THUNDER BAY — For many reading enthusiasts, there is nothing better than curling up with a good book and the newly opened Entershine Book Store has just the thing for them; a multitude of titles from hundreds of authors.
David Tranter says he and his business partners Lynne Warnick, Lori Carson and Jennifer McKenzie had been talking about opening the bookstore for a long time.
“With the pandemic, it kind of was that catalyst to say let’s just do it,” said Tranter. “There is such an emphasis on local shopping and supporting local businesses so we did our homework and found out that communities all over North America have local bookstores. We found this space and it was a perfect location in the Bay and Algoma neighbourhood and we said, let’s do it.”
Located at 196 S. Algoma St., between the Bean Fiend Cafe and the Cheese Encounter, Entershine Book Store is surrounded by the local business culture.
“We sort of knew what we were getting into but you really never know what you are getting into,” laughed Tranter. “It was a lot of labour to renovate the space, build the bookshelves and think about what kind of books we wanted on the shelves.”
Tranter says because they can’t have every book and get them promptly from the publishers because of all the supply chain issues caused by the pandemic, things slowed down significantly.
“Everybody was having problems with deliveries and it took a while but we opened only three weeks later than originally planned,” he said. “We did really well. We all decided that we just have to open — it doesn’t have to be perfect — we just have to open and we’ll grow as we go.”
Entershine bookshop opened it’s door on July 24 to a great response from local book enthusiasts, says co-owner Lori Carson.
“We are doing our best to support the community’s local artists and authors — in fact, we purchased our sign out front from someone in the community who made that for us,” she said. “Our bookmarks are made by a local artist. We made a decision that we would not try to compete with our neighbours so we are trying to offer things like giftware that is unique and different.”
Carson says although Indigo has more variety, Entershine can easily order any book that someone wished to have.
“In our children’s section, we have a tree there that will soon have a bench around it. It will be a good spot for kids to sit in the children’s section,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tranter says things have “been fantastic,” with many visitors making a lot of purchases.
“When we opened, there were a lot more books and gifts on the shelves than there is now,” he said. “Through social media, people have been incredibly supportive. They have been so excited about having a (new) bookstore in Thunder Bay.
Tranter says there used to be other bookstores around the city but they no longer exist.
Entershine Book Store is currently the only locally owned bookstore other than the The Book Shelf, which focuses on used book sales and book exchange and other stores that carry a selection of books as part of their merchandise stock.
“As an independent bookshop that holds all kinds of different collections and genres, we’re the only ones,” he said.
Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal