At E. F. San Juan we know our reputation is based on attention to detail, a focus on quality workmanship, and always listening and putting our customer first. When providing custom product with very fine detail you really have to understand exactly what is expected, and deliver exactly that. Communication is truly key and we are passionate about always being proactive and meeting and exceeding expectations.
Left to right: Edward San Juan Jr., Ed San Juan Sr., brother-in-law Buddy Czubaj and Edward’s son, Eddie, all hold significant roles within the company.
Photography by Michael Booini
2016 marks the 40th year since E. F. San Juan’s inception..
Edward .F. San Juan, and son Edward A. San Juan in newly built, state-of-the-art warehouse, built to enable greater efficiency and access expanding inventory —March, 2016
As our local economy rebounds from the depths
of last decade’s recession, the E. F. San Juan team continues to invest to better meet the needs of our customers while providing a work environment, compensation and benefits which set a standard within our industry.
Over the past two years we have added an additional Weinig moulder line as well as a new Weinig rip saw line to increase our production capacity. We have also increased our service van fleet by two additional vehicles to further enhance our nationally recognized service commitment to our customers. Our latest visible improvement to our facility is the addition of a
new, modern warehouse building which will enable us to more efficiently store and access our expanding inventory. During this time frame we have also added more than 20 new members to the E. F. San Juan team and we have restored a company-sponsored health insurance program with Blue Cross Blue Shield.
2016 marks the 40th year since E. F. San Juan’s inception. We are blessed and thankful for the customers we serve, the vendors who partner with
us, and the team members who dedicate themselves to the E. F. San Juan team. We see a bright future for our beautiful part of the world and we look forward
to continued growth and opportunity.
The heart of St. Andrews soon will have a one-stop place where visitors can be introduced to the historic bayside village.
Work is almost done on a $370,000 renovation of the Panama City Publishing Co. at 1134 Beck Ave., says Nancy Wengel, the program director of the St. Andrews Waterfront Partnership. The old print shop, built around 1920, will serve as a museum, a visitors center and an office and a partnership meeting place."Back here," Wengel said in the rear left corner during a quick tour, "we'll have rotating (history) displays. Over there we'll have the Tarpon display ... the porthole, the anchor and the ship model" of the supply steamer that sank on its way to St. Andrews in 1937.
Work will be finished this month, Wengel said, and volunteers with the Waterfront Partnership will begin setting the building up for its reincarnation. Visitors soon will be able to pick up brochures and maps of St. Andrews, including a guide to the St. Andrews Trail, a cycling tour of historic neighborhoods and businesses. The publishing company is on that tour.
Among what's new, Wengel said, "will be a courtyard with green public space." The historic district is reverting to its roots as a walkable community, she said, and "I think this will be a big piece of the puzzle."
A PLACE OF WORK
Visitors shouldn't expect an antiseptic modern visitors center. "When you walk in, you will feel like you just walked into a print shop," Wengel said. "It will be very old, but it will still be working."
Rafters will remain exposed with no ceiling, as they've always been. The tall windows can be opened to let in cross breezes off the bay, as they did when the presses were running. Wengel noted though, that "we do have air conditioning now " as part of the renovation.
The building was a working print shop until 2005. The family of George Mortimer West, one of the founders who gave Panama City its name, published the Panama City Pilot, the Lynn Haven Free Press, the St. Andrews Bay News and the Lynn Haven Free Press there until 1937.
In 2005, descendant and owner Buddy West was ready to get out of the business, at age 63. So he worked out a deal with the City of Panama City and the Waterfront Partnership. He said at the time, "I've had a lot of better offers. But I've spent most of my life in this place. I couldn't bear the thought of this building being bulldozed."
TIN AND GIN
The city bought the building for $340,000 on behalf of the partnership, through community redevelopment area (CRA) funds. Wengel said the St. Andrews CRA fund eventually will reimburse the city. The $370,000 for restoration came from a grant by the Florida Department of State's Bureau of Historic Preservation. Omnicon Construction and Development of Des-tin is the primary contractor, and Victoria Williams of The Associates architects is the lead architect.
Wengel said reminders of the building's past turned up everywhere during renovation. Part of the ceiling has a tin covering, nailed up to keep boarders from climbing the rafters and entering the print shop. Lillian Carlisle West, the third wife of George Mortimer West, found that necessary after she took in seafarers for overnight stays on cots in the building. They had learned how to get past the chicken-wire partition she put up.
By David Vest
The News Herald
PHOTOS TAKEN BY THE NEWS HAROLD
There once was an oyster bar, called Wynn's, attached to the building, Wengel said. Workers have discovered a bill of sale from 1919 for one of the printing presses, as well Coca Cola bottle caps from that period and a 1920 penny.
But "the coolest thing was the 28 gin bottles," she said. They were stashed under boards in the floor, she said, apparently in an era "when newspaper editors were known to keep a bottle in the desk drawer."
Damon Taylor is one of the craftsmen working on the renovation. He's British, and he has worked on restorations in national parks including Harpers Ferry in West Virginia. He still has a home in Virginia, as well as one in Navarre, where he owns British Masonry and Restoration.
"I'm a stonemason by trade," he said as he troweled mortar into a hole in the printing plant's back wall. "I don't lay new brick on new block."
He does, however, masterfully restore old brick to match its time. "My best work," he said, "no one ever sees. The idea with doing restoration is, you can't tell."
The printing plant project is a renovation more than a restoration - it must be faithful only to the 1920s original and much more recent repairs. So it doesn't require quite such a painstaking approach. While the history is relatively short, Taylor can read telltale signs in the brickwork. "You can tell a lot of it was done by apprentices," he said. He also can tell by the mortar patterns whether those apprentices were right- or left-handed.
Tony Bowen, another subcontractor, is responsible for the windows, the floors and much more. The original weighted-sash windows were in such good shape that workers were able to open them for fresh air. But they did have to replace some of the glass.
"It's new but its vintage," Bowen said of the glass with 1920s-era wavy texture. "There's people that replicate that now." Some of those people turned out to be at E. F. San Juan Inc. in Youngstown. Wengel said the mix of old and new will make the visitors center itself a place worth visiting. It's down the street from other historic buildings on Beck Avenue and across the street from the reborn Shrimp Boat restaurant.
With the printing plant as a historic-district centerpiece, she said, "I feel like we will have a strong hand in historic preservation."
E. F. SAN JUAN
11442 Highway 231
P. O. Box 249
Youngstown, FL 32466
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