By Josh Davis, Associate Editor
(July 12, 2018) The former home of Bungalow Love and current home to downtown Berlin shop Snapdragon will soon become The Greyhound Indie Bookstore, a place that promises to champion local authors.
Susan Ayres Wimbrow, a Berlin native who will own and operate the space, said owning a bookstore has been on her bucket list.
Wimbrow is in the process of publishing her first novel, “Death is My Life,” partially based on her 43 years in the funeral service industry.
“I retired in order to write this novel and the second thing on the bucket list was to own a bookstore. Now that I will be self-published, [in September] through Salt Water Media, I decided to open up an indie bookstore,” Wimbrow said.
“Also, my husband and I love historical towns and we travel quite a bit, and we always seek out the indie bookstores. And when we walk out, we’ll say to each other, ‘I wonder why there’s not one in Berlin?’” she added.
Wimbrow owns part of the historic building on 9 South Main Street, built around 1895 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building was once her great-grandfather’s general store and his office was in the space that’s now Baked Dessert Café.
In opening a bookstore, she said there would be a little bit of synergy with her neighbors at Baked.
“When people come in and ask, ‘Is there coffee?’ I’m going to say, ‘Sure, walk out the back door, take a left, get your coffee, get your croissant, come back in and sit down here and enjoy it.’ That way I don’t have to worry about a coffee bar!” she said.
Wimbrow came up with the name “The Greyhound” because she and her husband rescue racing dogs.
“I will always have one of my greyhounds in the store as my mascot, hence the name,” she said.
She plans to stock the store with local indie fiction and nonfiction, New York Times Best Seller books, volumes on regional history, and journals.
“A lot of people are sitting in front of a computer screen all day and they want to actually put pen in hand and start writing,” she said. “Also, Patty at Salt Water Media makes wooden pens, so I’ll be doing those as well, and notecards.”
The current tenant will move out on July 31. Wimbrow plans to do an extensive renovation and hopes to be open by late September or early October.
Salt Water Media owner Stephanie Fowler said she’s “over the moon” about news of a bookstore coming to town.
She got to know Wimbrow through the Lower Eastern Shore Chapter of the Maryland Writer’s Association, which meets monthly at Salt Water.
“She is a lovely lady,” Fowler said. “I think now that she’s going to be an indie author herself, she is starting to understand all of the things that matter to indie authors. I think being in the writer’s group and being around people who write for a living has made her sensitive to what our needs are, what our frustrations are, and the things that make us happy.”
Fowler said she’s already seen initial logo designs and paint swatches for the interior renovation.
“If anybody could take a shot at it and succeed, it certainly would be Susan. She’s absolutely got an eye to make a beautiful bookstore,” Fowler said. “It’s not just that it’s going to be a bookstore, but I think it’s going to be a beautiful place and it’s going to be an asset, not just for the community, but for writers as well.
“We’re thrilled for her, we’re thrilled for Berlin and we’re thrilled for our authors who may get a chance at having a little bit of shelf space in a real bookstore,” she continued. “We feel like this is just a huge win for so many people on so many levels.”