I find it so hard to believe, but it’s TRUE – my one-year Anniversary of owning Chapters on Main Bookstore & Coffee Shop just occurred on January 17th! I realized that I had not yet written even one Blogpost since Debbie’s beautiful update upon selling Chapters last January, and I wanted to start Chapter 2 by bringing you all up to date on what this past year has meant to me!
What I have learned – TOP FIVE:
Van Buren and its neighbors love this Independent Bookstore/Coffee Shop! What the Foliarts started here many years ago has its roots in home-town hospitality, and that is what is most appreciated by our loyal customers AND new customers alike! My #1 goal here has been to continue what was so carefully initiated by Chapters’ original owners…I plan to always keep that #1.
Staff is SO Important! Having worked with so many people in the past, I am fully aware that employees can either make or break a business. I was so thrilled that the existing Staff chose to stay with me last January when the shop changed hands. I have never taken that lightly – they were the ones who trained me as a Barista and on how to run the POS System, among other things! I feel that we are now a great Team and look forward to the coming seasons with them all.
People are Passionate about Coffee! When I bought the shop, I chose to keep the Chapters’ Promise to its Coffee Shop customers which is: “If it’s not perfect, we will remake it for you.” Coffee people know what they want, and how they want it…and we are here to make sure that happens! I already knew of and loved ONYX coffee before I even bought Chapters and am so thrilled to be their coffee representative in the River Valley. It’s been such a fun experience to learn how to make the Perfect Drink for our customers – and not just coffee, but all our Specialty Drinks!
Books will NEVER go out of style! In such a fast-tech world, it is amazing to see how many people (of all ages!) still want to read a REAL BOOK! I have always loved to read but haven’t always known a lot of others who loved it also – but now I know there are a LOT of us out there. I have had the best time with my book customers, and always look forward to seeing what they choose to buy… ESPECIALLY when they find treasures amongst our Used Books!
I love People! Well, I already knew that before buying Chapters, but now I just know it MORE. It has been so satisfying this past year to get to meet and talk to so many people. My entire elementary school experience included having “Alison Talks too Much” as a comment upon my report cards, but that “skill” is now serving me well as I get to talk to people as much as I want! Regulars, Local First-timers, Travelers, fellow-Believers – it has all been a joy for me. I treasure each conversation!
So – I am two days into Chapter 2 and it has already been incredibly eventful! We have had extreme cold here in Van Buren, Arkansas, for 5 days and Chapters’ pipes were frozen for almost three days…meaning no Coffee Shop. However, today was THE DAY and we now have water again! The effort that so many people made to make that happen was immense – Alan & Debbie Foliart, Paul Gibson, and the Van Buren Municipal Utilities workers have been such a blessing. I am so appreciative!
As I look forward to my Chapter 2 at Chapters Bookstore & Coffee Shop, it makes me so grateful to the Lord that He blessed me with this new adventure. We never know what’s around the corner, right? Come visit and let’s chat sometime!