Aug. 11, 2005 St. John once again has a book store, thanks to the opening Wednesday of Book and Bean at the Marketplace shopping center.
"I love books. I've always been a reader," owner Lisa McCarthy said, explaining why she wanted to open a book store.
Book and Bean is in the same location as the First Floor Bookstore, which closed earlier this year. It is on the first floor near the entrance, and almost across from the entrance to Starfish Market.
McCarthy said the store has about 800 titles in subjects that range from the latest fiction to children's books to local and regional specialties. Shoppers will also find new age titles, self-help books and science fiction.
She said since the store is just opening, the wholesaler developed her first book order based on location and her input. However, she said she wants suggestions from residents and visitors, and will order accordingly.
"I'm looking forward to putting my own stamp on the store," McCarthy said.
She also said Book and Bean will do special orders.
McCarthy, acknowledging that other St. John book stores have gone under, said that the time is right for one to succeed.
"St. John has changed so much since I moved here," she said.
McCarthy also was optimistic that shoppers now have money to spend, and that the location at the Marketplace will attract local people doing their grocery shopping, banking and picking up prescriptions at the adjacent pharmacy. Of course, she added that visitors are welcome, too.
She also plans to open a used book kiosk in the Marketplace. She said customers will receive a voucher when they drop off used books. They can then use the voucher for more used books or for new books or refreshments at Book and Bean.
Jennifer Tyler, a former teacher who works at Book and Bean, will hold story hours for children ages five to eight once a week and will also plan art-based literature projects for the children. Once school starts, Tyler will additionally hold sessions for teenagers on reading the classics.
As its name indicates, Book and Bean also sells coffee.
"Organic, fair-trade coffee," McCarthy said.
You can also stop by for an all-fruit smoothie, chai tea, espresso, and ice cream.
McCarthy said Book and Bean will soon start selling newspapers and magazines. Look for the New Yorker and Atlantic Monthly on the racks, as well as other titles.
McCarthy, 37, moved to St. John in 1997 to work as a pastry chef at the Westin Resort and Villas. After a brief stint in the hotel kitchen, she moved on to selling timeshares, got married to Michael McCarthy, who serves as the sales director at the Westin, and had a baby, Duncan. He is now seven months old.
Born in Indianapolis, McCarthy is the daughter of a railroad worker. Consequently, she moved all over the country as her father moved from place to place for his job.
McCarthy went on to get a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Michigan and a master's degree in social work and political science before moving to New York to learn to be a pastry chef.
She said she called on her pastry chef background when deciding what drinks to serve at Book and Bean.
"I enjoyed putting together the recipes," she said.
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