Changes at BAKKA

After 22 years, John Rose has sold BAKKA Books, the local Toronto Science Fiction and Fantasy bookshop, to Ben Freiman. John writes:

I had a lot of fun in the years I owned the store, but I’ve been behind the counter a long time, and it’s really time for a change. I owned BAKKA for more than twenty-two years. I sold a lot of great books in those years and met a lot of great people, authors, publishers and customers alike. I began to look for someone who could take over the store, to bring a fresh energy, a new attitude and a renewed interest, to keep it going. Ben’s offer came along in the fall and I decided to accept it.

In what might be a timeworn cliche, the name has changed to “Bakka-Phoenix Books”.

Changes are happening already; the store has been re-arranged a bit, and is getting a new paint job. Ominously, while BAKKA has been an Apple-based store for the 17 years I’ve been a customer, there’s a new Wintel box sitting on the counter next to the old cash register &ltgrin&gt.

On a more serious note Chris, Michelle, and Tara will continue at the store, and will probably be even more active in running the place than they were before. That continuity will be very important, and I’m glad to see it.

There’s more! John resisted the Internet for a long time, and with good reason (IMO); running an online catalog and ordering system is a full-time job, and puts one in closer competition with the behemoths chapters.ca and amazon.ca. Future Fantasy in Palo Alto made a name for themselves with one of the first online SF&F catalogs, yet they still went under (Granted, they had a crappy physical location). Anyway, the new store will have a website. There’s nothing there yet, but I’m told of plans for both “coming soon” and “wishlist” sections, which will make me very happy…

All in all, it sounds like a good thing. I knew John was getting tired, and I’m happy that he found a positive way to move on. I’ve been a loyal customer of the store for 17 years, and so I wish Ben and the staff the best of luck with the new store, and hope it continues to be around for a long time!

posted at 9:43 am on Wednesday, March 26, 2003 in Books, Miscellaneous | Comments Off on Changes at BAKKA

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