Illustration of Once Upon a Bookstore by Kevin Sylvester

Once Upon a Bookstore owner wants more than just another Kelowna shop

Melissa Bourdon-King will be opening the doors to her dreams in Kelowna in July

Melissa Bourdon-King will be bringing children’s books to life when she fulfills her dream of opening Once Upon a Bookstore in Summer.

The long time bookseller, who moved from Toronto to Kelowna with her mother Marlene and daughter, Aurora, immersed herself in the community for the first two years living in the Okanagan Valley but then she realized there was another way she could give back to her new home.

“There are things for families here but not really a community hub for them, so I started thinking I could fill that need and create a space,” said Bourdon-King.

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She turned to the public to fund her hopes of building her dream bookstore in Pandosy Village, Bourdon-King created an Indiegogo page to raise funds. A total investment of $140,000 is needed, $70,000 of that will be to fill the store with books, toys, puzzles, art and more. So far she has raised more than $7,000 Bourdon-King hopes the space will not only be a bookstore but a place to host events and for the community to connect with each other.

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“It’s wonderful being part of a new generation of book sellers that are in their early 30s and want to cultivate something more than ‘I have a book for you’. It’s about the service I can provide beyond books,” she said.

“Bookstores offer a safe space and what I want to offer is for you to come in, see my face and know that I will be able to recommend whatever you need whether it is a book or a plumber.

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Once Upon a Bookstore will have a second floor mezzanine, an homage to Harry Potter with a nook under the staircase, and a nod to the Hundred Acre Wood, home of Winnie the Pooh and his friends.

“We are a positive connection, and it’s okay to stop and be away from screens and remind people that this can be a special moment too. Taking the time to open a book is like taking a pause to refill yourself,” said Bourdon-King.

Construction is already well underway for the bookstore in the heart of Pandosy Village and is scheduled to open in July.

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