Rooster’s Perch Coffee & Book Company celebrated their “grand expansion ceremony” Thursday.
The store is the latest project of D’ete Sewell, who works for Randy & Friends, a local nonprofit specializing in creating opportunities for adults with disabilities.
“This is my main thing, because there are two bookstores in town there are plenty of books in this town, but very few opportunities for these kids to have a job,” Sewell said.
Rooster’s Perch Coffee & Book Company
Where: 210 Bradford St., Gainesville
Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday
For more info: 678-943-2400 or randyandfriends.org/rooster.html
Rooster’s Perch opened several years ago as a coffee and gift shop by Randy & Friends founders Marty and Randy Owens. Sewell is repurposing the space to provide more training opportunities and attract more local traffic.
They will provide customer service and online research training, as the staff look up all books to determine value. The more valuable books get listed online with Amazon, which teaches computer skills as well as the steps to process and mail book orders.
“Since coffee and books seem to go together, Phoenix Roasters now provides our coffee blends while the monies go to help their mission to serve the broken and hurting in our community,” Sewell said.
Randy & Friends has a partnership with Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency, providing funding for their job training. Once training is complete, the young men and women become part of the paid workforce in the community.
Not her first bookstore venture, Sewell owned a used bookstore on the Gainesville square from 2001 to 2007, and she also created a small used bookshop on the square called Next Chapter Books.
“Despite the growth of all kinds of electronic media, people still value physical books,” Sewell said. “It just feels good to turn the pages of a great story or pull from a shelf of titles about a favorite period in history, and used books have the additional attraction of having a history of their own, having come from the hands of someone who valued what you like.”
Stocked with donations from a giving community, Sewell said the store will only carry books in great condition.
“We have about 5,000 books donated, but we need a constant supply. We are always in need of donations, but especially now as we get ready to expand,” Sewell said. “We will have a lot of different genres and everything has a great price; there is nothing over $8.”
During the ceremony Thursday, Daliyah Arana, 5, was presented with a $25 gift certificate. Arana was featured on the Steve Harvey show celebrating her accomplishment of reading more than 1,300 books.
“For our little book worm, she can shop any time she wants,” Sewell said. “She has already read by herself about 1,300, and with her mom and dad, 2,500.”
To make a tax-deductible donation of books for the launch of Rooster’s Perch Coffee & Book Company, call 678-656-6965 to schedule a pickup or stop by the store 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.
“It is exciting,” Sewell said. “Hopefully people will help us out. I am desperate for book donations.”
Rooster’s Perch Coffee & Book Company is located at 210 Bradford St., with a parking lot on the corner of Bradford and Academy streets.