For some ink makers, formulating inks to meet customers’specific needs is one of the best parts of the business. That definitely holds true for Bruce Baker, president of Bakers Ink, who decided to go into business on his own in part tobe able to be free to work more closely with customers.
“A lot of times, when you are in a large company, you don’t have formulation control,” Mr. Baker said. “I really liked making custom inks to meet the customers’ needs rather than just telling them to try another ink off the shelf. I am still the lab guy here, as well as the president.”
Mr. Baker has been in the printing ink industry for 25 years, including time at Handschy Industries and INX International Ink Co., where he worked on the technical side.
“I worked with Handschy Industries for 16 years on the technical sidein paste ink and water flexo, and as plant supervisor for the company’s Minneapolis plant,” Mr. Baker said. “I then joined INX International for a year, also on the technical side, working on the litho side and also as the backup for flexo.”
In 1996, SI Industries offered Mr. Baker the opportunity to form his own ink company, manufacturing inks and servicing printers the way he felt was best for the customer.
“SI Industries is a manufacturer of printing rollers, and SI Industries’ owner James Marciniak wanted to venture into the ink industry,” Mr. Baker said. “We teamed up and came up with Bakers Ink, and opened our doors in July 1996. We do it all – commercial sheetfed, web heatset, news and business forms, and we manufacture Pantone matches, custom matches and custom formulations.”
The company’s primary emphasis is on manufacturing paste inks for the sheetfed market. In addition, Bakers Ink distributes printing inks for Van Son Holland Ink and Micro Inks, press washes and fountain solutions for Rogersol, as well as blankets and other printing supplies.
The commercial sheetfed market is service-intensive, and Mr. Baker said that is perfect for Bakers Ink.
“Our main emphasis is on the service side,” Mr. Baker said. “We take a lot of pride in servicing our accounts and helping people. We don’t always come in with the lowest price, and we do try to keep our prices fair for small and large printers alike, but we are always bringing value-added services to our customers.”
Because of the company’s emphasis on quality and service, business has remained strong for Bakers Ink.
“Business has been steady,” Mr. Baker said. “We have ups and downs, but I can honestly say we’re making ink every day.”