Holyoke Paper

Hi everyone, I really hate to do this but I have to share my experience with this supplier. I ordered pre cut 220 lb lettra cut to business card size. That was over 2 weeks ago. Bryan was very helpful at the start. Once I made the payment via paypal it went downhill quickly. I followed up asking when I would receive the paper, he knew that it was time sensitive. 3 days later he said, “on its way should be a couple days” . After one week I followed up asking for a tracking number, no response. Sent another email.. no response.. phone call .. no response..

Over two weeks and I can only assume the paper is not coming. I lost a customer because of this, very upsetting.

I would seriously not recommend this supplier.

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I got an email from them saying that they were going to start carrying Lettra, but not until mid-May. Makes me wonder if they even had what they sold you in stock.

I had a somewhat similar experience trying to get the sample pack I ordered from them, but it did eventually arrive after emailing them several times.

Ordered some painted edge card from them a few weeks ago, my first order, no troubles at all. Most likely a supply issue……

I have purchased their own stock from them in the past, both cut sheets and parent size with no difficulty, they shipped quite quickly.

John Henry
Cedar Creek Press

Hey I get supply issues etc. My problem is the lack of response - zero. Emails and telephone calls simply asking for a tracking number so that I can inform my customer when I can finish the job. Nothing, not a peep. Seriously unprofessional. All I can say is if you have something important to work on, look elsewhere.

Even if he does not have a tracking number, which would be ridiculous… just say so.. say something. I now had to order the paper again from another supplier because I truly have no idea wether it will arrive, was shipped etc.


My question: Why in the world are you ordering Lettra from Holyoke??!

I mean, seriously, was it like too good a price to pass up?! What gives? There must be a bunch of other suppliers you can source lettra from…. It’s almost TOO popular of a stock if you ask me…. So why Holyoke?

I really like Holyoke Paper products, and have had great service until these past few months. My most recent order was missing a set of envelopes and I never received notification that they would be shipped, even after emailing and calling several times. A few weeks later, painfully close to the date my project was due, I also was forced to cough up the dough for new paper and envelopes of the proper number from another vendor. It was not the paper I wanted, but it was the paper I had to use. As soon as I purchased that, I received a call letting me know that Bryan had been busy with family issues and my “voice message(s) had been jumbled” so no one got back to me on time about my envelopes. What? Really? I had even sent emails, so I found that excuse kind of lame.

It was the lack of effort that disappointed me. I returned my paper two weeks ago and asked for a refund. I didn’t hear word that my paper had been received nor that I would be getting a refund. After several attempts to make contact (the voice mail system at Holyoke Paper almost feels like it’s lying … there is no immediate service when I call), I was told my refund was on the way, “despite the fact that my return was after the 30 days.” Of course my return was after the 30 day policy … it took over 30 days to get in touch! Not my fault. Glad I’m getting a refund.

All that to say family issues suck, but it doesn’t take too much effort to find someone with proper customer service skills to help you out while you’re dealing with those things.

Will I still purchase Holyoke Paper? Yes, probably, but never for a time-sensitive project again! (Or at least well in advance.)

I have never ordered paper form them only samples. However I did order two inks one of which was one of there stock grays and it was way way off, almost a blue when I called and asked what was up they said I might have to add transparent white. Which I was lucky that i was an internship at the the time at a letterpress shop, however why should I have to add ink to something that is one of your stock inks for it to be right?

I’ve ordered Holyoke paper from Bryan several times in the past, didn’t have it shipped, just picked it up at his shop. I LOVE Holyoke paper, so I was rather dismayed to discover today that it seems that Bryan has picked up and moved to Winston-Salem NC. I don’t know when it happened but his websites now have the Winston-Salem address. Sorry to hear that he won’t be nearby anymore.
Paul, I do have the same question as Haven though - why buy Lettra through him? There are certainly other distributors, just curious


For Lettra cut paper orders, I would recommend Astro Paper, www.astropaper.com, or Keldon Paper, www.keldonpaper.com. Both are in Southern California… both will ship the same day or next day depending on when you call. Keldon has a minimum cutting charge of $25. Astro charges $5 per cut size, plus a small order charge of $20 for less than 25 parent sheets, or $10 for something like 25-100 parent sheets. Astro’s prices are somewhat higher on the lower quantities, but about the same over 100 sheets. I find their low cutting charges to be worthwhile in saving me time to get stock cut to the size I need.They are both set up with knowleadgeable people who will answer your call and take your order over the phone right away.

