Jeff Mayersohn and hsi wife, Linda Seamonson, of Wellesley, Massachusetts, are the new owners of Cambridge's famed Harvard Book Store, effective Wednesday, October 1. Frank Kramer, owner and president of the store for the past 46 years, will act as a consultant for the company, and Carole Horne, who has been with Harvard Book Store for more than 35 years, will continue as general manager.
Jeff Mayersohn and Frank Kramer.
When the store, which was founded by Kramer's father, Mark, in 1932, was put on the market this past May, Frank Kramer stressed his commitment to maintaining Harvard Book Store as a vibrant independent business and to finding a buyer with a vision for the future that honored the store's unique history.
In a statement following the sale, Kramer said, "I couldn't be more thrilled. Jeff is both a book lover and a businessman who has a tangible affection for Harvard Book Store. When I met him, I liked him immediately. And when I found out that he and his family plan their vacations around the locations of great independent bookstores, I liked him even more."
Horne told BTW, "I'm thrilled for Frank that he found somebody who wants to continue the Harvard Book Store tradition as it's always existed. For him it's a family business -- one that's 76 years old. And I'm really looking forward to working with Jeff."
Mayersohn, who described himself as a customer of the store for over 30 years, said, "I'm overwhelmed and elated by this opportunity. My wife and I have wanted to own a bookstore for many years -- I never imagined that it could be Harvard Book Store." Mayersohn had attended a Paz & Associates school for prospective booksellers, sponsored by the American Booksellers Association, as well as several national book industry conventions and the New England Independent Bookseller Association's regional conference.
A resident of New England for nearly four decades, Mayersohn is a graduate of Harvard College and has a M.Phil. in physics from Yale. He has worked at several high-tech companies in the region, and for the past 10 years has been an executive at Sonus Networks, a leader in IP communications infrastructure. Noting that Harvard Book Store was one of the first independents to adopt inventory-control software, in the 1980s, Mayersohn said he would like to use his technological know-how "to find new ways to continue the store's tradition of being on the leading edge of bookselling."
Kramer said that he was looking forward to new endeavors, including offering his services as an industry consultant and spending more time working on the development and growth of Cambridge Local First, a shop-local campaign he co-founded in 2005.
Harvard Book Store is inviting the community to a special event on Tuesday, October 21, to meet the new owners.