Tarentum book publisher plans new chapter after bankruptcy
A Tarentum book and magazine publisher plans to remain in business as it reorganizes under bankruptcy protection.
Costello Industries, which does business as Costello Printing and Design and Word Association Publishers, filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.
According to the petition, the business, owned by Tom and Francine Costello, owes 11 creditors about $74,500 and has assets of less than $50,000.
It has two salaried employees, including Tom Costello, and two part-time employees.
On Friday, the Costellos said they plan to continue their business, which they started as a book and record store in Harrison in the 1980s.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Francine Costello said at their shop on East Fifth Avenue. “We’re busy. We have lots of plans for the future. Nobody is losing their job.
“It’s unfortunate,” she said of the bankruptcy filing. “I think it can work out to the good and it will.”
Tom Costello said the business was saddled with the cost of leasing expensive equipment to serve one customer when work from that client slowed. While that work is picking up again, he said they are now outsourcing a lot of their printing within the U.S. instead of printing with their own equipment.
Outsourcing printing will enable them to offer authors more options and faster turnaround, while allowing for more diversity in printing and pricing.
“We won’t make the mistake again of buying equipment to accommodate one client no matter how much work they’re giving you,” Francine Costello said. “We learned a valuable lesson.”
The Costellos said they still plan to hold their annual “A Gathering of Authors” event this fall at Riverside Landing in Oakmont. Usually, about 300 people attend and get to hear a dozen authors describe their books, which are available for sale.
This year’s gathering is tentatively planned for Oct. 24.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Brian at 724-226-4701, [email protected] or via Twitter .