Home Bookselling Move to downtown “much better suited” for Codex Books; owner plans to offer breakfast and lunch menu – Muddy River News

Move to downtown “much better suited” for Codex Books; owner plans to offer breakfast and lunch menu – Muddy River News


Jennifer Tournear is the general store manager of Codex Books and Alex Craig is the majority owner of the bookstore located in the former Kirlin’s Hallmark building at 532 Maine in Quincy. | david adam

QUINCY — Alex Craig is much happier now that his bookstore has moved downtown.

Codex Books opened October 1 in the former Kirlin’s Hallmark building at 532 Maine after first moving in May 2021 to the Quincy Books and Toys location next to Hobby Lobby, 3800 Broadway, in the mall Quincy Commons.

“Why not move downtown? says Craig. “The city center corresponds much better to what we are looking for in terms of bookstores. The atmosphere is generally better. Being next to the Quincy Commons big box stores did us a disservice. Here we are in a very visible and high profile place, especially because the Kirlin building has been a staple in Quincy for a very long time.

Kirlin’s building has been empty since 2017. Craig leases the building to 532 Maine LLC, owned by William Duryea.

Craig, from Palmyra, Mo., likes to use the phrase “certified pre-owned” instead of “used” when describing some of the books available at his store. Also available are new books on the New York Times bestseller list and popular children’s fiction books.

“Our used books are fantastic business,” he said. “We sell them at a maximum of half the (original) selling price and we only take them in new or like new condition. It’s like having a new book at half price.

Many books were locally owned and customers brought their books to the store to sell.

“We do auctions and estate sales, but most are from this area,” Craig said.

The time spent at Quincy Commons helped Craig accumulate information about his clients, helping convince him to move downtown.

“The unfortunate thing about buying a business from someone else is that you’re stuck inheriting whatever they were doing with inventory and in terms of leases and things like that,” did he declare. “Having been there for a little over a year, we got some solid data to base some decisions on. We learned about our customer demographics, which days of the week are doing better, how we get customers from where they come from and how they react to our marketing.

“We found that just didn’t work there, and in our research we found that the population we’re looking at tends to shop in more historic, downtown-type neighborhoods. We were very lucky to be able to get a good deal with the new owners and our rent is much cheaper. »

With over 5,300 square feet available (including the store, two warehouses and a proposed kitchen), Craig plans to expand the Codex Books offering – pending plumbing work and an inspection by the county health department of Adams.

“One of the things we had in our old store was our bubble tea and coffee bar, which we haven’t been able to fully transfer yet,” Craig said. “Once we have everything in place, we can expand this service. We didn’t have room at the old place for anything other than the refrigerator, but now we have plenty of room. We can start making popping bubble tea and real fruit and bubble teas.

Craig also wants to offer breakfast and lunch to downtown visitors.

“Being here, we noticed that there really isn’t a great place to eat lunch downtown, especially for quick take-out options,” he said. “There are others that are more of a sit-down situation, taking your time. What we’re looking for is a quick sandwich and a salad. You can get in and out in 30 minutes, or you can take it back to your office downtown.

Codex Books has 10 employees, and once the catering service becomes available, Craig says the staff will increase.

Craig, who also owns a health services company, got into selling books because he learned the owners of Quincy Books and Toys wanted to retire and sell – but they didn’t have a job. buyers.

“I just felt bad that Quincy was going to lose a bookstore,” he said. “Now we are very happy to be downtown. It’s a much better fit. This space is much better suited. The reception from the community was good and we were very happy to hear the comments.

Codex Books is open 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.

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