Recently we began to offer an EYB feature highlighting
independent cookbook stores. Now you can discover (or get
reacquainted with) a store near your home - or plan a new target
destination when you travel.
And to make this as strong a feature as we can, we're asking
our members to help us. We already know of many great stores, which
we keep an ongoing list of (you can view them here), but we'd
love to learn about more - especially those treasured by our
members. So please share the names of independent cookbook stores
that you know, love, admire, or are just plain crazy about. Add a
comment to this posting, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with
the name, address, and owner (if you know it). We'll do the
Book Larder is a community cookbook store in Seattle's North
Fremont neighborhood that features a carefully curated selection of
new, vintage, collectible, and imported cookbooks. In addition
to the dazzling cookbook collection, Book Larder offers
cooking classes, author signings and demos, and other
events featuring celebrated authors and chefs like Ferran
Adria, David Lebovitz, Ruth Reichl, and many more. (You can view
upcoming events on the store's website.) Store owner Lara
Hamilton sat down with EYB to chat about how Book Larder creates a
sense of community for its customers.
Two cookbook stores have closed down recently - The
Cookbook Store in Toronto and Salt and Pepper Books in Maryland.
How does The Book Larder stay competitive in the current trading
environment, where online stores offer low prices and free home
From the beginning, my goal was to provide a unique experience
for customers, something that they can't find online. We offer a
very carefully curated selection of books, and with our author
talks and cooking classes, we give customers a way to connect with
the books in a way that they value. Seattle is also a really great
food town and book town, so (so far) that combination has created a
great environment for Book Larder.
Why do the customers in your store prefer to come to
Book Larder rather than stores such as Barnes & Noble or online
Besides having a staff who loves books and can help people make
decisions, I hope we offer them a sense of community that they
can't find online or in a big box store.
Do you specialize in any particular areas of
We have an abundance of wonderful authors in this part of the
country, so we do our best to bring a healthy selection of their
books into the shop. And I've long been a fan of British cookbooks,
so we import those as well.
What are the big sellers at Book
Like many shops, anything Ottolenghi. Vegetable books generally do very
well-we have lots of wonderful farmer's markets here and Seattle is
a big gardening town, so customers are always interested in finding
new and delicious things to do with what's in season.
What type of books do you like to cook from
yourself? Do you have a favorite cookbook of all
I have a family with a busy schedule of its own, so I gravitate
towards books that help me get delicious food on the table quickly.
This year I've cooked quite a bit from Nigel Slater's Eat, Laura Russell's Brassicas, and Carla Kelly's One
Pan, Two Plates. All-time favorites are so hard to narrow
down, but they definitely include Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, as it was
my "gateway" cookbook.
What events to you have at the store in the next
couple of months?
So many! I'm extremely grateful that the publishers continue to
support author tours. We'll host David
Lebovitz at the end of April, and Ruth Reichl,
Madison, and Bryant Terry in May, to name just a few.
Photos by Rebecca Sullivan