NORWAY – After 18 years of running Grassroots Graphics, Ken Morse has sold his print shop to the owners of The Printery in Bridgton.

Morse said he finalized the sale last week and the new owners, Richard and Kathy Cormier of Harrison will take over operation of the store Jan 1.

“I talked with a number of people,” Morse said, describing his hunt for potential buyers. “I like selling to (Richard) because he brings capabilities to the table we didn’t have, like a new press, and he has a lot of experience.”

Cormier said he and his wife have owned The Printery on Route 302 for 25 years. Cormier also has taught at Oxford Hills Technical School for 15 years.

He said Grassroots Graphics, which will retain its name, complements The Printery, allowing him to offer expanded services to local customers, like promotional products for businesses. He will also have a large engineering copier for blueprints.

The current staff will stay in place, Cormier said. Morse said his employees are like family. He wrote in an e-mail to the newspaper, “I will miss them a lot if I don’t make it a point to stop in often, which I certainly plan to do.”

Grassroots Graphics began in Morse’s closet in his Norway home in 1987. Morse said he was inspired to enter the printing business after being involved in a statewide organization promoting food co-ops. Morse was responsible for the publication and education sides of the Maine Federation of Co-operatives, he said.

Gradually, the shop expanded to his basement, and finally to a store on Main Street in Norway.

When Morse acquired a color copier in the early 1990s, it was one of the first in the state, he said. He gradually added printing presses, too, enabling his shop to do work they previously had to send away. The shop moved a couple of times before settling into its current location in the Ashton building.

Now that he has exited the printing business, Morse said he will focus on his job with Healthy Oxford Hills, which is one of 31 coalitions around the state funded by the tobacco settlement. These groups focus on tobacco cessation and improving nutrition and physical activity in communities.

Morse, who grew up on an apple orchard in Waterford, is well-known around town for his involvement in downtown and grassroots initiatives, including helping to establish Fare Share Market in 1978 and supporting it since.

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