Tuesday, November 16, 2021

LaDeDa Books & Beans - Manitowoc, WI


LaDeDa Books & Beans, Manitowoc, WI

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I have been wanting to visit this indie for quite awhile and I'm happy to say I finally made it.  I've always wanted to come here because I absolutely love the name of the store, LaDeDa Books & Beans.  Owner Bev D. chose this name because in the movie Annie Hall, Diane Keaton would often repeat LaDeDa over and over, kind of a coping mechanism.  Bev did the same thing some 25 years ago when deciding to open a bookstore.  Those initial years of using the LaDeDa mantra have faded away and have been replaced by a successful business with a track record of longevity that would be the envy of other bookstores.  This is the kind of success that the bookstore world needs to hear, acknowledge, and recognize.  

So what's the secret here?  Easy.  A dynamite owner and a knowledgeable, friendly staffer are without question the answer.  Bev and Karen, respectively, are two of the best in the business.  I also think, ironically, that their location is outstanding.  Ironic because it is not surrounded by cafes, coffee shops, or other businesses.  Nothing, nada.  This is a TRUE neighborhood bookstore on the corner lot of a residential area.  As Bev said, they know the names of all the neighborhood dogs, the kids, and families.  The 10-year old me would've loved living in this neighborhood and would've rode here on his Western Auto bicycle to look at the books and grab some Twizzlers.  The fact that this store is successful is even more impressive because it's done it all by itself without any other businesses close by.

After the first 5 years in business, LaDeDa moved in to this space, a former florist shop, and has been here ever since.  The store offers all new books with a handful of used books located in the Flamingo Parlor.  They have a good variety of sidelines and the greeting cards and games sell especially well.  I thought the sidelines for kids were outstanding.  Half of the bookstore has comfortable furniture to enjoy as well as a few chairs and tables.  This area has some good flexibility to allow for store events, a great set-up.

 I judged this book by its cover, LaDeDa Books & Beans, and was not disappointed.  However, the store will soon change its name to LaDeDa Books, no more beans.  The state of Wisconsin has made it too strict to offer a simple cafe service.  You can name this bookstore anything you want but it won't change a a thing about the comfy, cozy atmosphere within or the wonderful people you'll meet there.  Pay a visit to this Manitowoc gem.  Go to an indie and by a book.  Bonsoir.

 JUST FINISHED:  Have You Seen Luis Velez?, Catherine Ryan Hyde.  The remarkable and heart-warming friendship that develops between a 90-years old blind widow and a biracial high school student who grows into the role of caregiver after finding out that this lady needs help.  Of course, the story is much, much more than this but I thoroughly enjoyed this and it will lift your spirits about the younger generation.  A wonderful story.  Highly recommended. 

CURRENTLY READING:  The Tie That Binds, Kent Haruf. 

RECENTLY PURCHASED:  Address Unknown, Kathrine Kressmann Taylor.  Not purchased, but gifted:  The Christie Affair, Nina De Gramont.  The Last Confessions of Sylvia P., Lee Dravetz.  Thanks Bev.   

The beautiful neighborhood street is the setting where you'll find LaDeDa Books & Beans.  No strip mall, no traffic, no noise, no big buildings.  If you don't ride your bike here just park right on the street and walk the 20 or so steps into the store. 

This is the back of the store. 

I love this. 

One of the stores' exterior murals created by local students.  Excellent!

View looking into the store from the front entrance.  Can you name the masked celebrity that greets you?  Answers only accepted from those under 40 years old. 

Looking to the left from the front entrance. 

Flamingos are a thing here!

A display of some favorite book discussion titles, just to the right from the front entrance. 

This is a very versatile area that is easily converted into an events space.  Otherwise, take a seat and try-out a book. 
A few of the staff picks. 
A closer look at the celebrity that welcomes you to the store.  He's setting a good example with his mask. 

Display of Midwest Connections releases. 

This is a portion of the area that can be converted into the events space.  I love this  cozy "living room" of furniture and piano.  Piano recital, anyone?

Just a few of the games available. 

A portion of the children's area. 

Right this way to the Flamingo Parlor. 

But first, visual confirmation of something not available on Amazon. 

This is a uniquely decorated bathroom, still maintaining the bookstore theme. 

Who knew there was so much to see in a bathroom?!

Looking into the Flamingo Parlor. 

Just a few of the greeting cards available. 

Kids must absolutely love this place (lower right hand corner, please). 

A sideline I haven't noticed before.  I expect I'll see it again. 

Overview of the store looking from the back toward the front entrance. 

With Karen on the left and Bev in the center, two of the fine people you'll meet at LaDeDa Books & Beans.  Thanks for a great visit. 

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