoverished for that time, and we thought, ‘Well, we’ll get through this, and everything will go back to normal.’ And here it is — it didn’t go back to normal. […] Everything’s digitalized, and we’re stuck in an analog environment.”

Before owning and running CopyPro, Al worked for Xerox Corporation, an IT company that sells print and digital document products. With Amanda also growing up in the trade, the two were well acquainted with the industry.

Despite their familiarity, the Glidewells said taking on the copy center was still a daunting endeavor, especially alongside raising four kids.

“We just jumped into the fire, figured we’d make it a year or two, and we did good,” Al said. “We just learned on the fly. We actually worked harder here than we had for some other jobs for other people, but it’s way, way more enjoyable knowing that when you’re up here at 9 [or] 10 o’clock at night working, that it’s for you and your family, you know, not for an ‘XYZ’ corporation.”

Al said his former experience allowed the couple to offer lower prices than their competition as he maintained their machinery without hiring outside repair technicians.

A closing sign hangs on the front door of CopyPro on March 11, 2023. MaKenzie Givan

John Baen, a university real estate professor and 27-year CopyPro customer, utilized the copy center to help lower class material costs for his students. Baen’s class textbook costs $395, and instead of requiring students to pay the sizable amount, he published his own 800-page written notes that CopyPro sold for $55. Baen said other options, such as FedEx or the university, cannot compete with the prices and excellence CopyPro offered.

“It’s just shocking, and it’s a really sad, sad deal and will really end up costing students either lower quality projects or higher costs,” Baen said. “I don’t take it lightly. I’m a pretty tough guy, but this is going to change my life.”

The Glidewells said they had many long-standing clients like Baen, who became more than just customers but cherished friends. Clients even helped the couple’s son complete his eighth-grade year homeschooled at the shop.

With just one year hanging out at the copy center and the help of their customer base, their son aced math, even though he had struggled with the subject previously, Al said. Amanda mentioned remembering an EMT named Stan who would come in every other week, helping simplify the subject for their son.

“It was great because if he had questions, he would just go ask students,” Al said. “Even professors that would come in here would take the time to sit down and explain algebra and stuff to him.”

With the store’s closure, Amanda and Al said they are unaware of what will take CopyPro’s place and what will become of the location. The couple said they plan to take a long break, relax from work-related stress and spend time with their grandkids. They do not have future plans yet and want to “play it by ear.”

Regardless of the opportunity for relaxation, closing the chapter on 27 years of memories was still an emotional goodbye for the Glidewells. Tears pooled at the corners of Amanda’s eyes as she said the most rewarding experience in running CopyPro was “the people we met over the years.”

“I’m going to really miss them,” Amanda said.

Featured Image CopyPro Copy Center is located on Hickory Street on March 11, 2023. MaKenzie Givan

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Sarah Hogan

Sarah Hogan

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