Independent bookstore and gift shop in Webster celebrates 27th anniversary
Booklovers’ Gourmet in Webster, MA celebrates 27 years in business this March. The independent bookstore, gift shop and coffeehouse moved to its current location at 72 East Main Street in April 2020 after being in the same location for 25 years. Plans are to hold special sales, raffles, giveaways and treats throughout the day on Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Other fun activities include writing on a “customer wall” and the opportunity to receive Psychic Messages with Nadine Nahabedian, formerly of The Cosmic Cat in Putnam, CT.
The shop is owned and operated by Debra Horan, a Webster native. Over the past year, as safety protocols have allowed, in-store events have been able to resume including author signings, local artist displays in the café, open mic poetry shares, book discussion groups and other small gatherings bringing the community together once again. Exciting online events were also a part of the mix, like being able to offer patrons the opportunity to take part in the virtual book release of Atlas of the Heart by Dr. Brene Brown and having conversations with winners of the Writers of the Future Volume 36 sci-fi anthology published by Galaxy Press.
2022 continues to be a year of expansion for Booklovers’ Gourmet. Despite the challenges of running a business in these stressful times, or perhaps as a result of them, the store is busier than ever and now has 2 part-time employees to keep up with the day-to-day activities. “I am grateful and fortunate to have hired the perfect individuals to keep the store in top shape and serve our customers in a helpful, friendly way,” said Ms. Horan. Recent endeavors include an enhanced online presence through a personalized storefront on Bookshop.org as well as Alibris.com for used, collectible books. E-books and digital audiobooks are available through the My Must Reads app as well.
The café area offers homemade pastries, espresso and other specialty drinks available for takeout or table service. Organic, fair-trade coffee beans, honey, chocolates, gluten-free granola and other snacks are also available. Alongside the new & used books, there is a wide selection of thoughtful, unique gifts and greeting cards for all occasions. Children’s books are a specialty and the store works hard to be inclusive and diverse in their selections. As part of the American Booksellers Association mission states,”We believe that listening to many different perspectives and empowering underrepresented voices deepens our understanding and enriches everyone’s experience. We are committed to equity, dignity, and diversity for all Peoples.”
Future plans are to keep on developing and enhancing the vision of the store as a welcoming gathering place where people can connect in meaningful ways and enjoy cultural happenings in a local, community space.
Booklovers’ Gourmet is a member of The American Booksellers Association and The New England Booksellers Association. Debra is a founder and Board Director of The Webster Dudley Business Alliance. Current hours are Tuesday-Saturday 10-5, Wednesday 10-6. For more information, call 508-949-6232 or visit bookloversgourmet.com.