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Two B'ville businesses combine forces

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.

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