In August of 1971, James Allen established James Allen Printing in a storage building next to his home. While keeping a full-time "day job," he printed for several loyal customers in the evenings and on weekends using a 1905 Chandler & Price letterpress (still in use today!) and a Davidson offset.
Several years later, James purchased the job printing portion of the Buena Vista News newspaper from Lloyd Page and operated from the back of the Buena Vista News building until 1981. In that year, James Allen Printing relocated to 21st Street in Buena Vista.
In November of 1985, the City of Buena Vista was flooded from the Maury River due to rains from a hurricane. When the water receded, the print shop had been subjected to over 4 feet of water, flooding all of the equipment and damaging 90% of the paper inventory. The only items removed from the print shop before the flood were a typewriter, a copier, and a typesetting machine. The print shop (and most of Buena Vista!) was closed for approximately one month while restoring power, cleaning out inches of mud, and cleaning and repairing equipment. Thanks to very understanding and supportive customers, James Allen Printing survived.
In 1996, Chad Allen, James' youngest son, joined the printing business after 3 years in environmental work.
In 2002, Jamie Allen, James' oldest son, joined the business after 6 years in an industrial IT setting.
In September, 2010, the business expanded to Lexington, Virginia and in September of 2012, the original Buena Vista location was closed.