Wow, that went by fast. We are now on a regular schedule with open hours every Saturday from 11:00 to 5:00, or by appointment. For clarification purposes, by appointment means you can call us and see if we are around when you would like to come visit. If we’re already here we will be happy to welcome you. Saturdays work well for most civilians, but for those who work in ‘the business’ it is almost always a workday. So for those who sling hash, or pints for a living, we can be flexible on your days off. Since you are there for us when we need your loving care, we will do a level best to return the favor.
Saturday was so much fun. We saw smiling faces we hadn’t seen in months, as well as some new ones. The flow of folks was consistent so at no point were we lonely, although I may not have had quite enough time with each person. I apologise if you didn’t get enough time with either Don or me, but the beautiful thing is that you can just come back next Saturday, or the one after that, or….
Moving out of a retail space was bittersweet for both of us. We desperately needed more room, and more quiet time for working, but we were very proud of the community that built up around Rabelais in Portland. The constant flow of cooks, bartenders, farmers, dishwashers, home cooks, wine geeks and armchair gastronomes was extremely gratifying. We started the business with an idea, an idea borne from the gastronomic integrity and diversity that is Portland, and Maine. Rabelais was also making a point about brick and mortar book stores, and how they can still succeed in this electronic world. But our needs and the machinations of the world of modern publishing diverged too greatly. It became necessary for Rabelais to move. The transition was smooth, but a bit anxious due to the unknown nature of where we were going and what this new location held for us. We are so happy and relieved to discover that this new setting is just what we had hoped it would be. Physically it is quite perfect, and if you haven’t yet checked us out in person you are in for a treat. Two desks on opposite sides of the loft allow us each the room to spread out and take care of our business without getting in each other’s hair. The flow around the standing bookshelves is smooth, and since we have so many square feet, I cannot yet imagine it being overcrowded in here. There is tons of light from the seven windows. The shelves can now hold all the editions of any given book we may have. Oh how my heart sings at the full shelves of James Beard and Julia Child, among many others.
All of that would be great in itself, but then you add on the fact that you lovely people are seeking us out, traveling the distance, short or not, to check us out. That is a beautiful thing. For so many reasons. Amazon be damned, to hell with ereaders. Indie book ventures can thrive. We look forward to re-inventing this concept in the future with your support. We are still fine tuning (!?) the kitchen, still filling out the inventory. But the days ahead will only be better and fuller. So thank you for being part of Rabelais and let’s get cracking!