Our Village business district is a place where an entrepreneur can follow their dreams. It is no easy task to open and run a small business. The cost and demands are great and although the monetary returns are not often significant the true return is the valuable connection to the place you live.
When Tom Roberts opened Ye Olde Warwick Book Shoppe, the community was excited to have a bookstore back in our Village. Having a bookstore is seen as an important piece of the retail mosaic that makes a strong downtown. It’s also an indicator of the cultural, literary, and artistic quality of our community.
Tom has proven a valuable partner on so many levels. His generosity and commitment to Warwick is well known. He has headed the Merchants Guild and played the role of Santa during the annual Home for the Holiday’s event. He’s been the Grand Marshal of the Pride Parade and he is there for others.
Anyone who has run a shop knows the perils of January, February, and March. Those are the lean months for all retailers.
Tom has hit a rough patch. His store was temporarily closed but luckily is now re-opened. I went to speak to him and asked my friend how we can help. He responded, “Just buy a book!”
So, Warwickians the message is clear. If we value a bookseller in our midst, then this is the moment we need to give him all the support we can. Beyond books, there are many other offerings at his shop, but a good read for a new season seems perfect.
Our capacity to help others is what makes us a true community. I am reminded of the classic film It’s a Wonderful Life when the Bailey Building and Loan was on the verge of closing. I gather Clarence the angel is our guide at this moment. Let’s all give a hand and help out, simply “Buy a Book!”
The above column, written by Village of Warwick Mayor Michael Newhard, has been published in the Mar. 20 issue of the Warwick Valley Dispatch.