This blog is well overdue, having promised myself that I would write one every month! I don't know where the time has gone, but I'm here now and need to tell you about our special evening this Saturday.
The Bookstore is 20 years old this year and I decided we needed to celebrate that fact, having survived many things over the years; foot and mouth, the financial crash, the big freeze, floods and now a pandemic! We are fortunate enough to have an extremely loyal customer base who keep coming back and supporting us and a fantastic team of people working here and accepting all the changes I've made with such good grace.
This Saturday evening, to celebrate our anniversary, we will be having a showcase of local talent; an eclectic mix of entertainers from jazz musicians to comedians and a performance poet, there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
I do hope we have a full house and I can't wait to see familiar faces, as well as a few new ones. This will be a taste of things to come, as next year we have plans for performances, talks and workshops every Thursday evening.
On a different note, we now have our stunning Christmas trees up in the Bookstore and Cafe and our Christmas drinks menu sounds delicious. I love this time of year and only hope that this festive season is better than the last one for all of us.
See you all soon for an evening of entertainment, a Bailey's hot chocolate or a bit of Christmas shopping...whatever takes your fancy.
Happy July...where on Earth did June go?! I've been so busy this last four weeks or so, I've hardly had time to think, and it's going to get even busier this month...in a very good way.
I am pleased to announce that we are once again a venue for the wonderful Fringe Festival. We have four theatre companies performing over the three weekends of the Buxton Festival - all very different, with something for everyone. Since we had the stage built in the cafe we haven't been able to use it for it's intended purpose... until now, so I'm really excited that it is being put to excellent use for this year's Fringe. Doors will open on each of the performance nights at 7.00pm, giving you plenty of time to grab yourself a local ale or cider (other beverages are available) to enjoy during the performance, which will start at 8.00pm. For a description of each of the performances, plus dates for each show, please visit the Fringe website www.buxtonfringe.org.uk I hope to see you here enjoying one of the shows with me.
I wanted to take the opportunity this month to showcase all the talented local creatives we have hereabouts, as well as the homegrown theatrical talent we have at the Fringe this year. I have always wanted the Bookstore to be a creative hub for local artists of all kinds and this is slowly coming to fruition.
We have our local artisan shelves to support independent makers in the area - from soaps to jewellery to picture frames and everything in between - it's the perfect place to pick up an original gift for a loved one or to treat yourself to something special.
Our local card makers section has a diverse range of talent and styles and with every purchase you're supporting local, independent artists, it's never 'just a card' for these creative indie businesses.
Local authors have long been supported at the Bookstore and continue to be offered the shelf space to showcase their work. We hope to hold many more 'meet the author' events in the future, so any budding talent out there can come along and pick the author's brains for tips on how to get started on that elusive first novel and how to get it published.
Don't forget that we have another small, indie business on site too, 'Gallery in a Shed' is situated at the back of the Bookstore and offers picture framing services along with local artisan crafts and the proprietor's own watercolour paintings, as well as beautiful locally grown plants.
Looking to the future, I would love to welcome musicians, poets, comedians and actors to our stage on a regular basis, plus speakers with diverse and fascinating skillsets and stories.
The future is looking bright, the future is looking creative and I'm so happy to be taking you all on this journey with us.
Take care and hope to see you soon (perhaps for a glass of wine at one of our Fringe evenings?),
I had hoped that the year 2020 would be a great one for the Bookstore and Cafe. We had finally saved enough to finish the building work and get the car park resurfaced, I'd booked events and shows for every weekend from Easter through to October and I really felt like we were heading towards being the creative hub I had dreamed of one day becoming.
It didn't happen.
You all know that story, so I won't bore you with the details. Instead, I thought that my first ever blog should be a positive one, full of hope and of 'bouncing back'.
Since re-opening our doors in April things have slowly started to get back to some sort of normality and, if it weren't for the masks and the occasional 'don't stand too close to me' looks, one could almost think last year had never happened. Getting to see all my colleagues again on a daily basis is fabulous; being around so many creative, hardworking, kind and hilarious people every day is something I've really missed and I'm so happy to be back with them - they really are an amazing bunch to work with. Our fantastic and incredibly loyal customers are back with a vengeance, creating the wonderful atmosphere we know and love up here; there's such a warm and relaxing ambience about the place again. We've also had new visitors, people who have seen us on social media and taken a special trip out to find us, which makes me feel really positive about the future of the business.
Things are looking up in so many ways here at the Bookstore and I feel that I can definitely, although rather tentatively, start planning for the future again. This year will be all about 'bouncing back', getting back to the place we were pre-pandemic, concentrating on the things we do well and trying to improve them where we can. We have three theatre performances booked over the three weekends of the Buxton Fringe, which I'm super excited about and will be the very first time our little 'stage' area will be utilised, plus a few one-off events I'm planning for late summer, but other than that we will be focussing on improving the cafe and the bookstore in small but significant ways. By the end of the year I'm hoping to have a program for 2022, to include comedy, music, literary events and much more, working towards making High Peak Bookstore and Cafe the creative hub I know it can be.
Thank you so much for sticking with us and for reading my first ever blog. Hope to see you soon,