I'd just go to Costco and walk around pretending it was the Costco from back home so I could feel safe again, he said. Today, Costco still means a lot to Ellinger, who wears his passion for the warehouse proudly on his sleeve. Or in this case, his arm. He got the tattoo after a friend, Kelly Reck, had the warehouse to make a special cake for his birthday, which was held at a Costco food court. Reck ordered a cake with the Costco logo on it, a service usually reserved for employees who have been with the company for 25 years.They put her on hold and got her one-time permission for the cake, Ellinger explained. In exchange for photos [of the tattoo]. To preserve Reck's honor, Ellinger went ahead and actually got the tattoo that day and sent in the photos.Even though the decision was sudden, Ellinger says he regrets nothing. It felt right, Ellinger said, adding that the tattoo artist didn't even flinch at the request. To anyone who knew him, the tattoo made sense. I think my friends know me and knew it was right, Ellinger said. I think over time my friends started to recognize that me taking them to Costco was something special, letting them into a private interior world that also happened to be a large international retailer. Ellinger once took a date to Costco, a New Zealander who was mostly fascinated by the large bags of chips for sale. I don't think he was that into me, Ellinger added. Naturally, he's a fan of the store's in-house Kirkland Signature brand. One of his favorite items to buy at Costco is pesto. Ellinger's love and connection to the brand are likely one of kind, something he will carry forever — literally. To Ellinger, that is probably the way he'd like it best. When I asked him why he didn't opt for the classic Costco logo for his tattoo instead, he explained that Kirkland products are essentially the fruit of Costco. Just like me, he added.