137 West High Street Bellefonte , PA 16823
This is the fifth article in a series spotlighting some of the local businesses in Bellefonte. Pop into one of these participating businesses- Alleycat Quiltworks, Bella Vino Wine Bar, Jake’s Cards & Games, Iron Star Trading Company, M&M Copy Service, Brother's Pizzeria, Pizza Mia, Elite Edge Athletics, Wireless Made Simple, Blonde Bistro, Bellefonte Art Museum or Bonfatto's- starting on Small Business Saturday, November 24th (and for a limited time after), to pick up your FREE BFT decal. It's our way of saying thanks for supporting all the independent shops and eateries that help keep Bellefonte so remarkably unique.
It's quite possible that no one digs Bellefonte as much as Peggy and Mark Warnaka.
I mean, as the husband and wife owners of M&M Copy Service on High Street, they obviously have a vested interest in the ebbs and flows of the downtown business scene here. Heck, they're practically an institution around here.
Their shop? Oh, you know it. You have to.
Need to fax something fast? You run down to M&M.
Have to make photo copies for your kid's book report that's due tomorrow morning?! You head over to M&M.
Last minute presentation prints? They'll save the day.
Must have a hundred really important MISSING CAT flyers right now even though you're a nervous wreck? You race straight to M&M; same as everyone in Bellefonte. Because they know what they're doing; because they've been doing it for a long time.
But that's really only the beginning. See, when Peggy starts waxing about the holidays here in Bellefonte, you suddenly also begin to sense that the Warnaka's, who originally hail from western Pennsylvania, really love their adopted hometown way beyond the business realm.
"The holidays are a magical time in Bellefonte," Peggy enthuses.. "Mark and I grew up in Erie and there’s just not the same feeling of community in a bigger town. The downtown lights here are stunning in the evening. We even had children caroling in the afternoon outside our door last year!"
That's the kind of spirit you sort of hope to find in your small town shopkeepers, isn't it? And yet, times have changed. More often than not, well... you know how it is, don't you? Not every town is like this one. Not every smallish town in modern America has a local business community peppered with people who become truly animated when they talk about how much they love the place they live and work. That's one of the reasons why shops like M&M deserve our holiday business, if you ask me.
Look, you want to create a gift that will make your mom or dad weep tears of joy come Christmas morning? I'm serious here. Pick out about 20* of the best photos you took of your kids this past year, put them on a disc or on one of those little flash drive thingys, and take it in to Peggy and Mark. Tell them you want to make a calendar your kids can give their grandparents. I'm not kidding here. I gave my mom one last year. She freaked out and just loved it so much. It is THE BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT, I swear.
And M&M does a lot of them.
"Yes, we make the photo calendars every year," Peggy tells me. "All we need is 12 photos (1 for each month) plus a photo you would like on the cover. We can also include any special dates – just include them with the photos. They are a VERY popular gift."
(*I say bring about 20 photos because sometimes certain ones you like might not be high definition enough to work, so best to have a few extras.)
Calendars aren't all though. The Warnakas can make you custom holiday cards. Even the corny kind with you guys all dressed in your horrible holiday sweaters! They don't judge! Remember, they've seen it all.
"I have done many different designs from personal photos of family, friends, pets, etc," Peggy explains. "Sizes vary from a regular 5 x 7 card to a postcard that you can mail without an envelope."
So maybe your kids can customize a postcard to Santa this year, you know?
What else is M&M offering holiday shoppers like you this year?
"For your holiday convenience, we also have white envelopes that you can purchase from us in specific sizes," Peggy notes. "One of our customers was famous for saying that we could do anything…his quote “If you can think it – they can do it!” While that is not always true, we have created Christmas/Holiday themed - calendars, cards, wedding invitation packages, baby shower packages, party invitation and thank you cards."
Of course, let's be honest here. M&M Copy is almost as famous for their front window display of M&M candy memorabilia as they are for their many services. If you somehow have never seen all of those smiling M&M's staring at you as you try to park your battleship in that tight spot right out front the shop...well...I suspect you were kidnapped by a UFO for the last few years or something. I mean, honestly. Those M&M's are like the town mascots at this point!
So how DID that whole M&M's thing come about then?
"We enjoy children coming in to look at our collection which was all donated over the years by our customers," Peggy says. "Back when we were trying to come up with a name, we decided on our first initials. M&M. The our daughter- who was 11 at the time- insisted we hand out the little bags of M&Ms for name recognition. We continue to this day to hand out the little packets of plain and peanut M&Ms to all the youngsters. Some “kids" will come in just to chat and get some chocolate energy."
There you have it then. No age limit. You heard it here first.
So head down to M&M and tell them you want a calendar, okay? Tell them I sent you. Enjoy a bag of M&M's while you wait. And for a limited time only, you can even grab a free BFT sticker to show your Bellefonte love to the world. It's Bellefonte.com's way of saying thanks for supporting all the wonderful small businesses in our community.
M&M Copy Service
137 West High Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823
HOURS: M-F 9-5
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