By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer
(Oct. 17, 2019) The last year has been a whirlwind for Greyhound Independent Bookstore co-owner Susan Ayres Wimbrow.
“We want to thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for being so supportive,” she said.
Wimbrow and her husband, Maury, opened the bookstore on 9 Main St. last year. The bookstore caters to independent, local and national authors.
“My husband and I retired to help them market their books,” she said.
When asked about the inspiration for starting the business in downtown Berlin, she said she have an affinity for the shops.
“My husband and I just love independent bookstores,” Wimbrow said. “We are the indie culture. Always have been.”
The couple often goes to independent bookstores on their travels, and wondered why Berlin didn’t already have an independent bookstore. She said they saw a void that needed to be filled.
“It just came about and we’ve never looked back. What a year. What a year,” she said.
Wimbrow also said it was easy to settle into Main Street store, which she said fit in well within the fabric of downtown Berlin.
“Berlin is the quintessential Americana town,” she said.
She said they chose the name “Greyhound” as a way to pay homage to her two greyhounds, Oliver, 10 and Penelope, 13, who were adopted off the racetrack. She added that the shop’s sign was from an Irish pub.
Wimbrow said she strived for historical authenticity with the wall colors when renovating her great-grandfather’s general store from 1895. She also decorated the space with items from her Assateague Road cottage.
“So when people come in and say it feels so homey. I feel like I’m walking into a library.’ And I’m thinking, ‘yes it is. It is our home,’” Wimbrow said.
Independent authors, works from Eastern Shore writers and the New York Times bestsellers are on the shelves and available for purchase.
Wimbrow is also a published writer. She wrote “Death is My Life” after working in the funeral industry for about 44 years. She added that she also has a selection of books on the grieving process within the Greyhound Independent Bookstore.
She said local authors will sign books most Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
While visitors, locals and retirees have patronized her shop, Wimbrow credits much of her store’s success to the younger generation.
“The millenials have moved to Berlin. They want to raise their families here,” she said. “They are bringing their children in to experience an independent bookstore.”
The bookshop also doubles as a fine art gallery.
Lynne Lockhart manages the gallery inside the bookshop and convinced Wimbrow to include art in her store. Wimbrow said that pieces have found homes in Paris, New York, Washington, D.C., and in a Missouri museum.
“[Lockhart] stopped in one day for coffee as we were remodeling the story, and she said, ‘Well have you thought about art?’ And I said, ‘I think about art every day. I love art.’ So she said let’s do it,’” Wimbrow said.
Wimbrow said she doesn’t want Greyhound to rest on its laurels, and she’d like to change up the inventory and focus on notable authors for next year.
“It is so rewarding when you are thanked on a daily basis for opening up an independent bookstore,” Wimbrow said.