The founders of Tekserve, David Lerner and Dick Demenus, met in 1970 at WBAI, a listener-supported Pacifica public radio station in New York (before NPR existed). Dick and David (and their friend Mike) formed Current Designs Corporation to design and manufacture electronic products, and they hold patents for fax machines, cassette tape players, and musical performance devices.
Their most widely used product was the Acoustiguide. These cassette-based audio guides were used by museums across the United Sates, such as the Orson Welles tour of the Treasures of Tutankhamun. They manufactured over 20,000 Acoustiguide players right here in Manhattan. From there, they expanded to a line of audio listening stations commissioned by the Asiel Foundation for the Lincoln Center library, where they are still in use.
Their Japanese suppliers were impressed by their CAD drawings, not knowing that they were bit-mapped images from MacPaint printed on the Apple ImageWriter. They later produced printed circuit negatives on their LaserWriter. Apple repairs were expensive at the time, and Dick & David began fixing their friend’s Macs, a business which rapidly outpaced their engineering business. Tekserve was launched from Dick’s living room in 1987.
They outgrew the living room and the business expanded to 163 West 23rd Street, becoming an authorized Apple reseller in 1993. Though Tekserve was doing well, Apple as a company was struggling in the 1990s. While many retailers moved away from Apple technology, Tekserve embraced it and saw business thrive to the point of expanding again. The move to 155 West 23rd saw the birth of many beloved Tekserve staples like the original Coca-Cola machine (which is the same age as David).
In 2001, Matthew Cohen joined the company bringing an additional area of expertise to Tekserve; creative solutions for graphic, audio and video professionals. Tekserve was now able to design, configure and support true solutions for its clients.
With the rebirth of Apple, Tekserve found themselves out growing their space once again, and in 2002 Tekserve moved to their current location at 119 West 23rd. Enterprise and complex solution sales now compromise more than 50% of Tekserve's business, along with professional consulting, rentals, seminars, and more. But service is still the heart and soul of the business.
Now a vibrant center for creativity and technology, Tekserve has never lost the spirit that started it all.