After facing several setbacks, Flintridge Bookstore & Coffee House in La Cañada Flintridge, California, is preparing to move into a new building early next year. Owner Peter Wannier is looking forward to opening shop in the hub of the La Cañada community and is inviting customers to be a part of the transition. Through a page on the store's website devoted to the construction of the new building, Wannier is hoping to share his excitement with customers.
In 2007, Wannier opened Flintridge Bookstore on Foothill Boulevard in La Cañada with intentions of eventually moving to the bigger location once the building was completed.
“We knew that it would be a long process,” he said, “but we wanted to open our bookstore to make our mark in a sense, so when we moved, we'd already have somewhat of a reputation.”
Wannier had expected delays in the building process, because city officials had been scrutinizing all proposed developments. However, as the economy worsened, he noticed that the city as a whole seemed to ease up on development. The process of gaining city approval was halted when the excavation of the new building revealed petroleum-contaminated soil, which required removal. Flintridge Bookstore suffered another setback in April 2009, when an 18-wheeler lost control and crashed into its current storefront, resulting in costly damages.
With support from the community, Wannier was able to bolster sales enough to reopen and to cover the cost of the new building's construction. In addition, he recently learned that the La Cañada Flintridge City Council had agreed to cover approximately 30 percent of costs related to off-site improvements for the project, including landscaping and street lighting.
Wannier's plans for the new store include the installation of an Book Espresso Machine, which will allow customers to select from over a million titles and print books in the store. Flintridge staff is eager to start planning events for the new store's grand opening, which will occur shortly after the holiday rush starts to slow down.
The new store site is located across from the La Canada Community Center. Wannier believes both entities will be able to benefit from one another, and it will allow his store to be a focal point within the city.
“One of our goals is to become very much a part of the La Cañada community,” said Wannier. “We're excited about it, and the whole city is excited about it.”