Plenty, Downtown Bookshop in Cookeville, Tenn.: New Location, New Name
|Plenty's current location|
Plenty on Spring bookstore, Cookeville, Tenn., will be moving to a new space following a week of celebrations at its current store on West Spring St. The festivities will conclude this Saturday--Independent Bookstore Day--with the team dressing up as Alice in Wonderland characters to mark the transition to a new location at 48 West Broad St.
Scheduled to reopen on the weekend of May 12 under the name Plenty, Downtown Bookshop, the new space will continue to feature a curated selection of new books for all ages, as well as author, book club and reading events; and locally made gifts.
"We've been so well loved by our customers," said store manager Ashley Michael. "Many are offering to help us with the move and that is just heartwarming evidence that we have something special here."
|Manager Ashley Michael|
The decision to relocate was prompted by a flaw in the underground water system in front of the store that has led to periodic water problems inside the West Spring St. location since the store was launched last October by founders Lisa and Dave Uhrik, who are also the owners and operators of retail display company Franklin Fixtures.
A registered nonprofit, Plenty on Spring has had a strong community response, with memberships and enthusiastic workshop and book club participation, according to Dave Uhrik, who said, "Through our manufacturing work with Franklin Fixtures, where we make shelves for bookstores, Lisa and I have a front-row seat to the difference small bookshops across the country are making. We wanted to add to the other great things going on in our downtown."
|Lisa and Dave Uhrik at the new store.|
The move will take the bookshop to Broad Street, where the business is again finding collaborative neighbors, Lisa Uhrik noted. "This was such a tough decision. We love the Spring Street space and didn't want to leave our good neighbors in the great Arts District that is developing. But the water issue is right in front of our door and can't be resolved quickly. We plan to continue to partner with businesses there for events."
|The new Plenty in progress.|
She added: "We hope to continue to bring attention to the water issue on Spring Street so that new businesses can thrive there. Luke Eldridge and the City Council, as well as our own Public Works department, have been actively supportive and recognize that it will be complicated to resolve, involving the state and multiple entities. It will take sustained focus and some time for this to be fixed, and hopefully in the interim, we can continue to support and build all the downtown businesses through collaboration."
Noting that the store will be moving next to Jamie's Eats & Sweets, near Glass Tangerine, Mission 931, Harper's Rare Books & Collectibles and the reopening Backroom Bistro, manager Ashley Michael said, "All of our new neighbors, along with the great restaurants, will work well with the new books we have at Plenty. Already we've had such good support: Emma Crabtree at Glass Tangerine helped us create a new brand and look; Jamie Lankford is offering supportive discounts at Jamie's Eats & Sweets for people who show their purchases from Plenty; and Lewis Matheney at Harper's was actively supporting us in taking the space he had cultivated as Harper's Soundstage before he started expanding across the street."
Lisa Uhrik observed: "Now, the tale is one of survival and constant sail adjustments. We had hoped to have a tea room, but ironically the water pressure in the flooding store will not be adequate. The good news is that we have elevated a problem in the underground system that will be fixed over the next 3-10 years and facilitate growth of our community. And that we're moving to a much 'hotter' spot in terms of foot traffic.
"I thought I knew things about owning a bookstore from all the folks I've worked with and helped and learned from over the years. I guess I did know some things. But there are many things that sink more deeply when felt--like weathering losses and low traffic and the kind of love that comes from being in community with other book lovers. It's transformative."