Some of the best businesses are born during challenging economic times. In fact, if it weren't for the recession in 2008, Cumpy's may never have existed.
See, Cumpy's founder, Andrew Romano, was a successful mortgage broker back when the housing market was booming. At the same time his mom, Angela Romano, was running a promotional products company called Always Something Incorporated. Angela's business started to increase and Andrew started helping her meet the demand of her customers.
Before Andrew knew it he was diving in, head first, into the screen printing business to help his mom out. He took a class to see how the best screen printers in the country were making custom apparel, then he applied that learning to Always Something Incorporated's business. This process allowed him to revive his childhood love of creating and designing.
As Andrew saw his mortgage business decrease he decided to go "all in" on screen printing. He bought one used four station, four color, manual screen printing machine and a dryer. Then he set them up in the basement of his home. Here are some pictures of the old basement location:
From there there the business continued to grow. He bought one embroidery machine, took a class on how to use it, changed the company name from ASI to Cumpy's and moved into the company's first retail store in 2010 (across the street from the Ford Claycomo Plant). Here's the old shop:
In 2012 Cumpy's expanded its retail operations by taking over all three retail spots in their Claycomo location, but that didn't last long.
In 2013 demand continued to grow and the company leased a 2,500 sq. ft production facility in addition to the retail store. At this point, Andrews wife Jeanine, left her job to work at the family business.
In the midst of the KCFD hat fundraiser, Cumpy's moved to their new location on Vivion Road. This location houses all operations, retail, production and fulfillment under one roof.
So what does Cumpy's look like today?
We are a big family all working together to make KC a better place.
Andrew, Jeanine and Angela work side-by-side to make the business a unique gem in Kansas City.
Andrews' dad, Chuck, comes into the office everyday and delivers orders for customers. He even has a recliner in the office for his mid-afternoon nap.
Cumpy's has continued its rapid growth by doing something things many companies don't think about:
We listen and meet or exceed expectations every single time. It is not hard, but rare in today's world.
Here at Cumpy's, we call it good business.
Through this approach we consider our customers our friends. Large or small, every order matters as the company puts their name and reputation behind it.
Today, Cumpy's Sports and Apparel proudly serves the Kansas City market by delivering officially licensed sports apparel as well as custom designs that have generated demand throughout the United States.
One of our true specialities and passions is the creation of team uniforms and parent spirit gear.
Cumpy's offers the following unique products and services:
- KCFD apparel
- KCKPD hats
- KCPD apparel
- Made in KC apparel
- Original Cumpy's Designs
- Movie quote and themed shirts
- Kansas City Royals apparel
- Kansas City Chiefs apparel
- University merchandise from all area schools: KU, KSU, Mizzou among many others
- Youth sport team uniforms
- NFL, MLB and collegiate sportswear, hats, banners, stickers and license plates
- Customized hats, shirts and team
Curious about where the name "Cumpy" comes from?
Romano family friend, the late Larry Cascone, nicknamed our owner Andrew Romano, "Cumpy" at the age of five years old.
Cumpy (cumpa) is a version of an Italian-American word: goombahdie (meaning - best friend and someone you are comfortable being around).
This is exactly how we feel about our customers.
Our customers are our friends - whether they are old or new. We want you to feel comfortable coming into our shop and also comfortable to sit down and discuss ideas with us.