LAKEWOOD RANCH — Lakewood Ranch Booksellers, the community’s first bookstore for adults, closed July 21.
“It has not been as busy as we needed it to be,” said co-owner Heidi Allwood, who also owns Little Bookworms a few doors down on Main Street. “We decided it makes more sense for us to focus on what we do best — great kids books and clothing and all the events (that we do).”
Allwood and her mother, Holly Baracchini, opened Lakewood Ranch Booksellers in November after hearing numerous customer requests for a bookstore for adults. The women had hoped sales from Little Bookworms would carry the new store through the first year. That was the case for a while, but as the recession continued, expenses became too significant to ignore. The mother-daughter duo did not want to jeopardize the success of Little Bookworms, and after weeks of wrestling with the decision, they decided to close its sister store.
To cater to former Lakewood Ranch Booksellers’ customers, Little Bookworms now will offer a shelf full of books for adults in addition to its children’s book selection.
“We’re going to carry a select amount of our favorites — mostly paperbacks,” Allwood said.
The store also will stock select magazines for adults such as “O, The Oprah Magazine,” “Every Day with Rachel Ray” and “In Style.”
Although saddened by the decision, Allwood said she is excited to get back to her passion for children’s literature and eager to move forward with new ideas. She hopes to drum up business with more events and get more authors to do book signings at the store. She said she’s also considering how to establish more partnerships with organizations and schools, possibly through book fairs.
Lakewood Ranch Commercial Realty has announced to merchants that it already has plans for the Lakewood Ranch Booksellers’ space. Katy Rose Oilery, a store that will feature high quality extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world and other related products, should be open by Sept. 1.
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