From a children’s librarian for seven years to working in risk management, Ann Kamphaus has several experiences that have led her to being the owner of the new Books & Brews Franchise in Oxford, Ohio! I had the pleasure to sit down with Ann before the store’s soft opening and hear about what is in the works for this location.
I’ve lived around this area for years and I’ve always wondered why there wasn’t a bookstore in town! When I first heard that Books & Brews was interested, I was invested! Ann agreed as she had other locations in mind in the Greater Cincinnati area, but Oxford was the best fit with a wide range of clientele: students, city employees, families, etc. Originally based in Indiana, this Books & Brews location is the first in Ohio!
When asked what makes Books & Brews so unique, Ann was quick to share that the values and what it stands for are what she can get behind and see others will as well. It is “a place for people without a place.” She mentioned that in this community, if people don’t want to go out to bars, they can come here and be comfortable. It is not for only one type of person. This sense of community is enhanced with her ideas for events including trivia, board game nights, movies, and book clubs. By the windowed entrance, a long, short bookshelf is installed with children’s books and toys, reminding the patrons that it really IS for everyone! I could tell that Ann was involved in children’s libraries by the way she took great care to ensure kids could get to the oversized books and the environment was family friendly.
Books are an attractive part of the store (hence the name!). The majority of books available for purchase are gently used for $3, coming from Barnes and Noble overstock, donations, and book fairs. A shelf of new releases as well as an Instragram-able bookshelf round out the store walls. One of my favorite elements about the entire franchise is their buy-in with the theme! Cream and Punishment, Charlie and the Chocolate Stout, The Stout of Monte Cristo — I love it! Even their food menu is creative with a flatbread section labeled “Naan-fiction”. Now where can I sign up for the mug club?! 🙂
My final question to Ann was if she had any advice for other bookworms wanting to open a bookstore or similar type of establishment. She shared that having the support from the CEO of Books & Brews is a huge draw. There are expectations in terms of consistency with the brand but Ann has the autonomy to make the shop the best it can be for this community! “Get over your fear and just do it!” she said happily.
Check out Books & Brews – Oxford on social media for more and to attend their grand opening this month!
What other community-based hybrid bookstores are out there?