Saturday, February 19, 2011

Buffalo Street Books becoming a Co-op

Interesting article about a Buffalo Street Books in Ithaca switching over to a co-op model. This is a possible direction Food For Thought Books might be taking.

What do folks think of such a possibility? Leave us your thoughts in the comments or email us at

Buffalo Street Books gets new hope
$110,000 bolsters community buyout idea
by Liz Lawyer

A grassroots effort to form a community buyout of the floundering Buffalo Street Books has taken off, owner Gary Weissbrot said Friday.

Weissbrot announced last week the store would close by the end of March.

On Wednesday, Buffalo Street Books employee Bob Proehl floated the idea to the public of buying the store and operating it as a community cooperative. On Friday afternoon, more than $110,000 had been advanced by community members interested in owning a share in the store, which is a tenant at DeWitt Mall.

"It's been a tsunami," Weissbrot said. "It's very real, very interesting."

Proehl set a goal of $200,000 to buy the bookstore in a message posted on Facebook and in an e-mail forward. In his plan, he suggested dividing that cost into $250 shares. Then, he put a call out for true independent bookstore fans to walk the walk.

"There's always a lot of talk in this town of how supportive Ithaca is of its artists or artist community," Proehl said Friday. "A lot of times, that rhetoric leaves me scratching my chin a little bit. But what we see now is a community that's really stepping up to the plate and living up to its reputation. As far as my attitude toward this community right now, it's a total turnaround from two weeks ago." ... read more
Also definitely worth reading is Bob Proehl's original proposal to the community.


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