Used Bookstore Success Story in Lafayette

Rising up, Deirdre Appelhans’ grandmother was a kids’s author and her father cherished books. Wherever she lived or traveled as a baby, her household took her to used e-book shops. It gave her a love of studying that might carry her into her grownup life.

The entrance porch of The Learn Queen was once a bookstore at 129 N. Harrison Ave. in Lafayette. (Picture by Learn Queen/Courtesy)

“I like books,” Appelhans mentioned. “I’m a type of individuals who think about books as associates. They’d an enormous half in my life. I spent an amazing period of time in used e-book shops rising up. There was once much more of them.”

So when iconic Louisville used bookstore The Ebook Cellar closed in 2019, Appelhans wished to do one thing about it, to protect the form of used bookstore within the space she’d love to go to. She enlisted her longtime buddy Barbara Looking as a enterprise associate, and the 2 bought the stock and naming rights to The Ebook Cellar.

“She requested me if I wished a enterprise associate,” Appelhans mentioned. “I mentioned sure.” It actually was that straightforward. “We took offense and jumped with religion that we’d land.”

Appelhans and Looking discovered house at 129 N. Harrison Ave. in Lafayette, an outdated home that had by no means been used for retail earlier than. The greater than 100-year-old constructing wanted in depth renovations, together with a serious cleansing of the inside, earlier than the brand new bookstore might open.

After the transforming was accomplished, Appelhans and Looking had been getting ready to open after they confronted one other hurdle: the federal government shutdown of companies in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was terrifying as a result of we spent all this time reconstructing this constructing,” Appelhans mentioned. “We felt this could not be the way it ended.”

After their retailer – now known as The Learn Queen – was lastly capable of open the day earlier than Father’s Day 2020, the outcomes had been evident.

“Truly, folks learn books,” Appelhans mentioned. “Folks actually like books. There’s a spot for e-readers, however folks actually wish to learn a e-book.”

Their location in Outdated City Lafayette meant that the Queen Learn (nicknamed “Pink”) was in a primary place to seize foot site visitors, and phrase of mouth started to unfold.

“Phrase of mouth has been so key,” Appelhans mentioned. “We have seen nothing however fantastic help from the neighborhood. Youngsters trip bikes, are available in and purchase books, then learn on the porch. Many individuals began strolling to the shop. That is once we felt we had one thing that folks actually, actually wished. A spot to go, a spot the place they will have a look at books and have a neighborhood assembly place. It was very touching.”

Along with books, The Learn Queen additionally has a restaurant that serves espresso, espresso, tea, desserts, sweets and different baked items. In addition they promote merchandise and presents.

They’ve additionally began to step up the occasions they arrange. The shop has expanded to have a studying lounge within the again the place it hosts a e-book membership. Throughout Lafayette’s summer time occasion sequence, Artwork Evening Out, The Learn Queen hosted artwork workshops with native artists.

They’re additionally working with East Simpson Espresso Co., positioned throughout the road, to begin a harvest pageant in Lafayette. It’s scheduled to start on October 29.

And within the meantime, they’re going to proceed to be proof of idea that folks will nonetheless help a used bookstore.

“It is simply a lot enjoyable,” Appelhans mentioned. “After I’m there every single day, I am surrounded by individuals who wish to be there and are excited and blissful to be there. My job is to search out enjoyable, cool, neat issues to place within the retailer and discuss to people who find themselves blissful. It is an incredible factor.”

This text was first revealed by BizWest, an unbiased information group, and is revealed below license. © 2022 BizWest Media LLC.

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