A former English teacher-turned-salesman is marrying his two professions by opening a used bookstore in Roanoke’s Wasena neighborhood.
Steve Padgett plans to open The Main Street Bookwormwithin a month, he said.
The small shop sits on Main Street near the Brandon Avenue intersection in a space that is familiar to Padgett.
His mother operated a dog grooming business in the building for 30 years. (The business was sold to Padgett’s aunt, and later his sister, who moved it just down the street where it continues to operate.) The building has been vacant since the grooming business moved.
Padgett and his wife, Penni, are voracious readers, and Padgett said he is frequently called upon by friends to recommend books. Those friends encouraged him to pursue the bookstore.
“I had always wanted to have a bookstore,” he said. “I just finally decided that I’d do it.”
Padgett initially will stock the store mostly with books from his own bookshelves.
“I’ve bought thousands and thousands of dollars’ worth of books over the last few years,” he said.
In addition to fiction and nonfiction, he plans to carry a large selection of children’s books.
Owning a business is new to Padgett, but his work as a teacher and currently as a sales manager forMcNeil Roofing and Sheet Metal has prepared him for owning the bookstore, he said.
Padgett hopes to have the store open soon. He’s already put down new flooring, coated the walls and ceiling with fresh paint and ordered the bookshelves, which are in storage.
Also in Sunday’s Retail Roundup column, a Roanoke County chocolatier is turning her passion for candies into partnerships with other local businesses, and a cabinetry store that started in a Vinton warehouse more than two years ago has moved to Salem where it now has a showroom.