Owner Laura Nutt has been dreaming of opening a combination bookstore and coffee bar for 20 years. She and her husband, Brandon Nutt, saw this dream come to fruition Saturday, July 2nd, at the soft opening of her shop, The Book Nook.
Brandon and Laura Nutt, proprietors of the Book Nook Cafe
The couple moved from the Napa Valley region of California to Columbia nine years ago. It was in Napa where Laura worked at a coffee shop that the idea first started to take seed. As a literature major in college and homeschooling mother of two, Laura says that she "wanted to blend her love of literature with the atmosphere of a coffee shop to create a place where people can relax and be comfortable ... with a good book and a good drink."
Located on Walker Street, the Book Nook is sandwiched between Loblolly Interiors Market and the antique store Bleu 32, in a Victorian Queen Anne style house that was built in 1901. While some people might find such a project daunting, it was a natural for Brandon, a contractor who often can be seen on shows on the diynetwork, such as "diy House Crashers" and "America's Most Desperate Kitchens."
"Actually," says Brandon, "the house has been taken really good care of over the years. You can see it in the floors and all around." Brandon's expert craftsmanship is evident in the shelving and in the coffee bar he built, which was based on the rendering below.
The hub of the shop, the coffee bar is centrally located in the house and offers drinks for non-coffee drinkers as well, such as tea and a wide variety of Italian sodas. The surrounding rooms are painted in rich, saturated colors and are filled with shelves of books and comfortable seating.
The back room, which is the largest, has a children's area, but Laura said that it will also serve as a place for meetings and gatherings, such as local book clubs that have already expressed interest in meeting at the Book Nook Cafe. Free Internet service is also offered.
The long hallway holds groupings of paintings and photography by local artists. Laura pointed out that several were sold the day of the soft opening. She also emphasized that local is a big focus of the business. That encompasses everything from the artwork and the baked goods to the manager and staff. But Laura also said that existing local businesses, such as Muletown Coffee and The Old Curiosity Book Shop, were tremendously supportive and gave them great advice in getting started.
Although the Book Nook Cafe is already open and operating, the grand opening is planned for July 16th. Wanda Whatley, the Book Nook manager, said it will be a great day and the local band "Flemming and Moore" will be playing.
Owner Laura Nutt with Wanda Whatley
So next time you're in the mood for a great cup of coffee and a good read, or just want a quiet place to surf the Net, head over to the Book Nook Cafe for a good dose of the newest in local flavor.
The Book Nook Cafe is located at 808 Walker Street in Columbia. To find out more, including their hours of operation, click HERE.