Alpha Copies to open second location

Nicole Mcintosh

Alpha Copies will be opening its second location March 14 at 512 E. Lincoln Way. It was formerly Midwest Copies and Printing.

The second location will allow Alpha Copies to expand its customer base and offer a convenient second location for its customers.

The different locations will offer basically the same services. Having both locations open will make the turnaround even faster for printing jobs.

The new location will offer offset printing, which is a service that transfers the ink from plate to blanket to paper instead of directly from plate to paper. It’s an older technology, but it can be more affordable at times. It also allows for easier reprinting for letterheads and other things that are reprinted at home or in the office.

Alpha Copies currently does vehicle graphics, but they will be able to expand this department of their store. They can do anything from a simple sign to a full vehicle wrap. The new location will give them a controlled environment to be able to grow this part of the business.

A number of computers are in the stores, with Adobe and Microsoft Word software, to open your projects; they also have an online system to upload your project online and pick up in the store. The online service allows people outside the city of Ames to utilize Alpha Copies.

The current location has been a convenient location for students, and the span of hours is compatible with the college lifestyle: open seven days a week.

The new location will only be open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., but one of the advantages of Alpha Copies is their free delivery service to anywhere in central Iowa.

“We think we have services, pricing and staff that accommodates a lot of different customers’ needs. The one thing we want to make sure is the customer that has a choice between this store and that store misses nothing. They can do the same thing at either place,” owner John Crawford said. “It’s highly important that our customers can count on either location.”

Crawford’s role as manager of the original location will be changing as well. He will be moving into more of a sales and business development role in the company. He has been in the retail and customer-based industries since 1973.

Crawford said he would also like to help other similar-sized towns start their own printing shops with local owners that know their towns best. They will provide the tools to get started and call it Alpha Copies but have local ownership.

Crawford and his wife opened Alpha Copies in September of 2005. They have grown and expanded the business to offer any kind of solution to printing needs, vehicle signage and outdoor signage. They also started Omega Marketing, which helps with brand identification for needs such as apparel, pens or other merchandise for individuals or businesses.

“You would want to be treated like your customers want to be treated, so make sure you give high integrity in the work that you do, high quality in product, and you are sensitive to customer’s needs,” Crawford said. “That’s probably how our business has grown the best is by sticking to those standards and those beliefs.”

Katie VanderLey is an Ames resident with a home business. She has been going to Alpha Copies for the past four years and has relied heavily on them for her printing needs.

“I come here all the time to print, whether it’s midnight when my kids go to bed or 7 in the morning,” VanderLey said. “I can e-mail them everything and then run in quick and pick everything up without throwing my kids’ schedule off.”

When asked why she doesn’t have her own printer at home, she said the delivery, the quality and especially the customer service keeps her coming back.

Alpha Copies will be at the Ames business-to-business expo March 24 and are available online at