This holiday season will be the 5th for bookstore owners Rebecca Laincz and Matthew Williams. But they are already considering next year’s holiday season in a new expanded location.
“We’ve planned a great shopping season starting on this year’s Small Business Saturday. But we can’t help but think about what we’d like to be able to do once we have more room,” said Laincz.
After 35 years in downtown Kutztown, Jackie and Daughter Flower Shop will be closing at the end of the year, as the owners are ready to retire. Taking over the space at 271 Main Street, will be Firefly Bookstore.
“Jackie and Daughter has been such a notable presence downtown,” said Mr. Williams. “We hope we can continue the standard of being a key local business that they have set.”
Williams is particularly concerned about the store’s large windows that they will need to fill. “Shawn has been designing these incredible displays for years. We hope to keep that up, it’s going to be a fun challenge.”
For Firefly, expanding into a larger space has been part of the plan from the beginning. “We always knew that sooner or later we would outgrow our current space, as wonderful as it has been,” said Laincz. Firefly opened at 230 West Main in 2012.
Over the last few years, Firefly Bookstore has held many events and special sales in the 1000 square foot space, including one this summer that saw almost 100 attendees for the newest “Harry Potter” book.
The July event was fortunate to have good weather.
“It was amazing, but it was so crowded that most of the activities were held outside. It was just too packed in the store,” Williams recalls.
Firefly intends to be open regular hours at their current location until the larger space is ready to be occupied.
“We have some changes and furnishings to set up and some great new features to put in place before we can move,” Williams said.
The partners anticipate that they will be able to have the renovations and move completed by March, 2017. They want the business’s downtime to be as short as possible.
Some of the changes planned will include expanded areas for events and meetings, and additional work space for the employees. Several sections are planned for growth as well, offering space for added material.
“We have so much that we can’t get on the floor right now because of limited space. We are looking at adding more shelving for more titles,” said Laincz. “When customers walk in, we want them to be astonished at the variety of our collection. Organization is key, so that’s going to continue in the new space.”
The upstairs rooms at 271 represent another opportunity for the new building owners. They hope to have another shop open upstairs to take advantage of the location.
“This is such a great central building for offices or a retail shop. We think the upstairs could work very well for someone,” said Laincz.
Her partner agreed.
“We had discussed if we would use the upstairs ourselves, but for now we think another business could be mutually beneficial.”
Customers at Firefly have been very positive about the upcoming changes, according to the bookstore owners.
“Everyone is enthusiastic about the new opportunity for us. They are sad to see the flower shop close of course, but pleased that another local business will be taking up the space,” said Williams. “There’s a legacy there we are proud to be a part of, creating a business that can be of benefit to the community.”
And what will happen to Firefly’s current location?
The owners are hoping that another retail shop can take over their space next year.
“This has been a great location for us. We think it would be perfect for another retail business. The building owner has been great to work with.” said Williams.
Interested potential businesses should contact them for more information.
“We’re happy to help make the transition as smooth as possible.”
Drawing more people from the surrounding area to the downtown is the Firefly owners’ hope for the new location.
“Kutztown has been slowly but surely growing and thriving, with several businesses moving to new spots along Main Street over the last couple years.” Williams explained. “There are so many great changes happening, and we’re happy to be part of it.”