Small Businesses

Purists: Keeping it Classic

We all love technology for making things quicker, newer and more efficient. These 417-land businesses, however, squash the modern day way and are staying old-school. We call them purists.

By Peyson Shields | Photos by Abby Gust

Jan 2016

Purists: Keeping it Classic


National Audio Company

While President Steve Stepp was still in college in 1969, he and his father started a company to break into the cassette tape industry. And later, when cassettes started getting replaced by CDs in the early ’90s, the two found an opportunity to stay in the industry and continue doing what they love. Today National Audio Company creates blank audio tapes—as the popularity of cassettes makes a comeback,  musicians are starting to enjoy recording on the traditional crackly sound once again.

Kingdom Coffee & Cycles

Isaac Neale, Jason Strother and Nathan Boaldin aim to serve up the best cup of joe. This downtown hot spot is mastering manual pour-over coffee, which is a process in which hot water is poured over grounds to create a single-cup version of drip coffee. Sourcing coffee from the most natural sources and using a medium to light roast, the experts at Kingdom want each cup to be pleasurable, smooth and hand-crafted.


The 1906 Gents

Dante LaCivita and Reuben Uhlmann’s shop was born out of their belief in quality that can only come from doing things the old-fashioned way. All of their products from six-pack carriers to shaving bowls start as hunks of wood and are turned and carved into personal items that the two spend hours making. Though there are machines that can turn out products faster and cheaper, nothing can produce high-quality, lasting treasures better than a craftsman’s hands.