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This article ran in the March 6th, 2020 edition of The Yankee Xpress

Booklovers’ Gourmet to mark 25 years with a move to new location

By Janet Stoica

Not too far from where she began 25 short years ago (she can’t believe it!), owner Debra Ostrokolowicz Horan, looks forward to a new location for her absolutely cool and eclectic bookstore. The former MVP computer store and Thrifty Supermarket at 72 East Main Street in Webster will soon house one of the best browsing destinations in the regionhe

The move from 55 East Main Street to the new location should be completed by April and coincides with Ms. Horan’s 25 years of great success offering new and used books, children’s’ activity sets, stunning jewelry, truly unique and hand-some gifts, fresh baked goods, cappuccinos, teas, and cooling beverages.

Booklovers’ Gourmet is like no other in this region. You would be hard-pressed to find a retailer like this without traveling a score of miles and even then, you might have to search even further for the likes of this jewel of a shop. Ms. Horan is a modest but proud owner of one of the best and most relaxing book shops in this area. She has undoubtedly contributed to the ascent of Webster’s reputation with the cozy and smart inventory of merchandise that she offers to the public. Her new location will be 50% larger, handicapped accessible, offer much better parking, and will be highly visible with great signage for all to see. “It will be open concept and with all the natural light; it’ll be warm and inviting. The extra space will also be great for our open-mic poetry sessions, book groups, author events, and other happenings. My front counter will be nine-feet long, plus my pastry case, and there will be more display area for everything.”

More wall space means more shelving and bookcases to accommodate the many, many books Ms. Horan’s establishment offers. She will expand her exceptional greeting card assortments as this has become a large part of her business. If you want extraordinary and very trendy greeting cards, you won’t find any more distinctive than at Booklovers’ Gourmet. The children’s area will also have more books, toys, and puzzles. She will bring in sale books, which are those sold at a reduced price, many of which are previous best sellers and of various subjects. These books are known as remainders from publishers and subjects will include health, spiritual, religious, biographies, and some fiction. “I’ll have subject matter that my customers are more interested in,” she said.

“I’ll continue to do special orders. People who come into my shop want and enjoy the personal experience and advice as well as outlooks that I offer. I truly appreciate them and I will always strive to accommodate their requests.” The shop’s website www.bookloversgourmet .com, has a new link to a down-loadable app “My Must Reads,” which is available from the website’s icon “support your independent bookstore.” Not only is the shop’s store event calendar available here but online book purchases can also be made. E-books or audio-books are available to download along with current best sellers at very competitive pricing. A supply of CD audio books is also available in person at Booklovers’ Gourmet. Feel free to sign up for their email newsletters on their website which will notify you of up-coming events and sales. To celebrate the shop’s 25-year anniversary, there will be an exclusive 25%-off sale on new and used books. From March 3 – 7, in addition to the 25% book discount, Booklovers’ will also have a daily $25 gift-card raffle with any purchase as well as additional giveaways plus, on Saturday, March 7, an anniversary cake will be shared with customers who are browsing the store. As the current president of the Webster-Dudley Business Alliance, Ms. Horan has brought a sense of proficiency and talent to the group’s members and has attracted those businesses who seek to establish local roots and camaraderie. “I want to continue to be a part of the local business community and to offer what I can to customers, encouraging the younger members of our community to enjoy reading and making it fun and, hopefully, a life-long habit,” she stated, “I currently work with local schools for bulk classroom textbook ordering and also can accommodate corporate gifting of reading materials at an economical discount.”

She graduated from the eminent Rhode Island School of Design with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts for Illustration. After being commissioned for national design work, Deb saw that working independently would be her strong suit. Tying together books, art, and culture for people to enjoy proved to be a great success. If you enjoy browsing a bookstore that’s way more than your average book shop, try Booklovers’ Gourmet and you certainly won’t be disappointed. Don’t forget to linger in their café area to try their fresh-baked goodies from B. Kind Café of Webster and Phyllis’s Bakery of Putnam, Conn. Booklovers’ Gourmet is currently at 55 East Main Street in Webster, soon to move across the street to 72 East Main Street. Phone: (508) 949-6232. Hours: Tues-Fri 10 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.; Sat 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

——Janet welcomes comments and suggestions