Phoenix Books, owner of Chester shop, buys Woodstock store

The owners of Phoenix Books, a Vermont-owned bookstore with locations in Essex, Burlington, Rutland and Chester, have purchased Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop, the oldest continuously operated independent bookstore in Vermont.

From left, Kristian Preylowski, Kari Meutsch, Susan Morgan, Mike DeSanto and Renee Reiner.
Photo by Gareth Henderson, The Vermont Standard.

Phoenix’s Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner met with Susan Morgan – who bought the shop in 2001 – for the closing on Wednesday, Feb. 1. Yankee Bookshop first opened in November of 1935.

“After 15 years of 24/7 ownership doing everything, including cleaning the toilet, I realized the bookshop needs fresh eyes and fresh passion to continue to be one of Woodstock’s keystone businesses,” says Morgan. “I’m tuckered out! Yankee Bookshop deserves owners who are media savvy. I want to see the Yankee Bookshop hit its 100 year mark and still be going strong. I know it can’t happen with me as its owner, but when it happens I hope I’m here to see it!”

While DeSanto says that a few alterations may be made as the new owners bring their own taste, style and interest to the selection of offerings and to the floor plan, they won’t be making any drastic changes to the venerable bookshop. “We’ve signed a lease for the next three to six years,” says DeSanto. “We’re keeping the name, Yankee Bookshop. Susan Morgan has passed on a thriving and successful bookstore; our job is to keep that going!” To aid in the transition in ownership, Morgan will stay on in the store for a few months and will be available for consultation after that.

For day-to-day operations and on-site owner-management, DeSanto and Reiner have teamed up with their assistant manager, Kari Meutsch, and her fiance, Kristian Preylowski. Meutsch has worked for Phoenix Books for five years and has always wanted to own her own bookstore. DeSanto adds, “Renee and I – and the team at Phoenix Books – are excited to support our local owner-managers by providing both the stability of being associated with an established group of businesses and access our management group.”

DeSanto and Reiner  founded Phoenix Books in Essex, Vermont in 2007 and, in 2012, opened a second location in Burlington. DeSanto, Reiner and local partners Tricia and Tom Huebner opened Phoenix Books Rutland in September of 2015. In May of 2016, DeSanto and Reiner acquired Misty Valley Books, now Phoenix Books Misty Valley, in Chester.

 

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About the Author: This item was edited from one or more press releases submitted to The Chester Telegraph.

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