A NEW book and art store has opened in Pickering.
The Pickering Book Tree opened in late August 2022, on Market Place, and has over 3,000 books, as well as a range of art supplies including watercolours, acrylics, pencils and brushes.
On its shelves there is everything from novelties to classics and poetry.
If you can’t find the book you’re looking for, the store has an ordering policy that books can be purchased from vendors.
The store is a family business of Andrew and Stephanie Bundy, and their daughter Cathy.
Andrew worked as a teacher in Norfolk and came out of retirement to open the store with his family.
The family moved from Norwich to Pickering in 2018.
The idea for the bookstore came from Ella, Andrew and Stephanie’s daughter, who died of cancer last year aged 27.
Andrew said Ella was a “devoted reader”.
“Every time (Ella) came to see her, she was like, ‘I love Pickering Dad, but this is a town that could use a bookstore,'” he added.
With Ella’s recommendation in mind, the family jumped at the chance to take over the 18th-century house on Market Place and open a bookstore.
Since opening, Andrew said: “Business is good. There has been a lot of interest in the store.
“We’ve had such a mix of people coming into the store – it’s very difficult to pinpoint any particular interest.
“It’s just great to meet people who talk about books, to help them find the books they want – point them to books they might not have thought of.”
Andrew explained that the community is at the heart of the store and in the future they hope to hold book club meetings and work with schools to give students the opportunity to read and develop habits early on.
While juggling challenges such as the rising cost of living and supermarket prices, Andrew said: “The bottom line is that whatever all the bills are, we just want it to work.”
His wife, Stephanie, added, “We’re doing this for the love of the bookstore and for the community.”
In addition to selling in-store, the store aims to start selling directly from its website.
The website and social media pages were created by the couple’s daughter, Cathy.
Currently, books can be purchased from the online store through bookshop.org – an online store supporting independent bookstores.
In addition to supporting the community, the store aims to be as sustainable as possible.
The store runs a loyalty card system where points can be collected, with a tree planted for each card completed.
A contribution is also made to the planting of a tree for every 50 books sold at the boutique.
The Pickering Book Tree is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and closed Wednesdays and Sundays.
More information about the store can be found on its website, Instagram and Facebook pages.
The boutique will hold its opening on Tuesday, October 4 from 7 p.m. with travel writer Jules Brown. Tickets can be purchased in-store or online here.