In July of 2004, Colonial Photo and Hobby (CPH) celebrated 50 years
of service in the Central Florida community.
In July of 1954, Don Rausch and his wife Bobbie opened the
doors of CPH
in the general vicinity of where it stands today. We started
with $3,000 in seed money and spent the funds on our first
supply of cameras and film, hobbies and store fixtures.
Sales at first were slow but steady, and we started to grow.
In 1958 we moved to 643 N. Mills and expanded at the same
time. We made the move from our old store to the new one in
a single weekend. Customers and employees helped to push
merchandise across the street in boxes. As we continued to
grow, our need for space grew right along with us. A few
years later, we made another weekend move to
636 N. Mills Avenue. This location
was next door to our current place of business.
Twelve years of steady growth went by and we began once
again to look for new space. Our Realtor approached us and
wanted to know if we were interested in the property next
door. This was the PUBLIX SUPER MARKET property that was for
sale. The property was actually owned by Mr. Jenkins and his
wife who were the founders of the Publix Supermarket chain.
We had our grand opening at the facility we now occupy in
October, 1973. Delta Burke, then only 16 years old,
was hired as the official hostess of the event and gave out
door prizes and gifts. All of the camera and hobby
representatives and all the help we could muster turned out
on that day. Thanks to their efforts, it was a great
Shortly afterwards we added picture framing. Howard Welch, a
good friend who had owned his own framing shop some years
before, came to work for us at the age of 72. He taught us
the framing business and he was instrumental in getting the
shop and everything set up for custom framing.
Steve and Mike Rausch came into the business at this time.
They began to learn the business from the ground up, working
here while they were in school. They would work weekends,
during the holidays and whenever they had the time.
Colonial Photo and Hobby has continued to prosper along with
the rest of Orlando and the surrounding communities. One
more transition occurred in the late 1990's when Steve and
Mike took over running the business completely. The business
has flourished under their management. Additionally, two
expansions have brought the store up from 10,000 to the
current 15,000 square feet.
In June of 2004 we officially celebrated 50 years of
business. We are extremely proud of our office staff and
sales force of 35, many of whom have been with us for many
years. And of course, we have great customers, without whom
Colonial Photo & Hobby could not exist.