Batavia's personal bookstore celebrates fifth anniversay
For the literary-minded of Genesee County, Present Tense Books and Gifts at 101 Washington Ave., Batavia, has become an important community hub.
Owner Erica Caldwell opened the shop five years ago, on Sept. 17, 2005, because she thought Batavia needed a bookstore.
Today, the store officially celebrated its fifth anniversary and Caldwell said its success has exceeded her expectations.
"I’m thrilled that we made it five years," Caldwell said. "That’s a great milestone and I’m thrilled that we’ve gotten so much support from the community."
In an era of mega-chains, and now e-readers, there's plenty of competitive threats, but Caldwell said Present Tense has done well filling a quite little niche for the customer who prefers the bookstore experience and doesn't want to drive to Buffalo or Rochester to get it.
"You have no idea of the number of people who came in and thank us for saving them a trip," Caldwell said.
While it's a small shop, so there isn't the massive selection you might find in one of the mega-chains, there isn't anything Caldwell said she can't get for customers, often the next day and without any shipping costs.
For Caldwell, running the store isn't just about business success. She said one of the greatest joys is getting to know her customers.
"I enjoy talking with people about books," Caldwell said. "It's great to see all the people who love to read. People come in and I know what they’re reading and they know what I’m reading."