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Sassafras on Sutton to Open in Early February

Sassafras on Sutton, a gift shop, coffee shop, and bookstore, will open in early February on the bottom floor of the old Brown Livery Stable in Black Mountain, North Carolina’s downtown historic district, Black Mountain News reported.

The store will host book signings and other community events and will feature handmade gifts; coffee, likely in partnership with a local roaster; and a “substantial selection” of books. Sassafras on Sutton, owned by children’s book author Susanne Blumer and her husband, Cole, will be joined in the historic building by Asheville-based Poppy Hand-Crafted Popcorn, which will occupy the top floor.

Blumer and her 13-year-old daughter, who co-author the Piper Periwinkle series (Chickadilly Press), will be on hand at Holly Jolly, Black Mountain’s downtown Christmas celebration.

The Published Page Opens in Texas

Arlington, Texas, residents Jim and Connye Hart held a soft opening last week for The Published Page, a new indie bookstore in Cleburne, Texas, the Cleburne Times Review reported.

The store opened in the former site of Gustafson’s Clothing Store, a historic building on E. Chambers Street built in 1880. Jim Hart said he hopes to eventually renovate the upper floor to include a larger area for book sales. Their goal is to become the best rare and out-of-print bookstore in Texas, he said.

According to the Harts, the experience of visiting an actual bookstore is irreplaceable; the serendipity of a bookstore provides the advantage over shopping online, Jim Hart said.

“If you know exactly what you want and that’s the only thing you’re interested in, it’s easy to buy that one book and get it home,” Hart told the Review. “But if you come in here, especially once we’re filled out with 10,000 square feet of display space, you may not even know what you want, but it’s the joy of looking around until you find it. You can’t do that on Amazon.”

Author Marc Lamont Hill Opens Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee and Books in Philadelphia

Marc Lamont Hill, author of four books and professor of media studies and urban education at Temple University, has opened Uncle Bobbie’s Coffee & Books, a new coffee shop and bookstore in Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Tribune reported.

The business, which opened its doors on November 27, is named in honor of Hill’s late uncleBobbie Lee Hill, a World War II veteran who exposed his nephew to books by African-American authors and magazines such as Black Enterprise and Jet. Uncle Bobbies is housed in what was once a daycare center located in the citys Germantown section in a predominately African-American community; along with books, the store serves LaColombe coffee, gourmet teas, and hot chocolate, as well as sandwiches, soups, and desserts, including bread pudding and sweet potato pies provided by black vendors.

Hill plans to host free author readings, film screenings, and youth poetry slams in an event space located next to the shop that can hold 75 people, according to the Tribune. The first author reading event on December 11 will feature Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons’ Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Atria/37 INK).

Watermark Books & Café Marks 40th Anniversary

Watermark Books & Café in Wichita, Kansas, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, celebrated the occasion on Small Business Saturday, November 25, with a cake and a family photo of store staff.

Watermark Books & Cafe owner Sarah Bagby shows off the store's 40th anniversary cake.
Watermark Books & Cafe owner Sarah Bagby displays the store's 40th anniversary cake.

The bookstore and café, owned by Sarah Bagby, also posted a Facebook message to thank patrons for their support over the years, writing: “Thanks for 40 years, Wichita! Happy to be your local, literary, and independent bookstore since 1977.

Watermark has also created a special 40-year blend of coffee, and on Small Business Saturday, gave away a free quarter pound with every purchase of $100 or more.

The Eloquent Page Celebrates 25th Anniversary

The Eloquent Page, an independent bookstore in St. Albans, Vermont, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, according to the Saint Albans Messenger.

The store is “a haven for book browsers and book lovers,” said owner Donna Howard, who opened the store with friend Kheya Ganguly-Kiefher 25 years ago after realizing that the area was without a bookstore. The store began selling used books only, but has since extended to new books. Howard told the Messenger she sells books across the political spectrum and books appealing to people with a wide range of interests. The store also has large sections of history, fiction, mystery, children’s books, and Vermont books, she said.

The Eloquent Page is also home to the largest fashion and costume collection in the Northeast, according to Howard.

Paulina Springs Books Celebrates 25th Anniversary on Small Business Saturday

Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Oregon, celebrated its 25th anniversary with a party on Small Business Saturday (November 25) featuring music, prizes, and games.

Paulina Springs Books, owned by Brad Smith, opened in 1992 and today features a collection with a particular strength in books on Oregon and the outdoor experience, as well as books for youth and new books exploring culture, history, and science.

Lahaska Bookshop to Appear on Local News

The Lahaska Bookshop in Lahaska, Pennsylvania, hosted Channel 6ABC’s Melissa McGee on Monday, November 27, to interview owner Glenda Childs, who also owns The Doylestown Bookshop in nearby Doylestown, about the recent purchase of her second store in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.

Channel 6abc's Melissa McGee interviews Lahaska Bookshop owner Glenda Childs.
Channel 6ABC's Melissa McGee interviews Lahaska Bookshop owner Glenda Childs.

During the visit, Childs gave McGee a tour of the new store and provided some holiday book recommendations, including The Written World: The Power of Stories to Shape, People, History, Civilization by Martin Puchner (Random House), Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson (Simon & Schuster), and Wonder by R.J. Palacio (Knopf Books for Young Readers). The segment will air on the local ABC affiliate in Philadelphia most likely sometime before Christmas, Childs told Bookselling This Week.

The Lahaska Bookshop celebrated its grand opening on Friday, November 3. The store, located in the Peddler’s Village shopping center, staged a soft opening in September.

Wisconsin’s The Book Look Hosts Open House in New Location

The owners of The Book Look in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, hosted an open house in the store’s new location from Friday, November 24, to Sunday, November 26, according to the Stevens Point Journal. All books were discounted at least 20 percent, with some sold at a discount of 50 percent.

The children’s bookstore, owned by Ken Manske and Mary Lou Harris-Manske, closed its prior location at the end of August after the state purchased it as part of the ongoing reconstruction of the Post Road. After 25 years, the business has moved to a space at the couple’s property in Plover, a suburb of Steven’s Point, and remains open to customers by appointment. 

BookEnds Owner Wins Community Service Award

Judy Manzo, owner of BookEnds in Winchester, Massachusetts, for the past 25 years, has received a community service award as part of the 2017 Retailers Association of Massachusetts Awards of Excellence, Winchester Wicked Local reported.

Manzo said she sees community involvement as one of the keys to her stores success.

I have tried to create the quintessential ‘corner bookstore where civility, community, and being good neighbors reigns. All staff are encouraged to learn about community activities and organizations allowing us to foster a loyal customer base, where we greet them by name and have ongoing conversations about family or the issues of the day,” Manzo told Wicked Local.

The six award winners were announced at RAM’s annual meeting and awards ceremony on November 23 at Bentley College, which was attended by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker. The other five award categories were Creative Concepts in Retailing; Retail Innovator of the Year; Rookie of the Year; Restaurant of the Yearand Retailer of the Year.