Book Works celebrates (3)3 years in DM
Book Works celebrated 33 years of business Sunday with live jazz, refreshments and about 250 customers, old and new, coming and going throughout the afternoon.
“Three is a magic number, I feel,” Lisa Stefanacci said. She has owned the store for three years. Before that, Milane Christiansen, the founder, owned the store for 30 years.
Stefanacci said three years is a landmark for her because it’s about as long as most business owners need to determine whether it’ll sink or swim.
“It’s about the same here as it is for any other small, independent store,” she said about the challenges of a recession. But she feels optimistic about the future. Throwing the anniversary party was an attempt to extend the goodwill Book Works has built over the years and lift spirits.
Book Works has always strived to provide the same cozy atmosphere, appreciation to loyal customers and hand-picked book selection over the years, Stefanacci said.
And in the last two years, with the help of co-manager Jet Hopster, they have made a pointed effort to reach out to the community with an up-to-date Web site and monthly newsletter.
They also have a “Patron’s Club” for regular customers, who get a free book for every 10 they buy.
Hopster recently employed the help of Indie Bound, a group that provides support to local, independent businesses through marketing assistance and consulting.
Stefanacci sees the economic downturn as an opportunity for local businesses to grow stronger and for customers to open their eyes to the difference between what stores such as Book Works offer versus chain stores.
“It’s time to jump through that window of opportunity,” Stefanacci said.
Sumi Adachi has been a customer at Book Works since it opened in 1976.
“I remember when it opened and Milane had long braids,” Adachi said. She said she loves the comfortable atmosphere, where she can “sit and read for hours.”
She said she never joined any of the many book clubs that meet at the store because she enjoys being a “solitary book club.”
“We love the store,” said Leslie Monteath of Leucadia. She and her friends Steve and Donna Kuriyama have been patronizing Book Works for 30 years, she added.
“Milane and Lisa are community gems, and we’re glad to be part of this.”
Book Works is in the Flower Hill Promenade at 2670 Villa de la Valle, Suite A230. The store is attached to Pannikin Cafe and hosts regular book clubs, events and discussion groups.
At 7 p.m. March 23, Kathi Diamant will facilitate a discussion of “The Zookeeper’s Wife” by Diane Ackerman.
For more information and upcoming events, visit www.book-works.com or call 755-3735.
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