World, Meet Quaker City Mercantile. QCM, World.

Philadelphia creative, Steve Grasse, is always up to something big. It’s just the way the guy works.
His latest BIG IDEA entails moving to the country and making things with his hands. “The go-go excesses of the millennium is over,” Grasse said. “Now America needs to get back to fundamentals–hard work, brilliant inventions, and the manufacture of useful things.”
Grasse has purchased a 72-acre farm in the White Mountains of New Hampshire that he plans to use as a laboratory for America’s new culture of agrarian traditionalism.”We spent twenty years celebrating the wild decadence of American consumerism” Grasse said. “The time has come to begin a new chapter.”
He’s also decided to rebrand his ad agency, Gyro Worldwide. As of today, Gyro Worldwide is no more. In its place is Quaker City Mercantile (QCM), a company that aims to produce much more than advertising. Drawing on Philadelphia’s heritage, QCM hopes to recapture Philadelphia’s mighty industrial past and weave a new version of this greatness into its future.
QCM will operate out of the old offices of Gyro Worldwide. It will offer clients the same array of branding, identity, promotion, and new product development services. But in addition to creating work for other companies, QCM will be developing its own line of artisanal products, many developed on Grasse’s farm. “I aspire to be a true Renaissance man,” Grasse says, “a pre-robber baron capitalist in the tradition of Franklin, Jefferson and Washington.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I admire this gentleman a lot. Being in advertising i often think to myself ” I’m just going to jump in a boxcar or move to the woods and just start over.”
    I try to make my job as enjoyable as i can but my agency’s strategy seems to be ” keep workers in constant fear and maintain all accounts as condition critical”
    Its suicidal. But i guess i only have myself to blame.
    Kudos Steve Grasse and kudos again.

  2. Wow, so his marketing business is drying up, and he’s throwing out some BS PR stories about using his “gentleman farm” as an incubator (I.E. – he seriously needs to convert the property into a business write off as quickly as possible).
    “Paradigm shifts, etc…” Oh my god, just start filling up the snake oil tankers now.
    Grow some balls Steve, and just dive into the inventing/manufacturing gig full bore.
    Geez, there’s one born every 30 seconds, apparently.
    It sucks to be old. This “reinvention” crap is blatantly transparent.

  3. I’m happy to see some commentary on this post, especially two totally divergent views.
    As an ad man, I respect the massive balls of someone like Grasse, because essentially that’s what’s needed in a business like this. At the same time, it’s hard to take too seriously. For no amount of self-promotion is going to add up to a modern day Ben Franklin.

  4. Ha! His agency did the Sailor Jerry site. That must have been a fun project. Especially the ladies dresses photoshoot

  5. Gyro/QCM employee says:

    Sounds to me like Paul Bartlett:
    A) doesn’t know sh*t about Gyro/QCM
    B) is obviously jealous that his cookie cutter company isn’t nearly as innovative or successful as Gyro/QCM and its owner, Steve “i have the biggest balls and others hate me for it” Grasse.
    Get a life Paul and quit hating on the success of others.
    Go Grasse Go!!!!!!

  6. George Guzzlemen says:

    Steve has an incredible set of balls. I’ve seen them and let me tell you: The curtains definitely match the drapes!

  7. Ben Franklin introduced america to the concept of Open Source. It will be interesting to see how Mr. Grasse spins his never ending ever calculating drive for profit into good old turn of the century Ben Franklin values.

  8. The proposed philosophy is charming, but Grasse isn’t the man to do it, he’s inauthentic, and resting on the ideas of his acolyte youth brigade.
    It’s a shame to turn the philosophy into something empty, something cool, a product.