I’d guess no one here remembers Bryan the “Anarchist” on Lettpress. :—) Ideology runs deep.


no comment, just trying to keep this line of communication open, because it closes occasionally.


RE: “Why Holyoke… ” I ordered the paper from a regular local supplier. ( Spicers ) I do not have a cutter and wanted it cut to business card size. They ruined the paper completely, I sent back pictures of what they sent me to my rep - turns out their cutter is not great for cutting down to business card size on regular stock.. horrible for 220lb.. got my money back no harm done.. just a little late getting this job done. Did a search online for pre cut stock.. Holyoke came up, had it on clearance on his site batches of 100 cards - including shipping etc it was still less than what I was paying locally.. seemed like a good deal..

by the way. I just bought a challenge paper cutter.

I see. To me those are valid reasons, but I guess it just seemed like an odd duck choice; why buy a paper that one merchant/company is known for from a competing merchant….. Local to me I get it from Shulman Paper here in NYC, so I don’t really need to go the online route and I can show up at the merchant and direct them to trim to my chosen size if I want. Sorry for your troubles, my query was out of genuine curiosity.

Hopefully adding your own cutter to your available equipment cuts down on some of your supply chain issues. Remember to stock up on some good cheap chipboard to line your expensive soft cotton paper stacks with on top and bottom so you don’t mar them when you put some firm clamp pressure down, and good luck.

Conventional “chip board” is actually not the greatest thing for your cutter blade, as it can contain all manner of contaminants, some of which can nick a blade. A better stock for backing up a cut is some scrap C1S (coated one side) board 12 points or thicker. This paper is made with a cleaner pulp and frankly can be sourced from offcuts or even buying new. Your cutter blade will thank you as you’ll have to sharpen it less, and Lettra LOVES a sharp blade.

it would make sense to keep clamping pads , ie the board you protected the job with but only a strip you place under the clamp when required , we used carpet with foam backing in long strips to reduce marking when cutting carbonless papers when i was learning to use a guillotine , the actual rubberised sandwich effort that went with the machine was detrimental to blade life !! The steel base portion used to move around with the pressure and would catch the blade , horrible thing .

Lettra and the ilk are annoying papers because they have to have cover/clamp sheets on the top and the bottom, or else they’ll emboss mark. Of course this is obvious on the top, but on the bottom it will pick up the joint between the cutting stick and the bed.

Many folks will have a bottom sheet (hence chipboard) because the blade doesn’t cut clean through—that is when you should sharpen the blade.

I get this 20 pt chipboard from my supplier that doesn’t seem to affect blade life in the slightest; it’s a bit thinner than some of the thicker ones I’ve seen like on the back of a drawing paper or newsprint pad, maybe that’s the board you mean Mike; I’m also aware that binders board usually has metal flake in it (Davey Board is the WORST!).

Of course, I also have mounds and mounds of offcuts that are at least the length of the backgauge and the width of the knife, but with Lettra and other softer stocks like Holyoke, I find it’s best to line the piles with full sheets of chipboard when the parent sheets are paired down, and keep the liners with said piles even as they’re pulled out and fed through the press (you don’t feed the chipboard liners, obviously). Later when the piles are final trimmed they come in handy again, if you do it right a couple sheets of chipboard last the whole job and end up as the end caps for packing and/or shipping, even.

You just keep them with the job. It also helps to mark the boards with the gripper side so as not to confuse the direction you feed the piles into the cutter at final cut! Either that, or put one sheet on the top of each pile from the makeready that is printed as a ‘waste’ sheet to indicate direction…..

Good luck.

- HavenPress - I would love to know your supplier for the 20 point board. Been looking for something like that.

Update :

Well in Bryan’s defence he did in fact ship the paper. After making a claim with paypal for my money back he coincidentally contacted me. He tells me that he sent it to my old business address that he found on the web somewhere….

