Photos via Jason D’Amours
The spirit of Big E’s lives on. In the same location – just a short bike ride from campus and right next to Growlers – Nikki Snyder and her mother Donna Frey have opened Shelf Indulgence, a bookstore and café. This mother-daughter team has created a comfortable atmosphere with a collection of books, coffee, tea and paninis. Their menu reads, “Happiness is a cup of coffee and a really good book.”
Snyder wanted to be a librarian since she was little, but was disappointed when being a librarian turned into working in information technology (IT). However, she was fortunate enough to fulfill her dreams.
“I worked at a library when I was younger,” Snyder said. “I ran a program for teens and children and I loved that. I loved the community of a library. But I just don’t want to talk to people about technology, so I figured owning a used book store is even better.”
Turning the idea of a used bookstore into reality took about a year. But now that it’s up and running, Snyder and Frey are happy with the results. They’ve stocked the bookshelves, which were locally built, with a variety of books to suit anyone’s interest. Collections of fiction, photography, art, music, entertainment, self-help, gardening, travel, language, history, children’s, metaphysical and a disproportionately large selection of science-fiction/fantasy used books line the walls, creating a cozy and warm environment.
“We wanted to have a little something for everyone,” Snyder said. “We don’t have a super lot of space so our sections aren’t huge, but the most important thing was having books for kids. Because a lot of the other used bookstores in the area don’t have anything for children and I think that’s important because reading and learning, and our love of books, starts when we’re children. And as far as the sci-fi fantasy section, that’s my favorite so that’s why it looks the way it does.”
But like the menu said, the coffee pairs well, too. Shopping locally and sustainably was crucial for these co-owners. Snyder and Frey happily brew Sarasota’s independent and women-owned Latitude 23.5° fairtrade coffee beans and organic loose leaf tea. Pastries and paninis, made fresh daily, can also be ordered.
“The coffee, sandwiches and the pastries just kind of go hand in hand,” Frey said. “We [hope] to create an environment, an atmosphere, and hopefully people will be comfortable and want to come to hang out, have a coffee [and] have a conversation.”
Besides efforts to buy products locally, Frey refuses to be environmentally-unconscious. “We refuse to use styrofoam,” she said. “I know they are way cheaper, but it does not matter to me. We can’t use something that will still be sitting around here 2000 years from now.”
To support a local, mother-daughter owned and environmentally friendly business that supports other local businesses, to grab coffee, tea or a quick bite, or to study in a bright and welcoming atmosphere, be sure to check out Shelf Indulgence at 2805 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Their hours are Tuesdays and Sundays, from 10:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.. And don’t forget! This place is B.Y.O.M. Make you sure you Bring Your Own Mug!