Pride surrounds Tom Nicoski, President of Pakor, when asked about the history of Pakor, Inc. He starts out by explaining the history of the parent company, PAKO Corporation which leads to where they are today.
Pakor (Minneapolis, Minnesota) was founded by Glen M. Dye in 1910 with the purpose to make photographic processing equipment. Glen M Dye, a postcard photographer, invented the first motor-driven photo printing machine. The Photo Advertising Company was incorporated in 1912 under the name Pako Corporation. The firm concentrated on making mechanical printers, washers and dryers. Later the company extended into designing, engineering, marketing print machines, dopers, and film machines. During World War II, the firm developed and manufactured x-ray film processing equipment for use in the military and medical fields. In 1960 the company moved its headquarters to Golden Valley, Minnesota. Dye helped to develop a color film processing machine for processing animated cartoon films, the only one of its kind in the world, built specially for Walt Disney Studios. By 1980 Pako was said to be the world's largest supplier of photographic, graphic arts, and x-ray processing equipment.
The company was sold in 1980 to a group led by Gerard Blohorn. The group continued its business of supplying photographic processing equipment to the wholesale photo finishers. The company was reorganized in late 1984 in response to the introduction of the one-hour photo labs. Pako formed a joint venture with Copal to sell one-hour photo labs and formed the Phototek division to service on-site photo labs and supply parts for the Pako photographic machines as well as offering on-site service technicians. In June 26, 1988 the division was incorporated and the name was changed to Pakor, Inc. A hand full of companies in Minnesota can trace their roots back to Pako Inc.
It was a huge transition from servicing the wholesale market to servicing the on-site retail market. Pakor now entered the world of distribution where they supplied traditional photofinishing supplies.
In 1993, it acquired the assets of Photo Tech Products in White Bear Lake MN.
Pakor strengthen its position in 1998 Pakor through the acquisition of Minilab Specialties, Huntington Beach California, its biggest competitor at the time. With it came accounts from some of the biggest players around the industry.
Pakor’s reputation for high-quality, reliable distribution services stems from its Pako roots. Not only did Pakor manufacture high quality processing equipment but its strong customer support was unequaled. Pakor inherited this culture of high performance and service which remains to this day and truly is the backbone of the company. Because of this reputation, Sony chose Pakor to partner with for the distribution of their instant photo kiosks and passport photo systems, instantly becoming their largest distributor.
As the world started transitioning from silver halide to digital, Pakor found them transitioning right along with them. Anticipating trends and the needs of their customers, Pakor purchased Photoland Inc, in 2007. a company that provided, among other things, paper and chemistry including products from Kodak, Fujifilm, and Epson.
Nicoski also saw a tremendous opportunity in purchasing Diversified Photo Supply Corporation in 2014. Diversified started in the photo industry solely suppling film to home appraisers in the late 80’s. They soon were distributing paper and chemistry to photo labs. Polaroid was one of their top vendors. Diversified was known for their top-notch customer service, if they didn’t know an answer they would search it out. They also offered on-site service technicians, something their competition didn’t offer. This purchase gave Pakor a stronger presence in the west.
On April 5, 2016, Pakor acquired the assets of another competitor, Liberty Photo Products, further strengthening their position in the photo industry. Liberty Photo Products was also a supplier to Pakor for several of their traditional lab supplies.
Pakor continues to be the largest supplier of our type by evolving with the needs of our imaging customers. We align our objectives with our customers emphasizing customer service and being their one-stop resource for photographic supplies and distribution services. We pride ourselves that our service is as synonymous with integrity, quality and reliability. With facilities in Minnesota and California, Pakor is able to meet all your shipping needs.