big news in Bellingham
November 21, 2016
Following is the full text of an email that arrived last night from Chuck and Dee Robinson:
On January 1st, 2017, the ownership of Village Books and Paper Dreams will transfer to three current employees of the business. While the news may come as a bit of a surprise, we assure you that the time is right for us to pass on the company to the next generation. There has been a net gain of independent bookstores in each of the last seven years, including our expansion to Lynden. Our business is doing well in Fairhaven and we’re thrilled with the success of the Lynden store. And, most important, we have the right team in place to carry this business forward. They not only have the talent and skills to operate the business, they are deeply committed to the community values on which this company has been built.
Kelly, who has been with the store for five and a half years, brings many years of general retail, buying, and interior design experience, and has worked in three other independent bookstores since 1989. She, in addition to her general management duties, has been the Gift Buyer and Merchandise Manager. Paul, who came to the company at that same time, first as the Community Outreach Director then becoming General Manager, was for fifteen years the Manager of Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island. Before that he worked for several years in bookstores in Illinois and in the Seattle area. Sarah began her bookselling career after college, becoming an inventory specialist for Borders. She came to Village Books and Paper Dreams eleven years ago and has been the store manager for more than seven years. Until recently she was also the children’s book buyer.
Dee retired from everyday involvement in the stores two years ago but has continued to be involved in all strategic decisions. Chuck, who in the past few years has worked more from his home office and in the larger community, will continue to consult with the stores over the next several years and direct special projects. He also intends to do some business consulting with bookstores and other retail businesses around the country. Both of us will continue our involvement with the Chuckanut Radio Hour.
We’re both in good health and we want to spend more time traveling, working in community organizations, enjoying our new home in Lynden, and reading the books we’ve stockpiled over the years. Dee has even begun to take up gardening.
A combination reception for the new owners and farewell for Chuck and Dee will take place at the Fairhaven store on Saturday, February 4, 2017, and at the Lynden location on Sunday, February 5. Kelly, Paul, and Sarah will also hold a series of meet-and-greets over coffee and pastries in Book Fare Café at Village Books in Fairhaven, and at Avenue Bread in Lynden during the month of February. Dates will be announced on the website and in email newsletters.
We will be eternally grateful to you for the support you’ve given us over the years and for helping us build a community of readers. We know you’ll continue to support Kelly, Paul, and Sarah as they continue to build community, one book at a time.
Chuck and Dee
Village Books and Paper Dreams
360-671-2626 • 800-392-BOOK (2665)