“Come in as a customer; leave as a
friend. That’s the motto of Presto Printing,” Bok mathematics teacher Greg
Giuliano informs me. “I’ve been friends with John for years. I get all my
business and personal stationery here. Right now, my fiancée and I are picking
out wedding invitations.” Mazel Tov!
Behind the counter looking for the
perfect font, is owner John Saverase. He pops up and waves around a piece of
paper. “I found it! You’ll love the Edwardian Script.”
Saverase, a wedding invitation expert,
also dabbles in matchmaking.
“I get a lot of business people here. I
go by the personality. That’s important. My customers trust my gut feelings.”
With an avuncular attitude toward nervous brides-to-be, Saverase engenders
loyalty even among the third generation of his families.
“Many come back for christening,
confirmation and graduation invitations.” I notice one wall of his shop is
covered with wedding, baby, and other themed snapshots. This is quite an honor,
to have so many pictures, because mothers don’t give away their children’s
photos to strangers.
He and wife Ceil have been married for 40
years. They have three children: John, Maria and Danny, and four grandchildren,
Vanessa, Angelina, Santino and Francesca.
Soon after, I run into Saverase at The
South Philadelphia Business Association dinner at The Waterfall Room. Executive
Secretary Eddie Wright gives Saverase a big bear hug and looks me straight in
the eye. “Maria, John goes above and beyond to help us. He prints all the
certificates, invitations and more. He does it at no cost to us. He likes to
give to us, so we may give to others.”
Petal Pusher owner John Vacca knows his
neighbor well. “He definitely is the most personable person on the block.”
For a man whose trade goes back to
Johannes Gutenberg’s press of 1436 and Ben Franklin’s press of 1729, it’s a
relief to know the important dates will remain timeless with a Presto
2509 S Broad Street