In 1939, Stanley Kufta launched a commerical photography and photo supply business on Peck Street in Muskegon Heights, Michigan. A skilled photographer, Stanley had already built a steady business from photographing scenic spots along Lake Michigan???s western coast and selling postcards to retail outlets throughout West Michigan. His new enterprise, The Camera Shop, met with similar success, fueled in part by the popularity of photography and new innovations in the photo industry that produced simple, inexpensive cameras that were wildly popular with the public.
Within 10 years of opening The Camera Shop, Stanley moved his business a few blocks away to a much larger building at 60 E. Broadway. The new building offered more customer parking and more retail space, but most importantly a second floor to accommodate The Camera Shop???s expanding film developing facility. A second shift was added to help process the 1,000+ rolls of film that were dropped off daily by five route drivers that criss-crossed the state, picking up film one day and delivering prints the next. Stanley also opened affiliate stores in the northern communities of Fremont, Cadillac and Traverse City to serve the growing photo needs in those areas.
In 1975, Stanley relinquished day to day operations of The Camera Shop and its affiliates to his son, Craig Kufta. Since that time, Craig has successfully navigated The Camera Shop through major changes in the photo industry, including the shift from film to digital cameras. In 1992, The Camera Shop moved to its current location at 2634 Henry Street, Muskegon. The Fremont and Cadillac stores were closed, and new affiliate stores were opened in the larger markets of Grand Rapids and Lansing. In 2015, a new affiliate store will be opening in Ann Arbor.
Though film is still processed on-site at The Camera Shop, there is now a much greater emphasis on photo services including restoration and archiving. The sales staff is committed to helping customers sort through the wide array of photo products available and purchasing the right gear for their needs and budget. Times have changed, but our committment to our customers remains the same. As Stanley Kufta was fond of saying, ???We???re in the business of helping ordinary people take spectacular photos.???