On a long print run, DALMAC celebrates 40 years

Posted on May 03, 2024 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments


A group of employees at the original franchise location’s building on University Avenue, some of whom are still members of DALMAC’s team today (photo credit: DALMAC)

Printing everything under the sun,
DALMAC has been operating on Prince Edward Island for four decades. What started as a small copy franchise has evolved into an independent full-service communication supplier. With strong roots in P.E.I., DALMAC looks to expand further across Atlantic Canada.

First run

The beginning of DALMAC is credited to Dale MacKenzie. Wanting to become an entrepreneur, MacKenzie originally thought about starting a fuel distribution operation. However, unimpressed with the industry’s potential after some research, he discovered a more appealing opportunity in the printing business. So, in 1984 he and his wife Marg purchased a Kwik Kopy franchise on University Avenue in Charlottetown, P.E.I.

Not knowing anything about the printing industry at the time, the couple utilized the franchise system to learn the ropes. Soon, they had grown their simple copy franchise location to one of the most successful in North America.

Shawn and Troy MacKenzie at the University Avenue location before moving the family business to Euston Street (photo credit: DALMAC)

In the family

The MacKenzies operated as most family businesses, focusing on quality customer service and involving everyone in the family. Their sons Shawn and Troy started working at the shop as teens and took over in the early 2000s. Under their direction, the location grew exponentially.

Shortly after taking ownership, Shawn and Troy moved the copy franchise from its original location to a larger building at 91 Euston Street. Through several acquisitions, they diversified product offerings by adding full-colour offset printing, wide format printing and other digital printing services. To accommodate the growth of their thriving commercial printing operation, in 2008 the brothers more than doubled the size of their building on Euston Street.

After 30 years in the industry, Shawn and Troy were ready for a change and began looking for someone to take over. Wanting to find someone who’d be as involved in the business as themselves, they eventually met Ben Parsons and Ben Howard. Parsons says he remembers the first time he toured the Euston Street location: “Sometimes you get a feeling of what’s a good fit and I had that right away.”


A printing press originally manufactured in 1890 believed to be one of the first on P.E.I., which lives at DALMAC offices as a tribute to the history of their industry (photo credit: DALMAC)

Independent owners

After acquiring the franchise location in 2018, Parsons and Howard noticed that the business was outgrowing the franchise model. So, the new business partners negotiated an opportunity to exit the franchise agreement and become independent. Needing a new name for the business, they decided to pay tribute to the MacKenzie family and called it DALMAC.

Parsons and Howard continued to expand DALMAC’s product offerings, adding signs, labels and customized promotional products and clothing to the mix.


DALMAC’s location at 91 Euston Street today, home of print production and corporate offices (photo credit: DALMAC)

Printing strong

Today, operations continue at DALMAC’s multiple locations on Prince Edward Island. No longer a simple copy shop, the business now makes just about any promotional material not on a screen. While most of their customer base is on P.E.I., plans are in motion to expand across Atlantic Canada.

Along with all the growth, Parsons says it’s important to maintain the same culture that has kept some employees working there since 1984. “We’re proud to carry on traditions started by the MacKenzie family and feel responsible for maintaining the legacy of what they started.”

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