Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 14
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Coldwell Banker Princeton Office

Prudential Fox and Roach, Realtors

Gloria Nilson GMAC Real Estate

Henderson Sotheby's International Realty

N.T. Callaway Princeton Office

Stockton Real Estate, LLC

Weichert, Realtors

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Iris Interiors

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Weather Forecast

It’s New to Us by Jean Stratton

ALL YOU NEED: “Even though we’re a small store with 1,000 square feet, we have a great selection of items. Office products, inkjet cartridges and toners, printer paper, photo paper, pens, pencils, note pads, labels, binders, etc. — to name just some! We really have all you need.” Andrew Mangone, co-owner of Hinkson’s, The Office Store, stands beside a display of ClaireFontaine notebooks.

Selection of Office Supplies and Much More Offered at Hinkson’s, The Office Store

Hinkson’s, The Office Store at 28 Spring Street, is a true Princeton tradition. Independently-owned, it is one of the town’s few remaining genuine family businesses.

Co-owners (and cousins) John Roberto and Andrew Mangone actually grew up in the store. Mr. Roberto’s father, the late Bert Roberto, purchased Hinkson’s in 1960 from original owner Harold M. Hinkson. A much smaller operation in those days, the shop offered newspapers, greeting cards, and a small selection of writing supplies. As time passed, the merchandise greatly expanded, and the store became an essential resource in town.

After many years on Nassau Street, Hinkson’s moved to Spring Street nearly four years ago, and this has been a good location, says Mr. Mangone, who operates the retail business.

“We have been very pleased. Spring Street has a nice mix of stores and businesses. There are a lot of walk-in customers — new ones as well as the long-time regulars. They’re all ages, including high school and Princeton University students, business people. Everyone.

“Customers look at Hinkson’s as a convenience store for the town for office supplies and more. They can come in and get things quickly. Also, for parking, they can go into the parking garage, and the first half-hour is free. We’re just next door, and we’re also right by the library.”

Hinkson’s website offers 200,000 items, he adds, and “if customers call the store before 5 p.m., we can have the item in the store the next day.”

Treasure Trove

Once inside, customers will find a treasure trove! It is simply fun to browse, says a regular customer. “There are just so many cool things — all the basics, but in fun colors, designs, etc. And they also have a great selection of new and different greeting cards.”

There is really just about anything one could want or need in the area of office and school supplies, as well as social stationery. “The most popular items are really pens, journals, and office supplies,” reports Mr. Mangone. “They are a very big part of our business.”

The pen selection is huge — every style, color, type, size, and price. Lamy pens, Fisher “space” pens, Cross, Pilot and Pentel pens, among many others; fountain pens, ballpoint, rollerball and gel pens, brush pens for artwork, pens with different points, calligraphy pens, also mechanical and drawing pencils, and don’t forget the handy hi-liters — all these and more are available.

Hinkson’s offers every type of notebook, journal or pad to write on, says Mr. Mangone. “Moleskine journals, lined and unlined, and all types of notebooks are very popular. We also carry them from ClaireFontaine, Quo Vadis, and Exaclair. All these are in demand, especially with students.”

Yellow pads are not just yellow anymore! They come in a variety of colors, including pink, blue, gray, and white, and assorted sizes.

Righties and Lefties

There is also high quality social stationery from Crane’s, leather organizers and diaries from Charing Cross, as well as Filofax organizers and refills.

Batteries, binders, binder clips in different colors, file folders, wallet inserts, résumé paper and envelopes, Post-its. custom rubber stamps, sheet (paper) protectors, mailing supplies, rulers, staplers, rubber bands, glue, Scotch Tape, scissors (for righties and lefties), and traditional composition notebooks are in full supply.

Or perhaps you need a clipboard, calculator, paper cutter or shredder, and reading glasses to bring everything into focus — Hinkson’s has them all. Supplies for printer and fax machines? Absolutely. Inkjet cartridges, fax and toner cartridges, and a small computer section with mouse, cables, surge protectors, etc. are all on display.

Prices at the store are across the board, with items for $1, $2.50 for a box of 12 pens, to $100 for a special fountain pen, and all prices in between.

Recycled Products

“We also match Staples on prices for inkjet cartridges,” points out Mr. Mangone. “In addition, we try very hard to use recycled products as much as we can. For example, copy paper, letterhead, binders, notebooks, and our pens are made of 80 percent recycled materials.”

He is proud of Hinkson’s long-time success, which is due in large part to quality products, personal service, a helpful, knowledgeable staff, and loyal customers.

“Employees like our weekend manager Lou Paredes have been with us a long time,” says Mr. Mangone. “And we also have a very good customer base that continues to support us. People just like to come in and look at everything.

“I really like what I do,” he adds. “I like the people and everything about the job. Now, we’re looking ahead to the economy turning around, to getting past the construction for the new buildings across the street, and seeing them completed. We are very encouraged, and we look forward to continuing to serve Princeton businesses and residents in the community.”

Hinkson’s is open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday 12 to 4. The store is closed Sundays May through August. (609) 924-0112. Website:

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