We have always strived to be as sustainable as possible in a great many aspects of our business and community.
The Booksellers Association have a new Green Bookselling Manifesto which we are adhering to and have done for last 5 years.
Many points of reducing waste and lowering our carbon footprint are on our agenda and we are working hard to make this better each year.
We applied for a grant from the BA to make our business more sustainable, with this grant we purchased an electric bike for which I save roughly 150 miles a month of driving!
What we achieved in 2022
Our first half term Children's writing competition, titled The Final Chapter.
Where children from a range of ages were challenged to re-write or create an extra last chapter of a well known book. We saw some fabulous creative work and found it very hard to choose the winners.
Easter holidays we created an Easter Trail which took 100 families around the town in search of 12 eggs hanging in shop windows. This again was free for families and there were prizes once completed.
More half term fun in October, we created (with help from a local author and other shop owners) a murder mystery trail for families to get involved with. It was a free activity and we even filmed some scary trailers for the adults! Kayleigh always ends up being the one who is filmed wearing something silly.
World Book Day, our fantastic staff dressed up for the occasion in the Book shop and the Coffee shop to make it a fun day for all. We gave away more WBD books than we ever have before.
I started my year of being in the media with BBC Radio Devon, talking Bookshop.org, working with my mum and the diabolical bus routes in Tiverton.
This then progressed to Devon Life magazine, BBC national news, CNN, RTE and of course Devon Live.
The major news channels all headed to Tiverton's bookshop because of our disgraced MP Neil Parish and the rather important by-election. It seems a bookshop is the place to go when chatting politics and I had an awful lot to say about it!
Our collaboration with The Lost Kitchen, saw us enter a 5 month long set of conversations around the environment, nature and life in the slow lane, The beautiful setting and exquisite food which is also carefully planned and sustainable made the conversations complete.
We spoke with Derek Gow, Simon Fairlie, Sophie Pavelle, Claire Ratinon, Lisa Woolett and Adam Wishart.
We are now working closely with Ashley Court, just outside of Tiverton. Having collaborated in 2022 with Ru Callendar talking about his book What Remains? and also A Victorian Christmas event, we look forward to more events in 2023. Robin Ince tickets sold out in 3 days and we have Sophie Pierce in March.
Our Coffee shop needs to get a mention. We split in 2 in 2021 and joined back in 2022. Short lived, but important to happen so my brain didn't explode and my family suffer.
We had some amazing things happen though in 2022. Our first LGBTQ+ evening which we have been requested to offer again so watch out.
Quiz Nights, Cocktail nights, Tarot readings and more! We were proud to be a space open to anyone and everyone.
Using local and organic produce to create delicious lunches and smoothies, we really do miss our kitchen!
We got our own merch! After selling over 300 of our reusable coffee cups we moved onto t-shirts and hoodies from sustainable company Teemill.
We sponsored 19 year old Chloe Phillips for this year's Rugby Season which started in September 2022. She plays for Cullompton Ladies RFC, we feel it is very important to help women and girls to play sports within our community. We have also sponsored Cullompton Ladies Cricket Team in the past.
2021 was also a very difficult year for many people very close to us. My son's teacher unfortunately lost his battle with cancer. He taught at a local primary school for about 12 years and was a very well loved person within our town. In memory of Richard we agreed that on the day of his funeral for every child's book bought we would donate another. In the end we had 50 books to donate to Richard's class all signed by his late partner in memory of Richard. We felt so privileged to be able to provide books which will keep the memory of Richard alive within the school.
We also opened up a pay if forward scheme for our customers to purchase a book for Christmas for children within our community not as fortunate as ourselves. We raised £180 and hand wrapped all the books so children had a gift to open on Christmas day.
The Great Flood of Liznojan really did feel like a biblical event. We had to rush to the shop the Sunday before October half term to a very flooded and wet bookshop. It took 10 hours of work but we managed to get semi back up and running for the next day. Which turned out to be one of the busiest weeks of the year due to the amazing community and support network we have. Flowers, chocolates, cards and offers of help also flooded in and we felt very well loved and cared for. Thank you so much to everyone.
Working with schools. We've certainly found it hard getting schools interested in working with us, they certainly have enough on their plates. But we did see Blundells' ordering larger quantities of books from us and we have events organised for 2023. We encourage other schools to contact us as we can offer great prices on books and quick delivery.