Nothing goes better together than books and coffee. (Well, maybe cats and coffee but that’s another story). When husband-and-wife owners John Shortino and Allison Mosher found a location to open a permanent storefront for their pop-up book shop, it just happened to be located next to Caffe d’Amore Coffee Company. And there happened to be an option to connect the two with a wall they shared.

When Nine Stories opens in a few weeks — at 5400 Butler Street in Lawrenceville–customers will be able to move seamlessly between the coffee shop and bookstore when both are open, thanks to the collaboration between the two businesses.

“As a bookstore we can’t think of a better neighbor to have than a coffee shop,” says Shortino. Mosher and Shortino worked closely with Caffe d’Amore owner Sarah Walsh to make sure the integration goes smoothly.

“Having a coffee shop and bookstore together will serve the community in a new way,” says Walsh. “It has the potential to be collaborative and fun and benefit both businesses as well.”

nine stories shortino

Nine Stories co-owner John Shortino.

Nine Stories, a reference to the J.D. Salinger book of the same name, started as a pop-up selling books at events like Garfield Night Market and Open Streets and at community spaces such as the Stephen Foster Community Center.

“We kept on acquiring more stuff every time we had a pop-up,” says Shortino. “We started to realize we had outgrown the pop-up model because we weren’t able to get used books back out on the market as fast as we would have liked.”

Allowing customers to move seamlessly between book and coffee shop will be especially helpful when Nine Stories begins to hold events such as author readings, he adds.

Shortino and Mosher plan to stock new and used books according to their own tastes—they are avid fiction readers—and based on customer requests. They plan to have a wide selection of genre fiction—sci-fi and fantasy—as well as general interest nonfiction.

There will be a book trade-in program as well as the ability to sell books for store credit. Nine Stories will also carry Shinola journals from Detroit and Out of Print shirts.

Nine Stories’ move to a permanent location was funded in part by a $5,000 Kiva Zip loan, which was fully crowd-funded by 68 people in five days. Keep an eye out for details on the early-October grand opening by following Nine Stories on Facebook and Twitter.

About The Author

contributing writer

Maya Henry is a writer, blogger and planner who has worked for the City of Pittsburgh, at the nonprofit Lawrenceville Corporation marketing and supporting small businesses in Lawrenceville, and at AIA Pittsburgh. Maya received an M.A. in Historic Preservation Planning from Cornell University in 2008.

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