The final chapter has closed on Gulliver’s Quality Books and Toys.
“They were closed all of June, but it officially closed June 28th,” said property manager Jason Monk.
Last Sunday Monk held the final garage sale at the store, to clear out any leftover items.
“We’ll now try and sell what’s left online, or donate some of it maybe to libraries if they’re interested. There’s a lot of boxes of books that are all the same. We’re just going to clean the store up and clear it out, as much as we can get rid of. There’s double this amount in the basement. There’s plastic chairs and book racks that sort of thing. It’s no use to us,” said Monk.
“There’s been a lot of people who have come in and told us they bought all their books here, their cards here, and so it’s sad to see. I think it caught quite a few people by surprise that they closed.”
Ethan Trickey is the owner of the Legit Trix Sporting Goods Store, as well as both the Legit Trix and Gulliver’s buildings.
Legit Trix is now located downtown beside Gulliver’s. Trickey wants businesses to be successful in the downtown.
“I’m willing to try and make it work for them. I’m trying to encourage businesses to move downtown, and people too because I have apartments above both of those buildings. So I’m trying to encourage young, spunky, entrepreneurial folks to both move downtown, and locate their business there, so it will benefit all of the businesses already there,” said Trickey.
“It’s sad to see a bookstore go. It’s sad to see another business go, but there’s a lot of small towns that are doing really well at resurrecting these downtown cores, so I’m hoping that happens. I’m putting in the dollars to help make it happen. As they say, ‘if you build it, they will come.’”
Trickey sees a future for the store space.
“I’ll do whatever to make that business nice for somebody. Making it nicer down there is the goal and eventually, people will want to be there,“ said Trickey.
“There’s one vacant apartment above Legit Trix and we’re remodeling it. It will be vacant for another three months or so. I may do an Airbnb and try and encourage some out of town stuff in there. It’s going to be a luxury apartment.”
The ultimate goal is to get a business to move into Gulliver’s on a permanent basis, but until then, there has been interest in using the space for pop up businesses.
“That’s pretty popular in a lot of cities where people just rotate through. You have one store that will do a short window sale burst at one location and keep it fresh, so we might do that too. It’s about keeping people employed, making sure that we’ve got business going on downtown. Legit Trix is going on 20 years in business. It’s been a struggle, so I understand that struggle, so I’m hoping to help others.”
Suzanne Brooks, the original owner, and operator of Gulliver’s, devoted 27 years of her life to the business.
“I sold it a few years ago. It’s very sad to see it empty. It’s another hole on Main Street. The reason I stayed so long was to sell it and have a bookstore there, but things change,” said Brooks.
At one point discussions centred around running it as a co-op.
“It did not turn into a co-op because it was taking quite a long time to put it together. I wasn’t all that well at the time and someone came up with the money and I thought this is the way I have to go, so I sold it,” said Brooks who has fond memories of her years there.
“It was good to me and I had loyal supporters and we all, together, built something really special, and it was special. But, everything has a time and things change, nothing lasts forever,” said Brooks.
Gulliver’s was a place to meet authors and gather for readings. Children’s events and activities were meant to encourage reading at all levels.
Open for nearly 30 years, generations of families walked through the doors, into a magical world, inspiring imagination and adventure.
“The point of it was to share my love of reading and help people find the books they thought were special for them. I was talking to someone just yesterday who was telling me about all the Christmas books she still has, and she enjoys. She went out and bought some books for a new grandchild that were the same ones her son had when he was a child, so it’s interesting,” said Brooks.
“A lot of my customers are still friends because we had a lot in common and we shared books for so many years.”