CHESTER, Vt. – Katie DeSanto, manager of Phoenix Books Misty Valley, announced bookseller Vicki Thornton will purchase the store Thursday, Aug. 29. Thornton will take over operations immediately after the signing. The 33-year-old bookstore is housed in a historic 1848 Victorian building on Chester’s village green and will be renamed Blair Books & More.
Phoenix Books, with three other locations in Vermont, purchased the store in 2016 with the intent of finding a local co-owner to run the business. Efforts to find local ownership were not initially fruitful, so DeSanto, bookseller and daughter of Phoenix Books’ owner, Mike DeSanto, relocated from her home in East Hardwick, Vt., to keep the store open.
“I ran the store on my own through the holidays and realized I needed help. In quintessential small town fashion, Vicki was referred to me by her son, Scott Blair, the owner of The Southern Pie Cafe, a coffee shop I frequented in town. She’s a natural and I’m thrilled the store will find the energy and vigor it needs under Vicki’s full ownership,” DeSanto said.
Thornton was hired in January and quickly discovered her passion for reading translated into a passion for bookselling. “I love this place and have worked closely with Katie and Mike to find a sustainable path for the store to grow and thrive,” Thornton said. In addition to a curated selection of books for all ages, Blair Books & More will offer locally crafted gifts, toiletries, and jewelry and will continue to carry premium greeting cards, stationery, puzzles, and literary-themed gifts. “My family is very excited about our new adventure and we look forward to serving the community with a bookstore for years to come.”