Oct 15, 2009 Erin Smith Wisneski Uncategorized
The Book Cellar and Shamballa Caf (c) & Coffee Roasters have embarked on a joint venture.
The Baldwinsville businesses, which share space at 11 West Genesee St. in the village, have combined under one roof to provide customers with a relaxing and fulfilling experience — namely book browsing with the convenience of a full-service caf (c) — as well as creating a different type of business model.
“Sharing space saves overhead and it’s a good business model,” said Stephanie Long, who co-owns The Book Cellar with her fianc (c) Mike Hadjistavrou. “People are happy to see business back in this section of the village,” she added, noting the building they are now in was damaged by a fire in August of 2007.
So far, business has been good for the pioneers.
“We have to educate folks that Shamballa moved and that we’re new here,” Hadjistavrou said.
“A lot of our regulars are back,” added Emmet Simpson, owner of Shamballa.
Simpson and his wife, Jean, originally opened Shamballa Caf (c) in 2006 along Oswego Street. While delivering his signature Shamballa coffee beans, Simpson mentioned to Cheryl Korba Long, Stephanie’s mother, that he was looking to downsize when his lease was up. Knowing her daughter and Hadjistavrou were opening a bookstore, Korba Long suggested the two businesses team-up to offer a bookstore/coffee shop.
“The timing couldn’t have been better,” Simpson said.
The two businesses complemented each other in more ways than one as Simpson had experience setting up a business and Long, who is a photographer, used her artist’s eye to design the look of the place, which features her photography. They officially opened Aug. 22, the same night Hadjistavrou proposed to Long.
“We’ve heard a lot of positive responses from people,” Long said, adding it is also nice for customers waiting for coffee or a breakfast sandwich to browse through the bookstore and vice-versa.
“We definitely create business for each other,” Hadjistavrou said.
The Book Cellar
Hadjistavrou and Long try to hit every genre with their book selection.
“I pick every book myself and can make recommendations,” Hadjistavrou said adding he regularly orders books for customers.
“We also try to have a very solid children’s section,” Long added.
The Book Cellar offers a wide range of books including previously read books, which sell for $3 to $5, and autographed books worth more than $100. The two welcome book clubs and will offer discounts to book club members, if registered, and other specials include discounts on monthly themes such as fantasy, horror and Halloween books in October and cookbooks in November.
“We also have a ‘Don’t Judge A Book By Its Movie’ section,” Long said.
Books aren’t the only items The Book Cellar carries, though. They also offer gift cards, hand-made journals and other gift items.
“This is what I’ve always wanted to do,” Hadjistavrou said. “I read a lot and I know a lot about book stores.”
Shamballa Caf (c) & Coffee Roasters
Moving to the new location gave Simpson the opportunity to refocus on what he really loved.
“Beans are my favorite thing,” he said, adding that the new caf (c) is set up so one person can run it and serve quickly.
“This is much better,” he said.
While Shamballa is selling more roasted coffee beans than food, the caf (c) still offers soups, breakfast sandwiches, desserts, pastries and coffees.
The two businesses plan to offer WiFi and are currently working out specials between the two.
“Meeting people is the biggest fringe benefit [to owning a business],” Simpson said.
“It really ties you to your community,” Long added.
Shamballa and The Book Cellar plan to bring in musical acts and have open mike and poetry readings. They also plan to bring in palm and Terra card readers during October and to work with the Baldwinsville Theatre Guild to perform a scene in the shop.
Hours of operation for The Book Cellar are from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Winter hours may change. For Shamballa’s hours, visit shamballacafe.com. The caf (c) is typically open for breakfast and has a coffee honor system during lunch hour.
Mike Hadjistavrou, left, Stephanie Long, center, and Emmett Simpson are pictured in their new business at 11 West Genesee St. in Baldwinsville. Hadjistavrou and Long co-own The Book Cellar and Simpson and his wife, Jean, own Shamballa Cafe & Coffee Roasters.