Today, Edmonton is losing one of its iconic local business as it shuts its doors today – Greenwoods Books.
Gail, Laurie and Brad have been fixtures in this community and created such an incredible place for book lovers to get their books from an independent, locally owned bookshop.
Greenwoods was everything good about local business. They supported local initiatives. They supported local authors. They retained staff for years so you really got to know them. I once had a friend from another city call Greenwoods to order a gift certificate for me.
Scott, who answered the phone asked who it was for, “It’s for my friend Tad . . .”
‘Tad Hargrave?’ he interrupted.
She was shocked. But I wasn’t. I’ve been shopping at Greenwoods since I was in junior high. I remember the excitement I felt when I’d saved up enough money for a book and I’d go to Greenwoods and spend hours deciding which book to choose.
When I’d hear of a good book I wanted to get, I might look it up on Amazon but then I’d send an email to Greenwoods and ask them to order it. It took longer. But it was worth it.
A local business isn’t just a business, it’s a friend. It’s a part of our community. It becomes a kind of a home – a place we walk in and feel like, ‘this is my store too’. It’s a place we belong.
It’s a place where we love to spend our money because we know that that money is going to support our friends. Shopping local isn’t an addictive, neon and synthetic distraction it’s a candle lit visit with a friend and a way that we love each other and support each other.
Every time I bought a book at Greenwoods I felt so happy — not just to read the book but to know that my dollars were supporting my friends and supporting my community.
When we support these local businesses we love it’s like one candle lighting another candle which lights two more which each light two more . . . the light is increased, not diminished in the sharing. And our community is brighter as a result.
But with Brad’s death on July 19th, Gail decided it was time to close shop. In her email newsletter, she wrote . . .
Today I’m deeply saddened to announce that our last day of business will be Saturday, October 6th 10 AM – 4 PM (I wanted to extend professional courtesy and respect to David Suzuki and Jeff Rubin while selling tickets for their event on Wednesday, October 3rd – now sold out!). My decision to close was precipitated by the recent death of my brother and business partner, Brad. He skillfully managed all store affairs and guided me on so many occasions. He was my rock.
The last few times I tried to order books there, they directed me to the beloved Audreys Books. So, let’s all take our love there and continue to support them and, if you want to get some good progressive, political and eco books then remember that Earth’s General Store stocks an impressive library too.
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