Name: George Coke
Business name: Cokes Camera, 735 Cherry St., Macon, (478) 746-3286.
How long have you been in business?: Cokes Camera opened as J. B. Coke & Co. in 1934 on Cotton Avenue in downtown Macon. The business was run by owners Joseph Benjamin Coke -- Georges father -- and brother Cecil. The Coke brothers moved to the current Cherry Street location in 1944 after a fire destroyed their Cotton Avenue studios.
George Coke grew up around the business he now runs with his brother Joe. I worked (in the shop) as a teen in high school, he said.
Coke started working in the family business full time in 1967 after graduating from Emory University.
Whats your specialty?: Camera and equipment sales ... transfer old film to digital ... VHS tape conversion to DVD, convert analog to digital, printing from slides from old black and white cameras.
Cokes also carries something of a relic in the camera and photography industries these days -- film. We carry lots of film, he said. The shop even carries instant film. Some people want their photos right then and there, he said.
The digital age has changed the industry so much during about the past couple of decades, and Coke has had to change with it to survive. One way of doing that is being knowledgeable and (selling) specialty items the big boxes dont carry or want to fool with.
Digital cameras have attracted new customers that would not be in photography, Coke said.
What are your future plans?: Expand more in Internet sales.
What do you like best about your job?: Photography is fun, he said. Its a nice business to be in if you can make money. When you can copy a photo for someone of a relative who may be deceased, its nice.
-- Harold Goodridge