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A spirit that is not afraid

Small businesses keep community during the pandemic

<p>Coffee Cat hosted Pop Up Bookshop with an emphasis on providing children's literature that reflects diversity.&nbsp;</p>

Coffee Cat hosted Pop Up Bookshop with an emphasis on providing children's literature that reflects diversity. 

Local Auburn businesses are working to keep a sense of community with their customers despite the ongoing pandemic.

Cat Coffee and Whistle Stop Bottle and Brew both have found COVID-safe ways to promote customer engagement. 

Abigail Horn, general manager at Coffee Cat, said baristas spend time with their customers. They also have the “Bookshop Pop Up” hosted by local author and storyteller, Pascha Adamo, she said.

“The ‘Bookshop Pop Up’ will provide the community an opportunity to expand their personal library with more diverse options …” Adamo said. 

Horn said the “Bookshop Pop Up” was to raise awareness about the bookstore, raise book sales and build community. 

Adamo recently started an online bookstore, REPINSITY, in October 2020 to offer more representation, inclusion and diversity in children’s literature.

She also reads several selections for Coffee Cat’s Storytime.  

“Each book in the REPINSITY Bookstore is carefully chosen to help readers of all ages discover and learn about people, cultures, experiences, places and events different than their own,” Adamo said. 

Madeleine Corbeau, owner of Coffee Cat, said having Adamo’s Storytime has been well received by the community 

“Adamo is able to easily capture, hold and entertain the attention of a group of children,” she said. “Even parents have commented on how much they enjoy listening to her read.”

The “Pop Up Bookshop” was held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. outside of the Coffee Cat with Storytime at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 6. 

“We are excited to be able to offer this fun and safe event for the community,” Adamo said.

Corbeau said Coffee Cat is slowly but surely making its way back to hosting events. 

“Our hope in hosting this specific event [was] to help an active member of our community spread wisdom and a love of learning to children,” she said. 

Coffee Cat has looked to other avenues to engage with customers as well, Corbeau said.

“We are making better use of our social media platforms to virtually introduce and praise our staff, loyal customers and vendors,” she said.

The Whistle Stop Bottle and Brew in Opelika recently started a puzzle and book exchange. 

Scott Brown, owner of Whistle Stop Bottle and Brew, said the exchange was his wife’s idea and they are still working on making it what they want it to be.

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For now, the puzzles and books remain in the store and they are making sure to keep the business as clean as possible, he said.

“Feel free to come down anytime to look around,” Brown said.

Becca Benner | Culture Writer

Becca Benner, junior in public relations with a double minor in Spanish and marketing, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman. 

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