Small towns need their staple spots. Places where friends, family, neighbors, and community organizers can gather to enjoy good coffee, libations, and food and simply be together. For 20 years Bestseller’s Books and Coffee Co. has been Mason’s home for coffee, conversation, and good reads. With a ribbon cutting Dec. 1, the Mason Area Chamber of Commerce celebrated the bookstore’s anniversary.
Jamie Robinson bought and took over her parents’ hardware store, Darrell’s Hardware, in the late 90s. She recalled taking her kids to bookstores out of town after long days of work. It was then she and her husband, Scott Robinson, decided Mason needed its own bookstore and café. Bestseller’s opened in 97, and from there the sky was the limit for the couple.
The Robinsons now own four buildings in Mason’s downtown, and they all bring locals out for good food and great times in their own way. Next door to Bestseller’s is the Vault Delicatessen, which opened in 2008. Above Bestseller’s is a cocktail bar, which is open for special occasions. And there’s also the Annex Building, which Jamie uses for catering events.
Jamie is thankful for the opportunity to be part of the courthouse square of Mason. Witnessing and participating in the hub of downtown for various events has been one of Jamie’s greatest joys as a business owner. She’s become an advocate of keeping things local, like shopping, creating, and celebrating, all of which she and her staff have provided with Bestseller’s and its counterparts.
“I always think it depends greatly with businesses surround yourself with,” said Jamie. “People come here because it’s well-known.”
Being in a community of quality businesses, as well as being a sought after business, is what Jamie attributes to the success and longevity of Bestseller’s. But the longevity really comes down to passing a generational torch. Bestseller’s has hired dozens of high school and college students over the years, and many of those individuals have returned to live, work, and serve in Mason.
“Over the years we’ve enjoyed hundreds of booksellers and workers who have gone on to be future college students and writers and teachers,” said Jamie.
Aside from neighboring businesses and former staff, Bestseller’s events stand out in Jamie’s mind as some of the most enjoyable memories she has as a business owner. Author events, community events, and book releases have shaped the atmosphere at Bestseller’s. Beyond simply being a bookstore or a coffee stop, the business has become a central location, one that is just as intriguing as the event or organization it’s hosting.
“It’s become quite the third place to gather,” said Jamie. “It’s not church, or home, or the office.”
One can only repeat the aforementioned sentiment, that small towns need places like Bestseller’s. Somewhere simple, where one can go to find a good book, pleasant conversation, and run into a familiar face. A place away from the rest of the hustle and bustle, that’s quiet, but still voices the soft hum of another table’s discussion, and the occasional clank of a glass or utensil in the kitchen.
To learn more about Bestseller’s Books and Coffee Co., readers can visit bestsellersbookstore.com, or the Bestsellers Facebook page.