allegralogoAllegra Print and Imaging, based at 5401 New Expansion Drive in Eldersburg, effectively merged with Westminster-based Opera House Printing on Dec. 1.

The merger brings together two of Carroll County’s printing giants. The meshing of the companies means that customers from both businesses will be able to take advantage of what they individually offered. According to a press release, Opera House’s digital, offset and bindery services will combine with Allegra’s specialty in mailing services, 4-color printing, promotional products and marketing consultation.

Allegra Print and Imaging and Opera House

Allegra, owned by John Spaar, provides printing services mostly to Carroll County and Howard County but serves clients throughout Maryland. They offer various printing services from smaller projects like business cards and envelopes to larger ones like calendars and newsletters. They also do marketing work such as ad design and catalogs as well as graphic design work like logo and advertising design and layout.

The company is part of the larger Allegra Network, a franchise that has over 600 locations throughout North America.
Opera House was started by husband-wife team Genevieve and George Trump in 1969. The couple owned the company together until Mr. Trump’s death about five years ago.

The merger

Spaar mentioned that the merger had come naturally. “Genevieve reached a point where she was looking for a company to merge with, she talked to three or four suitors, and then selected us,” he said. “We’re flattered to be serve their customers moving forward.”

He said that the end result will be a strengthening of both companies, though he mentioned that Allegra has consolidated operations into the Eldersburg location. “Hopefully customers that were having to go to multiple places will find that we can serve more or all of their needs,” Spaar said.

This is not Spaar’s first time merging businesses. He explained that he became an Allegra franchisee in 2008 and had since merged with two other printing businesses. The Allegra Network, based in Detroit, has a matchmaking program that couples franchisees such as Spaar with other printing businesses that are looking to exit the business for whatever reason, Spaar explained.

In 2008, Spaar purchased Champion Printing and later merged with P & M Printing. He added that he plans to stay on the right side of the mergers. “My plan is to become the gobbler, not the gobblee – the consolidator, not the consolidatee.”

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