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New chapter for The Good Book

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by MATTHEW NASH
Sequim Gazette

The Good Book continues on after a recent change of ownership.

 

Christine Rich, its owner for 13 years, sold the Christian books and gifts store she built from the ground up to son and father John and Joe Mangiameli.

 

Rich said she’s ready to retire and pursue other things and was contacted in August about the store being for sale.

 

John, 19, and active in Sequim Bible Church’s ministry, said he felt purchasing the business fits his ministry and an investment goals.

 

One of the notable upcoming changes will be adding more storefront with the vacant space next door formerly occupied by Professional Real Estate.

 

The new owners said they plan to expand their gift and greeting cards sections while adding more clothing. Other products such as their wide book selection will remain.

 

John said the store continues to fill a niche for Christian resources in the area that only they can provide.

 

Rich said the nearest Christian bookstore is Oak Harbor. Most similar stores have closed shop in recent years including businesses in Port Angeles, another in Sequim and one in Silverdale.

 

She admits the economy has created a change for the business particularly with sales of music and books becoming more available digitally and on the Internet for low prices.

 

“But we have a loyal customer base,” Rich said, “People shop here purposefully. A lot of customers are loyal to physical copies of things. They like to have their hands on the presence of books.”

 

One way she’s tried to combat online sales is through free shipping on special orders and customer service.

 

“I always looked at it as a ministry but I have to be smart. We have to pay the bills,” she said.

 

The Good Book opened more than 13 years ago following Rich’s love for bookstores. She said the timing was right to open after moving from Olympia.

 

“There weren’t many Christian bookstores around and most were owned by older couples. I wanted a more contemporary feel,” Rich said.

 

When Hurricane Coffee opened, she said it was like a dream come true.

 

Cross traffic is common and people don’t seem turned off by the idea that it’s a Christian-run business.

 

“One thing I try to tell people is that we can order any books, not just Christian books, through our distributor,” Rich said.

 

John said one of the aspects they want to focus on is adding more gifts to branch out more.

 

“Being in this community as a Christian is just as big of a ministry as outreach in the community,” he said.

His hope is that other Christian-owned businesses can partner in different ways.

 

Rich said one of her proudest achievements is employing 14 different part-time employees through her ownership including two employees working for more than 10 years.

 

The Mangiamelis intend to keep the current staff and hours.

 

Contact The Good Book, 108 W. Washington St., at 683-3600 or visit www.openthegoodbook.com.

 

Reach Matthew Nash at mnash@sequimgazette.com.






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