Friday, May 27, 2011

Speaking of Cistercian Abbeys...



The sound of silence.
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What happened to the Abbey of Our Lady of Spring Bank, Wisconsin?  Brother Stephen's blog, Sub Tuum is closed - open to invited readers only.  I couldn't find the Abbey's website, and their company, LaserMonks has been shut down. 
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LaserMonks closes:
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SPARTA — LaserMonks has closed. The multimillion dollar ink cartridge business started by monks near Sparta drew national press and was featured in the New York Times.

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The decision to dissolve LaserMonks Inc. was based on numerous factors, “with financial performance of the corporation’s business being chief among them,” the corporation’s attorney, Kevin Roop of La Crosse, said Friday.
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Roop said the decrease in financial performance can be attributed to many factors, “but the major contributing factors were the downturn in the economy over the last several years and increased competition in online sales of imaging supplies.”
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LaserMonks was started in 2001 by the Cistercian Monks of Our Lady of Spring Bank Abbey near Sparta. The monks support themselves and their charitable projects with various ventures. LaserMonks sold products such as ink and toner cartridges online at www.LaserMonks.com and by telephone mail order.
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On Friday, its website said LaserMonks is no longer in business and “If you are a customer who was waiting for an order, you will be receiving information by mail.”
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Holly Grady, executive director of the Sparta Area Chamber of Commerce, said Friday that she last saw the Rev. Bernard McCoy, who was LaserMonks CEO, in late January. He told her that LaserMonks soon would add a line of baked goods. “He seemed positive about growth,” she said.

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Grady estimated the chamber office has received about 50 telephone calls since late February from people around the nation who had been trying unsuccessfully to reach LaserMonks. Some of the callers said they had ordered but not received items from LaserMonks, she said. - Source
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I've read something about an Anglo-Catholic oratory and some redesign of the current chapel, but that is all I know - although Fr. Z updated his critical post on LaserMonk customer service as of April 20.  It's odd for a community to disappear, but there was a tornado in the area last week, and I haven't heard from Nazareth Priest either.  NP's last post is a cute little Jack Russel abandoned in a raft - no sign of NP.  Oh!  Oh!  Wait!  The rapture!  Maybe they were all raptured! 
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Well slap my...

11 comments:

  1. I can see that they might have not been able to compete with less expensive competitors.

    But there were options to take before closing. One being selling their inventory and equipment.

    Most importantly, they had a very valuable asset in the email addresses of their customers that somebody would have wanted.

    That's what happens with most mergers and acquisitions: the larger company is purchasing the customers of the smaller company (and getting rid of a competitor).

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  2. Customers and people should realize that whenyou purchase items from a religious order, that they do mark things up..they do that to support themselves and not out of the goodness of they heart. They cannot compete with the "big box" stores.

    When our local trappists sold local honey--I bought honey from them. Yes--I bought their honey to support THEM. Yes--honey is cheaper elsewhere. But I would rather put money in their pockets than in the pockets of some big corporation. Same way I shop at the little corner hardware store and the small family owned feed store.

    That was one of the reasons I got out of the rosary making business....people were wanting me to sell rosaries for less than it cost me to purchase the parts, even at wholesale perices..could never make enough to even pay for cat food.

    Sara

    PS Hope NP is ok..

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  3. I'm sure NP is ok. Although I haven't heard from him either I have been in touch with those around him and it sounds like he's just really busy right now.

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  4. Thank you Adoro--glad to hear!!

    Sara

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  5. Adoro - what if it was just him who got raptured?

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  6. Anonymous10:23 AM

    ...indeed, what has become of them?? We have been trying to locate Laser Monks for weeks for our own printer needs...and Sub Tuum seems to have gone under too-oom. Strange...very strange...but then, again, they always were a bit strange. I last visited there about 1988 and I could not for the life of me figure them out. I could say more, but I'll shut up.

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  7. Perhaps they were taken over by al-gayda. Just throwing it out there.

    Or maybe their new business is DVD recordings of interpretative dance of the abortions of sodomite babies.

    Hmm. I'll ask Fr. Z.

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  8. Thom - don't be nuts like me.

    I think it's more like invasion of the body snatchers, to be honest. LOL!

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  9. You're right, buddy.

    It would be VHS tapes, of course.

    DVDs are too novus ordo clown-mass-y. ;-)

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  10. I am from the the International fellowship of St. Bruno. We have a discussion board at Yahoogroups, called IFSB. A member posted this morning that the Spring Bank community is disbanding, and only three monks are left. The community is in a great deal of debt, and they plan to sell off assets, and the monks are going separate ways.

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  11. @ThomSFO... as a former two-time postulant at Spring Bank, I can say that there was a homo-erotic undercurrent there. I do not accuse them of immorality in the slightest. In my months there I never saw anything in that nature that I would call objectively sinful. I can only say that the undercurrent, however, was definitely there. That, and an incredible lack of fraternal charity (I was once publicly chastised for making fun of their Doberman, Ludwig), forced me to leave and seek my vocation elsewhere. Sad, because with their fidelity to Gregorian chant, there was great potential.

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