Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman
October 16, 2017 10:00 a.m.
Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman of The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates have helped educate hundreds of new and prospective bookstore owners over the course of 25 years. Now, as an extension of their training and consulting services based on Amelia Island, they are about to launch “Story & Song Neighborhood Bookstore Bistro” in Fernandina Beach when renovations are complete.
Located at 1430 Park Avenue in Amelia Park’s commercial district (former home of Artistic Florist), the bookstore and bistro will occupy 2,400 sq. ft. on the first floor, and a similarly sized second floor, The Second Story for Arts & Creativity, will showcase art books and art by local creators; it will also be used for hosting concerts, programs and performances, story time and discussions. The Second Story will also be made available to area book groups and non-profit community groups. A small open-air courtyard adjacent to the building will offer café seating.
The store’s name is based on the couple’s volunteer effort to support the performing arts on Amelia Island. “An Evening of Story & Song” concert series was created shortly after Donna and Mark relocated to Fernandina Beach from Nashville, TN in 2002. Over the years, singers/songwriters, including many Grammy Award winning artists, have performed live, original music in a listening room environment. Given the name recognition and loyal following for the concert series, “Story & Song” seemed a fitting name for the bookstore.
“The combination of books, music, art, wine, coffee, and fresh food in a lively, friendly space is what we hope will make Story & Song a favorite destination for our friends and neighbors,” explains Mark, “especially to those who understand the importance of supporting locally-owned businesses. The peaceful neighborhood setting offers a relaxing, refreshing escape from ‘screen fatigue’ and the busyness of our lives.”
Customers will find a well-curated selection of 10,000 books, organized in sections like “Understanding Our World,” “Comforts of Home,” “Novel Escapes,” “Be Well” and “Generation Next.” A colorful children’s department will feature beloved classic children’s books plus favorite new releases and storybook-related toys and new baby gifts. Creative, humorous, and artful greeting cards by independent artists will be stocked as well as gifts for the artful and reading lifestyles.
“Our general interest independent bookstore will illustrate the best practices of the bookselling industry, offering internships and learning opportunities for those who want to ‘test the waters’ before opening their own bookstores,” explains Donna, “and we look forward to continuing to host booksellers from all over the world here in our own bookstore bistro on Amelia Island.”
For more information, contact Mark Kaufman at mark@StoryAndSongBookstore.com or call 904/601-2118 or visit the store’s Facebook page.