Bringing the Small Shop to YPPS

By Christian Vazquez, 13

Patty Tucker and Nancy Beausoleil have been a part of the Yale and printing community in New Haven for over forty years; however, their story with Yale Printing & Publishing Services began in 2012.

In 1974, Nancy began working with her father at the then fledgling Yale Medical School copy center. Patty joined the center in 1978—where the two met. Nancy’s father, Roger Beausoleil, had started the copy center for the Yale Medical School in 1970. “Back then toner was liquid and quick copies were done in ink on presses,” says Nancy.

By 1987, the operation was comprised of five copy centers including one at the newly established Yale School of Management. The operation had grown to making 5 million impressions—or copies—a month and included 37 employees.  

Later the same year seeing a business opportunity, the two started their own print shop in the developing Science Park area. Sam Chauncey ’57, then a Vice President of the University, was developing the Science Park area and he would send business to their copy center. Chauncey had known Nancy’s father when he was the supervisor of the medical school copy center.

On leaving Yale to begin their own copy shop they were surprised how much of their business was still based at the university—about 71%.

Nancy and Patty ran their business like a small shop; they were the owners and the staff. In the immediate years after leaving the medical school copy center they continued to provide services to the School of Management. They continued to be part of the Yale community and were even featured in the 1987 program of the Harvard-Yale Game. The issue highlighted the extraordinary services Yale offered to start ups and entrepreneurs in Science Park.

For twenty-five years Nancy and Patty provided print services with personable attention to their customers, when they joined the YPPS team in 2012 their goal was to translate that same attitude.  “We are bringing the small business touch to the customers, picking up jobs at their desks—it makes a difference to the customer,” says Nancy.

When they closed up shop to join YPPS, Nancy and Patty did not have to go far, as the new YPPS facility was directly across the street! “At first, former vendors would do double takes when they saw us working at YPPS,” says Nancy.

But the two felt at home quickly. Nancy and Patty admit that the state-of-the-art facilities at YPPS were a major upgrade, citing that they were trudging along with older equipment at their smaller print shop for years. “One of the things I love, is the diversity of the group, being part of a larger organization brings such benefits—there’s always something going on,” says Nancy.

The industry has greatly changed since the 1980s and Patty and Nancy have seen that transition not only in scale but also in technology, especially since joining the YPPS team. Projects like the scanning and digitization of documents were unheard of decades ago—they now comprise a bulk of new work.

Nancy and Patty cited projects like the large-format printing of posters and installations for the newly renovated Morse and Stiles colleges as one of the more memorable ones that they have worked on in recent years.

Ultimately, Nancy and Patty credit their longevity in the business, thirty-six years of working together to a natural competitive spirit. “We used to race to see who could finish comparable projects on the presses faster,” says Patty. They also reminisced about playing chess when they started their presses at their old business, they had a countertop between the two rooms where they would play the game while the machines were busy at work.

“We don’t want to give up the entrepreneurial spirit, 5 o’clock comes and we are still thinking about our customers and planning for the next day,” says Patty. It’s this same small business spirit that the two bring to Yale Printing and Publishing Services, and something that customers appreciate.