A new children’s book store in Hitchin has proven to be a smash hit after a popular launch at the end of September. At Country Properties, we are keen to see local businesses thrive, especially ones that provide a much-needed service in the community.
Next Page Books is a colourful addition to the town centre, and hopefully many Hitchin families will benefit from its presence.
The Gruffalo was well received
Liz Tye, is one of the owners of Next Page Books alongside business partner Julie Anderson, and she spoke to The Comet about the opening say, saying "We've been very busy, and had families coming in and lots of events going on - it was really lovely! There was a lot of chat about where the Gruffalo was - he was quite a hit, I believe!”
The owners say that they have been planning a book store for many years, but they were only able to piece the parts together at the start of 2021. Liz continued by saying; “To see it actually in practice was quite overwhelming and emotional.”
Business partner Julie Anderson said; “To be so busy was a relief, because you never know, and you always worry. There have been so many people supporting us and saying that this is just what Hitchin needs.”
Inclusion and diversity matters
The pair take great pride in this shop being the one of its kind for some distance, and that they are playing a part with respect to diversity and inclusion. Liz Tye said; “Although a lot of independent book shops make it their business to be as inclusive as possible, the fact that it's actually our specialism makes us quite unique.”
Julie spoke about their store on Queen Street, saying; “It's really important for us to have decent accessibility; there are no steps, we have a button-press door. And inside, although we have displays around and about, we've tried to make sure that there's buggy and wheelchair manoeuvrability for those who need that as well.”
Liz also spoke on this topic, saying; “The good thing about this location is that there's a car park just over the road, which is all on one level as well.”
Hitchin town centre manager Tom Hardy spoke to The Comet about the Next Page Books' foundation in Hitchin: “It's nice to have a shop - a retail shop - that's a bit different. It's next to the Pear Tree Café, so they've got a really good connection down there with young children. It was very busy with storytelling, even the Gruffalo was there! It was a really good opening. It's really good to see that people are still seeing Hitchin as a viable place to do business on the high street", highlighting that the opening of a children's book shop furthers the variety of businesses in the market town.”
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