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Buy local: Cartridge World going strong
Family business: (Left to right) Ink Technician Marquise Hawkins, Manager Renae Adams, Owner John DeBroux, Sales Representative Kim Lester, Senior Technician Aquenda Dunn - photo by Annette Godwin

Cartridge world

Where: 2239 Highway 20 SE # G, Conyers

Hours: Monday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

For information: 770-922-8832,

It all started with some advice from Clark Howard.

John DeBroux was looking for a way to replace or refill his ink cartridges and heard Clark Howard on the radio touting Cartridge World. DeBroux found a nearby store, tried it and was happy with his experience.

Afterwards, he went online, researched the store and learned about franchise options. He was about to retire, after 27 years with Eastman Kodak and 20 years in the Georgia Air National Guard before that, and this seemed like a good opportunity.

"I said ‘What if we get involved in something like this?’" he recalled.

DeBroux brought in his youngest daughter, Renae Adams, as the store’s manager, who had been working at a nearby shoe retailer.

"I was looking to find something else," she said. "It was a way to get away from where I was and give me something of my own."

Fate likewise intervened to bring Senior Technician Aquenda Dunn, who happened to see a help wanted sign in the window. Dunn, a carpenter and photographer on the side, clicked with DeBroux from day one.

"I said, ‘Well, let me go in there and see.’ Everything listed on that piece of paper was me. So I said, ‘I’m what you’re looking for.’"

DeBroux’s eldest daughter Kim Lester came back from Vermont and began working alongside her sister and father and Ink Technician Marquise Hawkins joined the Cartridge World right out of high school in August 2008, rounding out the team.

Lester has a theory about the difference between working with family and working with non-family members.  

"You work with strangers and acquaintances and you’re taught to be polite," but that can leave an employee with bottled up resentments, she said. "With family, you say it when it happens, you solve it when it happens, and sometimes things hit the wall, but then you go to dinner and things are all happy."

Now after two years in business, Cartridge World in Conyers is going strong and recently celebrated their anniversary with a series of prize drawings, culminating in a drawing for two color printers.

"The difference between Cartridge World and other cartridge vendors is the other businesses are filling stations. A lot of times, they’ve only got four ink colors," he said. Cartridge World has over 300 inks, he explained, and works to match the exact tones needed. "It tickles us to death when someone comes down and say show much they enjoy us saving them money."