In The News!

Stirling Books & Brew, and owners Staci and Jim Stuart have been getting some media time as the grand reopening approaches.

Here are two items, from The Albion Pleiad, and WMMT:

ALBION PLEIAD STORY:

March 29, 2017  | Andrea Schmitz
Books and More to Become Stirling Books and Brew

For 17 years, Dorothy Dickerson has owned Books and More, the quiet book store and coffee shop in downtown Albion. Next month, Albion residents, Jim and Staci Stuart, will be changing Books and More into Stirling Books and Brew.

Originally, just the building was for sale. When the Stuarts assumed ownership of the building, Dickerson mentioned that she would love to see the space continue to be a bookstore and coffee shop.

“We told her, at the time of purchase, that we would really do everything we could to try and make that happen,” said Mrs. Stuart.

Dickerson will continue to work at the shop, as well as her staff. Though the Stuarts have kept many aspects the same, they’ve made some great additions as well.

The name “Stirling” is nothing random to the Stuarts. The name Stuart is of Scottish descent, and while on a trip to Scotland, the Stuarts visited a town called Stirling. The city’s soccer team was called the “Stirling Albion,” which they thought would be fitting for their new store here in Albion.

Beginning April 1, the shop will close down for a top-to-bottom renovation. The Stuarts plan to decorate the space with a European feel, painting the walls warm colors with leather chairs and couches.

As for books, the young adult and children’s sections previously in Books and More will be expanding. Stirling will also have a trade-in program where you bring in old books and receive credit to use towards half of your next purchase.

The cafe will feature new items, including bubble tea, juices, a bigger selection of coffee and a wide variety of baked goods.

“One of the watch words we want when we open the coffee shop is ‘excellent.’ We want you to walk in and go, ‘Ah, I like this place,’ so we are looking for things that are excellent,” said Mr. Stuart.

To keep the focus on the community, the Stuarts hope to bring in local bakers and possibly the Food Hub to provide goods to their store. Corinne Atchison, who runs the Palmer House Bed and Breakfast with her husband, is the first one to be baking for .. READ MORE

WMMT

Sheryl Mitchell, Jim Stuart and Sonya Brown tour the construction and store renovation downtown Albion

May 30, 2017 | Jessica Wheeler | NEWSCHANNEL 3
Albion rallies around business owner after accident leaves her paralyzed
Right now, the city of Albion is in the middle of a major reconstruction project in their downtown corridor. At the heart of it is a giving spirit, as city leaders rally around one of their newest business owners paralyzed while working to open her new book store.

The city of Albion is undergoing a transformation, with new roads and businesses coming to downtown. While their look might be changing, their sense of community isn’t.

“I wanted Albion to do what Albion does,” said city council member Sonya Brown. “And that’s rally behind our residents.”

Jim Stuart and his wife Staci were in the process of opening one of Albion’s newest downtown businesses–renovating an old book store and adding a coffee shop to it–when tragedy struck last month.

“Staci and I were in the final weekend of getting ready and we were moving the big bookshelf,” he said. “We were turning it around and it got top-heavy and I was on one side and she was on the other, and it toppled over on her.”

The bookshelf compressed her spine, and and knocked her vertebrae out of line, paralyzing her. Immediately the community came to the rescue.

Staci works her PT at Mary Free Bed

City Manager Sheryl Mitchell and council member Sonya Brown helped to organize volunteer and fundraising efforts.

“We’ve been helping them with getting the bookstore renovated so that it can open when she’s released from the hospital,” Mitchell said.

Work at Stirling Books and Brew is going slow. Right now, Staci is at Mary Free Bed, in Grand Rapids. After multiple surgeries she has no feeling from the waist down. But that hasn’t dampened their spirits.

“Staci and I are holding out. We want a miracle. We want her to walk,” Jim said.

Opening day for Stirling Books & Brew is being delayed by a few months, so Staci can recover. And Jim says they won’t let this bump in the road slow them down, even if they have to take on life with a different perspective.

“If we have to do it from a wheelchair and rolling we’re going to be OK with that. We still got each other, and we still got almost everything we do,” he said.

Jim hopes to open Stirling Books & Brew in July, once Staci is out of rehab. Staci’s family and friends have created a website to update her progress and allow people to help the family.

See the news report here.

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