By Ruth Williams
Harrow Online catches up with independent Bookshop BrOOK’S who tell us how we can show our support for the local store, despite the current pandemic.
Peter and Sarah Brook opened BrOOK’S Bookshop on Bridge Street, Pinner in August 2018. As well as being a Bookshop full to brim of the latest reads, it also acts as a coffee shop with a fully licensed bar. Pre-Covid-19, you would usually find the shop full of customers meeting for catch ups over a coffee or tucking into their newly purchased read with a fresh pastry. The store was awarded the title of London Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2020.
Like many shops in the current climate, BrOOK’S had to make several changes and “several times too!” Peter informs us: “Initially, in March we had to stop our bar and café business before closing our physical doors on the 23rd March”. To overcome the adversity of Covid-19 closures, the shop built an online ordering facility at this time. Peter recalls that they found social media to be “a vital tool for staying connected with all of our customers” during this time.
Additionally, BrOOK’S was offering a home delivery of books to anyone within a one–mile radius of the store, as well as continuing their mail ordering facility for those who are vulnerable or having to self-isolate. Once the store was finally allowed to reopen, the physical layout had to be changed to ensure the shop was compliant with Covid-19 safety measures.
When asked why it is important to support independent shops, Peter replied: “Independent shops are vital to the health of any village or town. We provide local jobs,support the local economy and play a massive role in community leadership and engagement”. He adds: “We are lucky to have a team of passionate local individuals,providing a haven for book lovers and anyone wishing to step into a calm and tranquil space in their busy and often fraught days”.
With the advent of a second lockdown and once again faced with enforced closure Peter is aware with first hand experience of the struggle that shops are currently facing and urges the community to support locally when they can. “Quite simply, if we do not have the support of our local community, and that includes all other independent shops and hospitality venues too, when we emerge from Covid-19, lots of us will not be here. We have already seen major chains disappear from Pinner, such as Pizza Express and Café Rouge.”
In the run up to Christmas, why not show your support for BrOOK’S and visit their new online store: https://uk.bookshop.org/shop/brooks