ST. MARYS — Dave’s Pro Shop on Erie Avenue has continued to be a locally-owned business since its inception in 1972, said co-owner Kim Hoffman.
Hoffman, who co-owns the screen printing and embroidery shop with her husband, Gary, said they bought the shop in 2006, but he had been working there since he was in high school, and was part owner since 2000. They decided to keep the already well-established name.
The shop can personalize just about anything, she said, including trophies and awards, plaques, embroidered clothing items and more. People can also purchase items such as bowling balls and pool tables. Their number one seller is screen printing, something Gary taught himself growing up in the business.
One of Hoffman’s favorite aspects of the business, she said, is being able to make items personal for people, such as creating a plaque in memory of someone who has died. Dave’s Pro Shop is also responsible for making bench plates and outdoor plaques for the St. Marys Shade Tree Commission and its “in memory” trees.
Hoffman, who previously worked in the powdered metal industry, said the business was all new to her at first, but is something she enjoys.
The walls of the shop are lined with clothing in Elk County school colors and several other items.
The Hoffmans also have a passion for giving back to the hometown community they love, like donating to area little leagues, sports teams and schools, or contributing school-spirited items for Chinese auctions.
They are also known for making the T-shirts for the St. Marys Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Wing Fling fundraiser, a cause they donate to as well.
The pandemic caused the shop to close for more than two months, Hoffman said, which was very tough for area businesses. During the closure, she made 60 face masks out of T-shirts and gave them to the public for free.
It’s also important to the Hoffmans to support other area businesses, too, such as referring people to locally-owned businesses for items, rather than big box stores.
Most of the screen-printed products — such as jackets, shirts or golf towels — are customized, Hoffman said, and people can bring in their own art work.