When asked why he did not use the address under the big words.. ” Ship Here” on the paypal invoice I got a smart ass reply. He still has my paper and my money. He still will not tell me why he refused to return my calls or emails. Seems like a pretty shady character.

I trust that paypal will sort him out. I am not going to sweat it anymore.

I took my new paper to a printer around here who assured me he could cut it just fine. He did a great job and gave me some great pointers on using my new cutter. Thank you everyone for all the feed back, great forum.

please educate me!

what is chip board? from this post, i have some idea what to use it for, but an explanation of what it is, how to use it, etc. would a great.

thanks in advance.


Paul, of course, everyone else in the world is wrong. Only you are right. Again, you are 100% correct. The world has wronged you, and you are entitled to everything.

Congratulations on trying to purchase Lettra from Holyoke.

A stupid decision often yields a stupid result.

Paul- our guy here in NYC doesn’t really mailorder?
But if you want to get him to try, look up and call Shulman in NYC.
He’s got the thinner chipoard stock I mentioned. Does the trick.

Re : Courtneydoyle

Seriously? Does everyone but me have have an intimate knowledge of every paper supplier in North America? I really do not see how it was “stupid” to order paper from what appeared to be a reputable supplier.

In fact when I asked Bryan about the paper over the phone I said, ” if you have something that is similar in weight and size in your own stock I will take that instead ” - He told me it was over stock from another job and he was just selling it off at a good price. What is STUPID about that? I must be stupid because I really can not understand where you are coming from.

Further more, what is un wrong about someone keeping the money I paid them and not delivering what I paid for?

How is wanting what I paid for or even a response to why it has not arrived, or why it was shipped to the wrong address deeming that I am entitled to everything?????

I am not entitled to everything I am however very entitled to what I paid for. If you bothered to read this you would have seen that I originally just wanted to be entitled to a tracking number.

Paul, I am sorry to hear about your experience with Holyoke. Thank you for sharing it here because I sure would hate to have that happen to me! Also I would not wish to deal with such an unreliable, unprofessional business. Yikes!

Paul, I can totally understand why you ordered your paper from Bryan, you of course didn’t know that there would be issues. It’s good of you to post your experience here for others. Best of luck with your new cutter. I have a tabletop guillotine cutter (26” width) and I love it!
courtneydoyle, I’m not sure why you feel the need to flame someone for something that wasn’t their fault? I have dealt with Bryan in the past with no problems but it looks like his business is going through some ‘changes’.


Thank you everyone, Bryan did contact me and has agreed to issue a refund. Mind you I have yet to see it. I am not worried, ordered through paypal and they are pretty good at sorting these things out. Off to pick up my new ( to me ) cutter - 19 inch Challenge Manual cutter today. Another beautiful cast iron beast to add to my zoo.. I am sure at the end of the day I will wish yet again someone invented aluminum a lot sooner though!

courtneydoyle, you sound like a fool.

Anyway, I ordered from Holyoke once. At the time I didn’t know where else to source paper.

There was no communication on the shipment so I emailed and the response was, “Yeah maybe I saw that go out. Not sure thanks.”

Perfectly opaque.

Regardless of what certain people in this thread think, there is a strong market for a service like Holyoke. Precut business cards, edge-painted cards, and little tins of ink. If anyone wants to build a good website, communicate well and ship reliably, you could make good money of off beginner-level printers.


WOW! one of my customers brought this to my attention. I feel I need to respond to Paul Cheney’s post

First, and most importantly, Paul contacted us to help him in a crisis. He needed paper immediately, due to a printing/cutting error on an order he had already printed. We had his order ready to ship out, but his credit card kept getting declined. It took him over a week to finally get his PayPal invoice paid for. I think he had to have his mom pay for the paper, according to one of his emails.

Once the order was placed, and we printed out the PayPal invoice, there was no shipping address on the invoice. We do not usually issue PayPal invoices for paper, but he needed a way to purchase the paper despite having his bank card declined. I even had to go in and edit our Paypal currency settings to allow for his transaction to clear in Canadian funds, but it was still declined. Because we don’t usually print out PayPal invoices for orders, we did not notice that the address was missing.

