So the stores have not sold. We were certain they would. We had an offer and then at the last minute he changed the conditions to the point that Mark and I would be assuming all the risk.
We were totally honest with him about our finances, the debt we still owe, our need to move and he tried to leverage us. I guess he thought we'd fold since we already have a lease in Tracy. He thought we've got one foot out of Sonoma County.
He thought wrong.
Sadly, the only people that are going to suffer because of this are book lovers in West County and specifically Sebastopol. Mark and I have explored every option possible to keep Sebastopol open. As much as we'd like to, we can't.
Mark and I are moving to Tracy and the Sebastopol store is coming with us.
One the one hand this is easier for us. We have all our furniture and fixtures. We have a well-curated inventory. Basically, after a couple of U-haul trips bolting bookcases to the walls and putting inventory back on the shelves, we'll likely be open by July 1st.
Tracy hasn't had a bookstore since the Barnes & Noble closed in 2012. The community is starved for a bookstore and we hope to give them one they can love and enjoy. It's a wonderful opportunity.
But there's also the sadness that we're having to close a successful, profitable location in Sebastopol. We stepped in to fill a void that Copperfield's Used left. Now we're going to be leaving the same hole.
We will continue to own and operate the Guerneville store. We've taken it off the market. Mark and I feel a deep sense of responsibility to preserve the history of one of the oldest used bookstores in the county.
The small store will be simpler to operate from a distance. Still, it's not going to be easy for us to be in two counties 2 hours apart, but it is what it is and we've always been prepared even though we hoped for a different outcome.
We truly hope that our fans in Sebastopol make the short drive to Guerneville to visit us. Though smaller, the store still has a well-curated selection of books. We also carry new books there so it's a chance to support a truly independent Pop & Pop store.
So there it is. The end of one chapter and the beginning of another. Happiness mixed with sadness. Our excitement is tempered by our sense of loss.
We are grateful for all that we've learned in building Sebastopol. It's going to help us in Tracy immensely. In the past 5 years Atticus has grown up. He's ready to leave the nest and try his wings to see what's beyond the horizon.
But he will always remember where he started. A land of apple orchards and grapevines where the green of the land stretches to meet the river and sea. A small, funky enclave, tucked in the redwoods where he was welcomed and loved.
For that, he and we will always be grateful.