Sunday, September 18, 2016

Bunch Of Grapes - Vineyard Haven, MA

Bunch Of Grapes - Vineyard Haven, MA
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I really like the name of this bookstore, Bunch Of Grapes.  But it's a little misleading.  I looked all over the place and didn't see any bunches of grapes anywhere.  What I did see was bunches of books, bunches of cards, bunches of games, and bunches of really cool birdhouses made out of books.  But on the day of my visit, the best name for this place would be Bunches Of Customers!  What a great thing for any indie!

Bunches Of Grapes has been around since 1972 and Dawn B., the current owner and 2nd ownership of the business has been here 8 years.  The store is open year round but for the most part is a seasonal bookstore relying heavily on tourists.  Dawn told me that July and August are the months when they make their money which sustains them through the year when business slows.  It was evident on the day of my visit because the customers were thick.  Dawn also shared with me something that has become very apparent to me on this journey of independent bookstores.  She's never known a business where everyone is so willing to share ideas, a willingness to collaborate and support other bookstore owners and their stores.  Another reason that bookstore people are the best.  

This one-level store is spacious with lots of room to browse without feeling crowded by shelves.  It has a great location on Main St. of Vineyard Haven which is on Martha's Vineyard.  I took the ferry from Hyannis to get here but you can also take a ferry from Falmouth.  The store offers all new books and current events, history, and literary fiction are three of the better selling genres.  There are lots of sidelines including puzzles, games, and greeting cards.  One of my favorites here were the bird houses made out of books.  The store is also known for its events held on-site or with options off-site for larger crowds.  

My experience here was terrific thanks to people like Dawn, Molly, Karen and other staffers.  Just like all my visits, they were the best.  Dawn told me that the foundation for success was set by one of the original co-owners, Ann, and I know that other customers as well as myself are grateful for her contribution and the store's continued success.

So take a vacation and sight-seeing tour to Martha's Vineyard.  Once on the island, hook a ride or grab a rental bike to Vineyard Haven and enjoy a trip to the same bookstore that President Obama visits when he's here.  You'll enjoy the quaintness of the store and the niceness of the people.  Go to an indie and buy a book.  Bonsoir.

JUST FINISHED:  The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell.  Didn't.  It is compared to some of Dan Brown's books but I just couldn't do it.  It got bogged down in church and vatican history for me.  BUT, as I always say, there are many who absolutely love this one.

CURRENTLY READING:  The Jaguar's Children, John Valliant.

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Mayumi And The Sea Of Happiness, Jennifer Tseng.  

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:  My recent New England tour wouldn't have been possible without The Indie Bob Spot team of Cheryl M., Graphic Design and Travel Logistics; and Fran M., Tech Advisory.  They always see things that I miss and I'm always glad when they're on one of the tours.

On your way to Martha's Vineyard you'll have to take a ferry and endure scenery like this.  

Another exterior view of the store.   There is a nice plaza-like area in front of the entrance where you can sit and enjoy the day or the book you just bought.  

Another exterior view and the front entrance.  

Unfortunately, the reflection doesn't allow you to see the display window very well but you can see the nice flowers in front.  

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  

Looking to the left from the front entrance.  

Just a few of the greeting cards you'll find.  These are near the front entrance.  

An extensive section of books of local interest.  

I love seeing a long wall of fiction.  

The new year is sneaking up, check out their calendars.  

A portion of the children's section.  

Another view looking toward the children's section.  The kids might want to check out those hand puppets in the foreground.  

More sidelines including puzzles.  

The options for kids here are endless.  

Just a few of the games here.  

You probably won't find extensive maritime sections at midwest bookstores.  

View looking from the back of the store toward the front.  

Find your Kurt Vonnegut candles here.  

A creative way to keep your place in your book and read one-handed.  

A nice staff picks display.  

Bird houses made out of books, one of the most creative sidelines I've seen.  

A relevant notice for all independent bookstores.  

With Dawn B. on the left, the fine owner at Bunch Of Grapes.  Thanks for a great visit.  

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