Probably the most unusual Leica dealer in the US was Ken Hansen in New York City. Unfortunately Ken passed away 2019, and since then his son-in-law and companion through 25 years, Vico Sanchez has taken over the business.
The store was established in 1973 and Ken Hansen grew to become the largest Leica dealer in the US without a website or even a store. Ken Hansen New York Inc operated – and still does – strictly with just an e-mail address.
As improbable as that might sound, it worked. It worked because Ken Hansen New York Inc had a huge fan base of Leica owners who considered him to be the friendliest and most easy going person in the world.
“Ken Hansen was a legendary Leica dealer, and my g- to guy for all things Leica. I had been dealing with Ken for years and never once have I encountered an issue, problem or ANYTHING similar to that. His customer service was second-to-none and he usually had everything in stock.”
“One of the most popular purveyors was Ken Hansen. The man had a reputation for setting the standard. You were virtually guaranteed to walk away happy.”
“Ken Hansen did introduce me to my first Leica and every Leica I have acquired since then. Ken said something like, ‘These are the best lenses in the world. Choose your f/stop, set your shutter speed, start shooting, and throw away the owner’s manual. It’s that simple.’ What got me excited was that it became about shooting images in their purest form. My mind became free of what I like to call the technical waste. Other cameras have that, and I do not want it.”