While working as a chef at the Comus Inn at Sugarloaf Mountain, in Dickerson, Maryland, Jean-Louis Lepage met with an acquaintance who had done some screen printing for him. The idea of getting into embroidery caught Jean-Louis’ attention. That’s when he met Marsha Young, who, ironically, was also a friend of the screen printing contact, and also had a background in food service.
Starting small with one embroidery machine
Together they started their business with one embroidery machine in a warehouse on Third Street. After expanding at another location, they opened in their current building at 407 N. Market St. in 2000. Their staff now includes seven people at that location and several in the screen printing facility across the street. He and Marsha both enjoy sharing their culinary talents with their staff. Arrive at their office around 1 p.m., and you’re sure to encounter the smells of a savory lunch!
The business has been through some tough times, such as the recession that hit in 2008. “Thank God I owned the building here – it was a great help to be the owner – we weren’t hit as hard as some businesses,” remembers Jean-Louis.
Married to Gena, with two adult children, Emilie and Marcus, Jean-Louis has been the smiling face of the business out in the community, whereas Marsha is typically the behind-the-scenes operations partner. Jean-Louis is involved in numerous projects of the Carroll Creek Rotary Club, including
Oktoberfest, Bikes for the World and Color on the Creek. Additionally, he and Marsha have provided T-shirts for the Way Station’s Turkey Trot, volunteer at the Tour de Frederick, and lend their cooking talents to Blessings in a Backpack and Mission of Mercy.
“I love Frederick, so it’s great to raise money and put it back into the community,” Jean-Louis says with a smile.
“Over the years we have learned that excellent customer service is the key to growing our company. As a result, we are proud of our customer service reps and the service they provide to you, our valued customers. After all, our customers are the reason we are in business and we thank you for your patronage,” say Jean-Louis and Marsha.
*To learn more about how the French-born Jean-Louis came to live in Frederick, click here.