In 1944, at the age of four, both of Rita Caloni’s parents passed away within months of each other. Rita, who had a heart condition at birth, was raised by her maternal grandmother until she married in 1961. Against her doctors’ wishes, two children were born, Linda in 1962 and Michael in 1966. Rita’s health problems caught up with her in 1969 when her doctors gave her three years to live unless she underwent open heart surgery. At the time, open heart surgery was very risky. Rita had no choice but to take the risk. After surgery, she had a much higher level of energy and an even higher pile of bills to pay. Rita decided to channel her energy into the opening of a new business: Rita’s Printing Service. She would sell wedding invitations from her kitchen table at night while raising her children during the day.
As the business grew, Rita purchased a printing press and moved the business to the basement of the family home. In 1980, the business relocated to a commercial building in downtown North Bergen, N.J., where it occupied 900 square feet of warehouse space. The proceeds were used to pay for high school and college tuition for her children. Upon graduating from college in 1988, Michael joined the business and began a sales and marketing campaign. The company was rebranded with the name PermaGraphics, Inc. Within the first year, sales doubled. The business was growing and once again a new home was needed. In 1989, using profits from a sweater business Michael operated in college, the Calonis purchased a 3500 square feet building in the Heights section of Jersey City. The new building provided more room for much needed equipment and technological upgrades.
Sales continued to grow. In order to provide clients with the best possible products at the most competitive price, while still maintaining very fast production times, the insatiable need for space once again had to be quenched. Michael purchased a 25,000 square feet building in Moonachie, N.J. in November 1998. The building had all of the requirements to position PermaGraphics for long term growth: close proximity to clients, vendors, and raw materials, easy access to all major highways, bridges and tunnels, heavy power, loading docks, and a drive-in door.
Rita has continued to manage and oversee the diversification of the offset capabilities now ranging from simple one color forms to very complex six color brochures with a wide variety of different coatings. The printing processes have also grown to include digital, variable and letterpress printing, along with PermaGraphics’ core business of offset printing. Our other capabilities now include envelopes, labels, banners, signage, and mailings.
The business continues to flourish and Rita remains at the helm. We are truly grateful to all of our clients, new and long established, for whom we have been privileged to print.