Six Shops, One Store

September 9, 2016

Brenda Whitaker has been a successful entrepreneur for the past 16 years, and recently she has opened up “Novel Idea Bookstore and More” where she sells books, records, clothes, sweets, and more.

They may come in for a candy and all of the sudden they find a book that they want or vice versa. That’s what’s unique about my business.”

— Brenda Whitaker

Part of the store is a sweet shop called “Sweet Treats,” and here customers can purchase cupcakes, cookies, candy, and even fun-flavored cream sodas. Another part of the store is called “The Book Nook” and this is where patrons can satisfy their need to read with reasonably priced books. Mrs. Whitaker describes her new store as “a little miniature mall.”  The six different shops are The Book Nook, the bookstore section, Sweet Treats: the sweet shop, For the Record: a record shop, Youtopia: “Where being fashionable is affordable”, Wee-Sale: for your toddler and baby needs, and Daisy’s: a dog accessory and food store. She believes it is unique because of the variety of things you can buy while inside the shop. Her store combines all sorts of items instead of just selling one particular thing, and it has helped her achieve a thriving business. Mrs. Whitaker says, “It’s not just a bookstore, so it’s neat to find people that come in and may not even be looking for a book. They may come in for a candy and all of the sudden they find a book that they want or vice versa. That’s what’s unique about my business.’’

Brenda is also the owner of Alfresco Art and The Garden Gate Tea Room. She has not always wanted to be a business owner, though. “When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist for Walt Disney. That didn’t happen.” She worked as a steelworker for several years but realized she didn’t want to do that forever. That is when she opened up her first business, and she has been enjoying it ever since. Her new business, “Novel Idea Bookstore and More,” is located in downtown Granite by the Granite City Cinema.

When people open the door, they will see a beautiful display table of candy that stands in the center of the room. Shelves filled with exotic cream sodas line the walls, and the checkout area has a glass display case containing cupcakes, cookies, muffins, and pie. Mrs. Whitaker recommends everyone try the gooey butter cake, which is available in bite-size pieces. They also sell ice cream in several flavors. While customers are enjoying their sweet treats, they can also shop for a new novel to read or some records to listen to. The left side of the shop has shelves upon shelves lined with books. As well as the Book Nook section being a used bookstore, they sell from local authors as well. The store has a book signing scheduled from a local author for later this year.  The center of the store has more books and clothes. There is even a little boutique in the store where customers can buy gifts for their pets. “Novel Idea Bookstore and More” makes all these products available in one convenient place.

This is definitely the place to come and check out. Buy a treat, get a book, or just look around. Either way, people of all ages will enjoy this cute little shop. Look out for the upcoming jazz club Brenda plans to open soon!

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