Goshen News, Goshen, IN

February 21, 2013

Doing the Main Street shuffle?

By SHERRY VAN ARSDALL
THE GOSHEN NEWS

GOSHEN — GOSHEN — There’s movement among some of the stores in downtown Goshen this spring.

A move around the corner is in the works for Better World Books

The bookstore will be relocating in mid-May to 215 S. Main St., when the current store, Town and Country Appliance Inc., becomes vacant.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do for sure,” said Henry Herschberger, owner of Town and Country. “I’m going to be looking around for a smaller place and probably stay out of appliances. I don’t know. I’ll decide next month or so what to do.”

In the meantime, the plans are in the beginning stages for renovations and moving inventory at the bookstore to be open by the first of July.

“We are moving,” said Brad Weirich, retail manager of Better World Books at 118 E. Washington St. “It’s something I thought about for sometime, but it came together very quickly in November when I talked to Mayor Allan Kuffman, the landlord of the building.”

Weirich said the bookstore can’t expand anymore in its current location.

“We’ve grown as much as we can and with Ignition Garage next door, there’s no where for us to get bigger,” Weirich said. “The other building has a basement available and at some point the second floor will become available when we are ready (to expand). We are doing great in business. We have good months and bad months, but we are doing good enough we want to be prepared for a bigger future.”

The bookstore owner is excited about the move, and nervous at the same time.

“It’ll be a good workout to move. There are lots of books about 20,000 and shelves. We’ll have some sales to help cut down on the number of books to move,” Weirich said. “There’s room for more than three times as many books (in the new location) and we’ll build up our inventory over time. I hope to expand some product lines like games, toys and stationary.”

Weirich said it was a smart business move to make.

“We didn’t have to move but the opportunity came up and we didn’t want to pass it up,” Weirich said. “It’ll be great for us to be on the main drag. We’ll have a little bit higher visibility and that is going to be good.”

The Electric Brew

And with the bookstore vacating its building, Myron Bontrager, owner of The Electric Brew, is considering moving the coffee shop around the corner to Better World Book’s current location at 118 E. Washington St.

It’s not a definite decision yet, but “likely we will make that move,” Bontrager said. “There are a number of things to consider and I am looking at what it will take to make it happen.”

He said, “The Brew is often fairly full and it would give a little more space,” at the bookstore’s current location.

“It wouldn’t give us tons of room but with the big open windows in front, it gives the ambiance of a coffee shop with more square space and not long like what we have now,” Bontrager said. “There’s parking behind and in front which is advantageous. Some of the things customers have asked for over time are meeting rooms and there are two small rooms which could be used for small groups.”

And with Ignition Garage next door, a music venue and a coffee shop makes a good combination, he added.