PELL CITY -- Eddie Gilreath, 66, pointed to the large printer that produces wraps for vehicles, boats and other large items.
It was just one of the many large printing machines in the back room of Gilreath Printing & Sign in Pell City.
Gilreath, along with his employees and a host of friends and customers, was celebrating Gilreath Printing & Sign’s 25th anniversary in the large back room of the business.
“We’ve been blessed,” he said.
Gilreath Printing opened in 1993.
“We didn’t know a thing about printing,” Gilreath said.
Gilreath, originally from Anniston, was working in textiles when he first moved to Pell City. His work eventually took him to Virginia, but he and his family returned to Pell City and opened up their printing business on Martin Street South.
“We built this in 1999,” he said. “We outgrew our first place we had rented.”
He said the current location, at 1923 Cogswell Ave., was once a vacant lot.
“Union State Bank was here before, but the lot sat vacant for 30 years,” Gilreath said.
He said the family built the business that is now Gilreath Printing & Sign.
When they first went into business, they printed business cards, business forms and envelopes, but the business changed, expanded and diversified, Gilreath said.
Initially, the business was run by Gilreath and his wife, Susie.
“After a couple of years, my sister, Linda, came to work with us,” he said.
He said his son, Jeremiah, 38, will eventually take the reins. Jeremiah grew up in the business.
“He’s the one who pushed me into the signs and wraps,” Gilreath said.
Gilreath said he believes prayer had a lot to do with the family’s years of success, but he said they made an effort to get to know the people of the community and were involved with the Pell City Chamber and other service clubs.
“If you look at our price, sometimes we can’t (be the lowest), but we have always offered good service and quality,” Gilreath said.