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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Some Disappointments

Dominique and I braved the sub-zero temperatures yesterday to drive to Little 5 Points to check out the food coop there.  As it turned out, the independent bookstore I'd been wanting to visit, A Capella, was right across the street so we went there as well.

Disappointed on both counts.  Sevananda is ok, but nothing special, apart from the fact that it is clearly a very community-oriented store, which is cool.  But in terms of local food, most of their produce was from California, Mexico, and Peru.  Found one locally-made granola, but no other grains or grain products seemed to be regional.

Although it's a co-op, anyone can shop there.  No one ever asked us about becoming members, either.

All in all, I can't see much advantage over Whole Foods, which is a lot closer.

Then we walked across the street to A Capella.  It's a small store, with used as well as new books, well-organized.  I went there with 2 books in mind that I wanted to buy, and thought of 2 others as I was browsing.  I took the one book that I was able to find to the counter, planning to ask about the rest, prepared to order if necessary, understanding that a small store can't stock everything that a big chain can.

The guy at the front counter was on the phone and stayed on the phone while he started to ring up my book.  I indicated to him that I was looking for some other books as well.  He put the phone aside long enough to listen to me, and finally told the person on the other end that he had to call back later.  At last I had his attention.  He looked up one book after the next; none was in stock.  That, of course, I knew, having already looked through the store.  Never did he offer to order a book for me.

I was under the impression that independent bookstores were an endangered species but judging by the customer service at A Capella either (a) they deserve to die out or (b) they're in fine shape, thank you very much, and don't much need my business.  Sorry, won't be making any special trips to Little 5 Points to help support them.

1 comment:

Kate W. (Seattle, WA) said...

I have found that to be the case... sometimes. I usually stop at local bookstores or sewing/craft stores when I'm out and about for work. Depending on the culture of the town, if the person behind the counter doesn't recognize you, they might not care. On the other hand, I have had extreme success when I am in shops run by little old ladies (70+). They tend to be the sweet grandmotherly type and very helpful!