After 51 Years, Ken’s Camera To Close

December 17, 2022

Everett Economy

The sign on the door says it all…

Back in April of this year we ran a “Meet the Owner” story on Ken’s Camera in south Everett, Washington. The Everett store is operated by Eric Minnig and his sister Barbara Reed. (Brother Bryan Minnig runs the Mt. Vernon store).

Word in this weekend that both stores will be closing at the end of the year. Swung by to chat this afternoon but missed them so we’ll try next week though they will likely be busy liquidating inventory.

For now we’ll re-run our “Meet the Owner” story on a treasured Everett business we’re sad to see close.

Originally Published April 16, 2022. Editor’s note: is working to introduce our readers to more independent business owners here in Everett, Washington. We want to highlight their businesses, tell their stories and invite you to shop locally and help move Everett forward. If you know of a business we should feature, send us a suggestion via email: Leland Dart – Publisher

The store is located at 8907 Evergreen Way.

Eric Minnig (l) and Barbara Reed (r) carry on their parent’s legacy in Everett.

Countless cars have come through the drive-up window since the store opened in 1976.

From digital storage to 35mm film you can likely find whatever you need for your camera at Ken’s.

A true family business, Ken’s Camera began in 1971 in Lynnwood. Started by Ken and Anita Minnig the business opened their Everett location in 1976. A store in Mt. Vernon followed in 1978. Over the years there were additional locations including Mill Creek and Seattle. Now there are two. Everett and Mt. Vernon, run by a second generation of the Minnig family.

The Everett store is operated by Eric Minnig and his sister Barbara Reed. Brother Bryan Minnig runs the Mt. Vernon store.

In the early and mid 1970s you’d take your film to Ken’s they’s ship it to a lab out of State and after a bit your photos would come back, and you’d stop by Ken’s and pick ’em up. The stores had drive-thru windows so you didn’t have to leave your car.

In 1978 the mini lab was invented and the Minnig family invested and began processing photos right at their store which allowed them to increase customer service and turn out a better product.

“Dad hated poor quality pictures,” Eric Minnig said. “While there was frustration with the lab at times and “mini” was a relative term with a 300-gallon gas powered water tank and all the processing equipment, Dad operated under the theory that we were helping people preserve memories and quality couldn’t be sacrificed.”

Barbara Reed added a favorite saying of their father, “The inconvenience of poor quality remains long after the thrill of a bargain is forgotten.”

Over the years business ebbed and flowed going from 28 employees prior to the great recession down to seven in 2008.

The Pandemic caused them to shut down in 2020 for a time but they were able to utilize the drive-thru and also received help with a grant from Snohomish County and PPP loans.

As technology evolved so did Ken’s Camera adding services such as archiving and transferring images from old slides, negatives and even prints onto digital storage. They can take an old DVD and put it on a thumb drive for you or update old VHS tapes, 8mm and 16mm film reels into a format that can be viewed on computers, tablets and phones.

“Print it or lose it,” said Barbara. “You can order digital prints on our website, and pay when you pick up the photos at the store.

Now the family is seeing younger people get into film photography. They sell a wide range of 35mm film along with one very special technique. “We’ll show you how to load your 35mm camera,” said Eric. “My Dad had a way of loading 35mm cameras that worked every time, no more blank images.”

Ken’s Camera doesn’t sell new cameras, but they do sell accessories such as lenses, lights, tripods and film along with some classic cameras and equipment.

You’ll find them in Everett at 8907 Evergreen Way. You can stop by or call them at (425) 353-5533.

About My Everett News Staff

My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring news and events in Everett, Washington. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live, work, and play in Everett.

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