Based largly on my friend Ryan’s urgings, I finally made a visit to a pen store here in the Twin Cities called Ink. Three words… Completely Blown Away! Proprietor Barry Rubin has created, what has to be, one of the most amazing shopping experiences I have ever had. It is something I will remember forever.
There are a few unique things about shopping at Ink. In order to shop, you must make an appointment. Barry explained that he does this to give each shopper the personal service he strives to provide. When in the store, he is at your sole serivce, ready to answer any questions or grab any pen you wish to try.
Another thing is the selection. He has a vast assortment at every price point. You could walk in and spend $20.00 or $20,000.00 or anything in between. There really is something here for everyone. For me, I walked away with a Taccia Staccato (pictured above). Words simply can’t explain what a big beautiful pen this is. Extremely smooth to write with. As the Ink tag line says, this is “Art. Five inches tall.” (although ths one is a bit larger than 5 inches.
Finally, the view. Ink is located on the 45th floor of the IDS Center in downtown Minneapolis. One of the tallest buildings in the state. When you walk in the door of Ink on a clear day, you are meet with a jaw dropping southward facing view that streches for miles. It takes several minutes to simply take this all in before you even notice the store.
Barry has a true passion for pens. His passion shows in every detail. From the location, to the business model, to the hand written receipt. He provides not just a shopping experience, but an owning experience. He made me, the customer, feel like an old friend and gave me a true sense of ownership in a shared passion.
If you live in the area or plan to visit soon, you must make an appointment if for simply the view alone. Be warned though, it is hard not to get lost in the beauty of the fine five inch art that surrounds you. You will want to take home a work of your very own.