75th Anniversary

75 years bubble

75 Years Young

As bopi celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, the company isn’t touting its age. Sure, there’s something to be said for being a well-established firm and we are proud of our heritage, but the years don’t show on this dynamic central Illinois manufacturer.

Over the past 30 years, bopi has been an organization in motion. Expanding its physical plant, investing in both traditional and digital print technology, staffing with skilled graphic arts professionals, bopi has thrived by remaining passionate about print’s place in today’s mix of communication media.

The most recent driver of success was the installation of the first of its kind in the U.S. high speed, 8-color KBA UV perfecting press, which vaulted bopi to the top of the class in quality and throughput. Sandwiched around that advance were acquisitions of the business assets of long-time Bloomington, IL based Illinois Graphics (2010) and JK Creative Printers of Quincy, IL (2018). Sales representatives and an operations staff man a branch in Quincy, enabling expansion of bopi’s sales reach well beyond its central Illinois roots to the west and south in Illinois, eastern and central Missouri and southeastern Iowa.

A web press operation was established in 2021 to fill a market niche for production of documents on lightweight paper stock. In the early 2000s bopi ventured into the digital printing realm, enabling personalization and variable data print. That also drove an expansion into a mailing operation that pushes out millions of pieces annually.

It all started in 1947 when Carroll B. Cade and Jack Schoenburg, working for printers in Peoria, decided to start their own business, Bloomington Offset Process Inc. (that’s right, the ‘p’ in bopi stands for ‘process,’ not ‘printing;’ it differentiated how bopi put ink on paper from more traditional letterpress printing). Burt Mercier, father of current President and CEO Tom Mercier, was hired as sales manager in 1950 and by 1955 company growth forced a move to West Grove St. on the south edge of downtown Bloomington in the area occupied today by the McLean County Law and Justice Center.

In the late 1960s, the development of the County government complex and continued growth forced a move to the present location at 1705 S. Veterans Parkway in Bloomington. That building has seen three major expansions over the years to its current 46,000 square feet.

Tom Mercier joined the company in 1974, working under Mr. Cade to learn cost estimating and paper procurement. Cade retired in 1975 and in 1981 the Merciers acquired full control of the company. Tom became president and CEO upon Burt’s retirement in 1993. His untimely death in 1994 prevented the elder Mercier from assuming his role as chairman of the board of the leading national printing trade association. Tom later followed his father as a board member of what today is known as Idealliance. Tom’s son Jeff became the third generation of Merciers to work at bopi, coming on board in 2002 and currently serving as vice-president of operations.

While bopi is constantly evolving, our foundation has always been a capable group of employees bringing their desire to excel, technical expertise, operational skills and willingness to do what it takes to deliver what our customers need that has moved us forward over 75 years. Our purpose of helping others achieve their objectives has been our key to success and keeps us looking young after all these years.

Three Generations


Burt Mercier


Tom Mercier

Jeff portrait -4752-2

Jeff Mercier