Previously, BLACK ENTERPRISE reported how some Black-owned bookstores were seeing a surge in sales amid the protests against racial injustice and police brutality earlier this year. This week, a Colorado-based bookstore found a way to expand their business now making them the largest Black-owned bookstore in the country.
The Tatter Cover based in Denver, Colorado recently was sold to local investors after enduring a tumultuous year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Denver native Kwame Spearman and his partner David Back worked with the bookstore’s owners Len Vlahos and Kristen Gilliga to keep the bookstore within the community. Spearman will now be taking over as CEO of the business to over the 49-year old business.
“The Tattered Cover, and all it embodies for us as Denver natives—reading, learning, the independent spirit, buying local, and most importantly community and connection—are the ingredients that drew us to this endeavor,” said Spearman in a press statement. “As we approach Tattered Cover’s 50th Anniversary we are honored and excited to invest in this important community treasure and ensure it remains a piece of the Colorado experience for generations to come.”
Vlahos says he was happy to work with Spearman and Back to keep the bookstore alive and grow for future generations. “When COVID hit in March and we shut everything down, it was very clear to us this was going to be financially devastating to the business,” Vlahos said to Denver Post.
“And we were undercapitalized to begin with, so we started to look for a cash infusion. Serendipitously, David reached out … Since then they’ve created their own self-guided course in bookselling by educating themselves about the industry.”