My assistant did what we usually do when there is an address problem, and that was search for the client’s business address online to confirm that it’s correct. Luckily, Mr Cheney has a business website so we copied his address off the site and mailed him his order. At no time did I send a “smartass” comment to Mr. Cheney. We didn’t even know there was a problem with the order until it showed up as a PayPal dispute.

For reference, orders shipped to Canada can take a few extra days to arrive due to customs.

Well, as it turns out, the address on Mr Cheney’s business website is no longer his actual business address, and has not been so, as he informed me, “for over a year”. Why, you may ask, does a business still have an address on their website that hasn’t been active for over a year?

The order was returned to us undeliverable and Mr Cheney was issued a full refund.

In the days that followed I received a series of snotty and bratty emails from Mr. Cheney that inspired me to do some research into his business online, What I discovered were alot of unhappy Canadian customers of Mr. Cheney. I assume our neighbors North of the border take to the internet to exact revenge when they feel they’ve been treated unfairly.

It is unfortunate that Mr Cheney has decided to start this discussion without many key details. I had to spend a great deal of extra time trying to get his order paid for and shipped.

As an independent paper source we receive requests daily for specialty items, advice, and help with using our papers.

We bent over to meet Paul’s needs and get paper shipped out to him ASAP. The delays were caused by his credit card continually being declined, and a business website that has an address that’s over a year old.

The Paypal refund was issued the day the package was returned. Paul’s comments on this thread are very disingenuous and inflammatory. It is very rare that we can’t meet our customers needs.

I accepted full responsibility for the error and apologized to Mr. Cheney in all of our communications. His refund was issued promptly and there was no need for PayPal to “straighten me out”.

To log onto this site, and see Mr. Cheney’s comments, has me questioning whether I’ve been in this business for too long. We love what we do here. If we didn’t we would have closed our doors many years ago. Every once in awhile we have a client who is a bad apple. It’s unfortunate, really, because the vast majority of our clients continue to order from us again and again. The rare bad apples are almost all the clients who need an exceptional amount of hand holding, to help them resolve problems. In Paul’s case it was a job he printed incorrectly, and a credit card that was being continually declined when he placed his order.

1. Which unhappy customers are you referring to.. I do not believe I have any

2. My credit card was not declined, it was in fact paypal not allowing the transaction to go through on your end.

3. You shipped my order several days after I made payment and refused to respond to me when I politely asked you for a tracking number.

You shipped to the wrong address, there is a big “ship here on the paypal invoice” that you seemed to not notice

Regardless all this was over you refusing to send me a tracking number.

If you put half as much effort into your customer service as you did in creating this colourful post we would not be having this discussion.

I am happy to copy and paste emails should anyone require further verification.


You will recall that during this time I was traveling to and from Kansas City to help my mother who had two serious strokes and was in the hospital. I was having my assistant stay on top of orders. Yours was placed outside of our usual order processing flow

Your email from April 24th.

Hi Bryan, still not working. I will either wait until the funds transfer over from my bank account ( did that yesterday ) or get my mother to try it on hers
Paul Cheney

And my email sending you the tracking info after you insulted me by claiming I was trying to rip you off.


here is your tracking number

To save you time, I have provided screenshots from the USPS website which clearly shows your package was shipped and delivery was attempted.

I suggest you take up your complaint with the Canadian Post, and please refrain from questioning the integrity of myself or my business.

AS for the ship to address, it did not appear on our invoice when we printed it out. Again, since we do not work with those invoices we printed it incorrectly. I admitted as such in an email to you and promptly refunded your order.

Please sir, you know you’re out of line here. This was a simple mixup and a lesson we learned with dealing with PayPal invoices.

I am sorry it was a problem, but we followed our standard protocol for shipping orders when there is an address problem. It has always worked for us. Had we known your business address listed on your business website was a year old out of date, I’m sure we would have questioned that as well.

How many times to I need to apologize to you before you put this to bed? Do you work for one of my competitors or something…LOL


Both of you are looking bad by arguing about this in a public forum. Very unprofessional by either of you to point fingers (and especially Bryan for posting customer emails online to prove a point).

Deal with this over emails because honestly, besides making everyone on here never want to deal with either of you to avoid similar e-grief, there is nothing gained by posting your argument here.

If necessary, take it to Yelp.