A mother and son team is opening an independent bookshop in a 400-year-old property in North Yorkshire.
Linda Furniss decided to fulfill a lifelong dream by opening Stripey Badger in the village of Grassington near the Yorkshire Dales. She co-owns the store with her son James Firth, while her sister Jacqueline Beecroft has acquired the café next door, The Stripey Badger Coffee Shop and Kitchen, with the two businesses working in tandem.
“I have wanted to work in a bookshop since I was five, I finally I thought if I don’t do it now, then I never will,” Furniss told The Bookseller. “My son is 20 and fortunately also wanted to work in a bookshop.
“I had worked in marketing all my life and so had those skills which are important for a bookshop, because although I love books, it’s not just that, is it?"
Furniss (pictured below) believes that the village has been in need of an independent bookshop for some time. “There is not another bookshop near us,” she said. “We will serve areas such as Ilkley and Harrogate. We’ve had people coming in saying, ‘This is amazing, I can’t wait to come in.'"
“My sister has also wanted to run a coffee shop so she has opened one next door. There’s a lovely adjoining door between the two so each is visible... We run a book ordering service and when customers collect, they can get a free cup of coffee from the cafe.”
The store features around 3,000 books across all genres with the badger logo visible throughout. The character - designed by Furniss' friend - changed incarnations according to the different genres.
Furniss said that the store was previously a vintage shop and she believes that it would have been a miner’s house. She has freshened up the décor to make it as inviting as possible and made sure it is a “bright, white shopfloor”.
She is planning to run regular science evenings for adults as well as children and partner with the Yorkshire Dales National Park about the night sky.
The shop held a soft opening earlier this month which saw “a fantastic response”, but its official launch will take place on Friday (31st August) with local author Julia Chapman cutting the ribbon, with champagne and musical accompaniment from the Grassington’s Gentle Jazz duo.
The Stripey Badger is based at 7 The Square in Grassington and is open every day except Tuesday, from 9am to 5pm. For more information call 01756 753583 or visit its Twitter profile.