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Minuteman Press Franchise Review: The Mercer Family Celebrates 30 Years in Business and Is Still Going Strong in Houston




To reach 30 years in business with a family-owned operation is an accomplishment worth celebrating. Derek and Louise Mercer have just reached the 30-year mark for their Minuteman Press printing franchise located at 1171 Brittmoore Road in Houston and have no signs of slowing down. Derek says, “I could not be prouder of the fact that we have been keeping our doors open for three decades and counting. We’ve been a part of the Minuteman Press President’s Million-Dollar Circle for 25 of those years, which is even more mind-blowing for us being such high achievers. It’s a testament to our persistence, our attention to detail, and our sheer will.”

To build up a Minuteman Press franchise “is not rocket science,” says Derek. He continues, “We provide quality products at a fair price with excellent service. We put our customers first, as well as our employees. Because we are taking care of them, we get taken care of, and it’s a win-win for all of us.” 

The impressive growth from a small team of two to a staff of 12 dedicated employees is a testament to the significant growth that Derek and Louise have spearheaded over the years. “To grow from a small shop to a top-performing Minuteman Press franchise means that we must be doing it right and keeping our clients happy. This business gives us a great life and the opportunity to spend more time together as a family.”

With all of their success, Derek has remained humble and never forgets what got him to this point. He explains, “Never get too greedy or self-serving, that’s the key. I’ll soon be driving an hour to complete a delivery of a small job for one of our big customers, just so I can personally keep that relationship with them going strong. It’s what Minuteman Press is all about.”  

Before going into business with Louise, Derek worked in bank sales. He says, “I was a salesperson for Coldwell Banker in their corporate relocation dept. We were a clearinghouse for strip malls, apt. buildings, homes, etc. When the inventory dried up, I went looking for a business. I found Minuteman Press and there was a local franchise for sale. I knew I could sell and I was able to use that skillset to my advantage.”

Why Minuteman Press? Derek answers, “I had the opportunity to buy the franchise at a reasonable price. Also, Minuteman Press has staying power. Houston was a hub of printing services when we started, and we are still here. As a franchisor, Minuteman Press is gives us the freedom to own and operate our family business and at critical junctures they are always there for us. We get guidance when we need it, local support, shop analysis, built-in vendors. It’s a great value with everything they provide us especially since Minuteman Press also has a royalty cap. It’s a winning philosophy all around.”


Derek adds, “Houston Area Manager Rich Panowitz is very hands on and has helped us in many ways. Rich has been a huge help both technically and with reinforcing the overall concept of how we were trained to run the business. We emulated others who came before us and we are proud to be an example for others now. We aren’t recreating the wheel.” 

In addition to the benefits of franchising with Minuteman Press that Derek and Louise have experienced first-hand, there are also more personal rewards to owning the business as well. Derek says, “This business has helped me develop good self-esteem, as well as a tremendous amount of personal pride. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and they’ve all been incredibly supportive. It’s very gratifying coming through for our customers. It’s a feeling I always enjoy.”

The wide range of clients that Derek and Louise have speaks to the versatility of print as well as how essential it is for businesses to partner with Minuteman Press to develop marketing strategies. Derek says, “We do a tremendous amount of work with non-profits such as Big Brother, Big Sister, and the Houston Ballet. We’ve also done a lot of work with real estate agencies, oil companies, and the hospitality industry.” 

As for the advice Derek would give to future franchisees and entrepreneurs, he says, “Be well capitalized, have reasonable expectations, be ready to work and be versatile! As I mentioned earlier, we now have 12 people working with us, when we started with two. With the help of Minuteman Press International, we have scaled our business the right way and we make sure we are comfortable.”

Derek and Louise Mercer’s Minuteman Press franchise (Minuteman Press Town & Country) is located at 1171 Brittmoore Road, Houston, Texas 77043. For more information, call 713-973-6666 or visit their website:




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