Group plans to open new bookstore in downtown Goshen

Photo contributedMembers of the ownership group that plans to open the Fables bookstore in Goshen in late summer are, from left, Jeremy Friesen, Jenny Frech, Mark Saner, Kristin Saner, Brad Weirich and Veronica Berkey.

GOSHEN — A group of local business people are planning to open a book store in the former Better World Books location at 215 S. Main St.

Better World Books of Mishawaka closed its only retail store, the one in Goshen, in March to concentrate on internet sales.

After the closure was announced, Jenny Frech and Brad Weirich had a plan on the back of a napkin for a new bookstore, according to a news release from the ownership group.

“We quickly brought together a group of close friends to check in for support. The initial response was overwhelming,” Frech said.

As the planning process continued, team members were added. Veronica Berkey, Kristin Saner, Jenny Frech and Brad Weirich are primary owners. Mark Saner and Jeremy Friesen are partial owners.

The team has retail and book experience. Weirich and Berkey were instrumental in setting up and running the initial Better World Books store. Kristin Saner worked at Better World Books as an assistant manager, and Frech founded and runs Soapy Gnome. They all call Goshen home.

The new bookshop will be named Fables.

“Even though the bookshop will be in the same location, we are starting from square one. We did not purchase the business, customer lists, or inventory from Better World Books, though we

are working to purchase the fixtures,” Weirich said.

The group estimates startup costs will be around $90,000 and will be seeking help from the community.

“We will be accepting donations of gently used books to help lower the startup costs,“ Friesen said. Book donations will be accepted at Soapy Gnome during regular business hours until the new shop opens in late summer, each box donated will earn a coupon for use in the new book store.

In addition, the group will be running a crowdfunding campaign at the end of May and applying for a Small Business Loan.

“The new bookshop will focus on high-quality used and new books — especially curated to bring to the community what you’re looking for, and what you didn’t know to look for. We know that you love to read, and we love to connect you with great stories of all kinds. Plus, we’ll stock fun literary gifts, and stationery,” Berkey said.

Used books will be the primary category with a focus on what Goshen’s reading.

“Literacy for everyone and community connection through stories are at our core,” Berkey said.

“We plan to create space for literary and community events, as well as some events like book signings and children’s story times.”

Fables will open in late summer.


Follow Fables Bookshop on Instagram@fablesbookshop, Twitter @fablesbookshop and Facebook or visit the stores website to sign up for emails and for more details on how to be a part of the business venture.

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