On November 8, Trappe Book Center, in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, will mark 20 years of bookselling. Weekend-long festivities are planned to recognize the milestone and to celebrate the bookstore’s expansion, slated to take place in February. Staff members are gearing up for the move to a new location that will increase Trappe Book Center’s size from 5,500 to 8,000 square feet and provide enough extra space to add an in-store cafe.
In 1990, P.K. Sindwani and his wife, Indira, hoped to fill a void that they saw within their own town. The couple opened The Little Professor, a small franchise bookstore, and immediately became a vital part of their local community. The bookstore offered programs such as Battle of the Books, which celebrates literacy; a children’s story hour; and the Angel Tree, which provides books to local children during the holidays. In 1996, the Sindwanis decided to purchase the store and changed the name to Trappe Book Center. In 1998, they doubled its size.
As independent business owners, the Sindwanis felt compelled to further reach out to local residents and businesses. The store continues to participate in numerous fundraisers, has sponsored a public book club for seven years, and works in conjunction with more than 200 schools in the area organizing fundraising events.
The upcoming move to a shopping plaza is expected to draw more traffic to the store on a daily basis. The new location is large enough for Trappe Book Center to add an extensive children's center as well as a café, which will offer coffee, tea, baked goods, cold drinks, and paninis.
Kit Little, Trappe's marketing director, attributes the store's continued success to the loyalty of its customers. In addition, the store boasts a very strong online presence, with Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Linkedin, and Tumblr accounts devoted to maintaining communication with customers and featuring information about upcoming events and photos. Though eager to expand, the Trappe staff plan to remain devoted to the people they serve.
“We're such a big part of the community,” said Little. “And it's a small staff and a familial environment. We know our customers when they walk in the door and it's important for us to stay that close to them.” The anniversary celebration will include door prizes, games, and a contest to rename the bookstore.