Appelboom Boston is Closing

Appelboom posted on Instagram that their Boston storefront (what used to be the Bromfield Pen Shop for decades) is closing.

The text of the statement reads:

Dear customers,

We are deeply saddened to announce that we will be closing our Appelboom Boston (USA) location. While these doors will be closing, our Appelboom location Laren, The Netherlands, will remain open for all your writing needs.

It has always been of utmost importance to serve you with quality and care. We take great pride in ensuring our customers are satisfied. In order to focus on this, and to continue expanding our selection, Appelboom Laren will become our one and only location of service.

We would be honoured to continue welcoming our American (and all other international customers!) to our website where we offer global shipping. With this change, customers will see new shipping rates for the USA.

All customers who have pending orders and/or repairs with our Boston branch have already been contacted. If you have not heard from us, please reach out to us at

We are grateful for The American Dream’ that we have experienced over the past three years. We would like to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to this and hope to welcome you again soon via our website or social media - or in person in Laren!

I don’t know if the shop is already closed as of the announcement or if they’ll still be open for some period. The end of the statement’s second paragraph reads to me that it was no longer financially and/or logistically viable to operate the Boston location.

I talked about shopping at Appelboom back in August. I visited the shop once a year since it opened in the fall of 2021. I enjoyed good service when there and always was able to find something nice to bring home.

My purchases from the initial visit to Appelboom Boston in October 2021My purchases from the initial visit to Appelboom Boston in October 2021

Bought my first Visconti at Appelboom Boston in July 2022Bought my first Visconti at Appelboom Boston in July 2022

Inks from Appelboom Boston July 2022Inks from Appelboom Boston July 2022

In any case, this is an unfortunate break for pen fans in the area. It also might be unhelpful for the Commonwealth Pen Show. The show didn’t happen last September because of issues with the hosting hotel but organizers have stated there’s a new venue on deck for this year. With a local branch in Boston, Appelboom would exhibit at the show. Appelboom has a large, well-recognized presence online that people respond to, which could have been a driver for communicating details about the new show location, getting more people there, and raising its profile. If they are no longer at the show because they’ve closed the Boston shop, does any of that happen?

In my August post, I wrote:

At that moment I went back and forth on the aforementioned value judgment, knowing that I could go home and almost certainly find the exact same pen for a lower price online. I decided that if the pen feels 100% commensurate with the in-store price then it was worth supporting the store to buy there if you can afford it. If people don’t buy pens in a place like Appelboom then it may cease to be there and I would lament that absence far more than whatever the cash difference would have been in this case. Besides, I was already $7 ahead from the train ride in. 

Well, I bought several pens there in 3 years and here I am lamenting the store’s absence all the same, so what do I know? I’m not sure if we’ll see a place like Appelboom or the old Bromfield shop return to Boston. Part of me wishes I went 3 or 4 times a year instead of once, but perhaps that would only make me more wistful now. Better to appreciate that they were here in the first place and I was able to benefit from their presence.

Addendum, 1/19/24: On Episode 51 of the Appelboom Bites podcast, Joost discusses the Boston store closing. That part starts at the 11:15 mark if you want to skip right to it.

9 January 2024