This Saturday, April 24 is Indie Bookstore Day, a one-day national party taking place at independent bookstores across the nation, including at Swamp Fox Bookstore & Swamp Fox Kids in Marion. The bookstore will be hosting their own party which will kick off with a ribbon cutting at 9:00 am to commemorate their grand opening and expansion at 809 6th Ave in the West End Shops.
Owners Ursla Lanphear, Terri LeBlanc, and Amanda Zhorne have worked together in different ways in the book industry over the years. They share a passion for books and community so when the opportunity for a store in Marion presented itself, they knew they would make a great team. In addition to a highly curated collection of books, the store offers a unique selection of toys, puzzles, and gift items.
“We specialize in finding the right book or gift for every customer,” said Lanphear. “We know something about most of the books on our shelves and can give highly personalized recommendations,” LeBlanc added.
It’s more than expertise that has created fast success for Swamp Fox Bookstore. The store opened in July 2020 in the midst of a pandemic and just weeks before the Derecho. Through it all they’ve seen a wonderful response from the community which has led to a recent expansion. The store size has been doubled by moving into a second micro-store at West End Shops, allowing the team to offer more variety and giving their children’s collection a space of its own, Swamp Fox Kids.
Being an independent bookstore gives Swamp Fox Bookstore & Swamp Fox Kids the freedom to support the community who has helped them grow.
“In addition to the curated collection and hand selling, I see a huge value in our ability to truly give back to the community,” said Zhorne. “I'm proud of us, because we really do make sure that's a piece of what we do. I love the partnerships we form and the freedom and flexibility to find ways to integrate into the community and really be a positive force.”
Customers can shop Swamp Fox Bookstore & Swamp Fox Kids in-person Wednesday – Sunday from 10am to 2pm, by appointment outside of those hours, and online at swampfoxbookstore.com. Saturday’s event will be 9am – 2pm and will include giveaways for free books and a visit from Prima the Alpaca from 11am-1pm.