Lock downs force Richland bookstore to close after decades in business
RICHLAND, Wash. – Owner of the Tri-City Bible Bookstore, Deanna Brown, recalled the 1970’s, when the store was located in Kennewick and owned by her mom.
“I made 40 cents an hour at nine years old, and I thought it was the greatest thing in the world and I can still see that store so well in my mind,” she said
Before it was owned by Deanna’s mother, the bookstore opened in the 1940’s. Once the Brown family took over, it became a family affair.
Deanna raised her children, like Nicole Brown, among the books, gifts and customers.
“We’d let her just go down the aisles in her walker and she’d just been running, flipping books out faster than- and customers would just go along and pick up after her, we just; you know they kinda got used to the kids in the store,” Deanna said.
Twenty-nine years ago, they moved the store to Richland, off of North Columbia Center Boulevard. Nicole learned the business including their signature service: bible monogramming.
“I’ve got clients from Boise, I’ve got clients from Billings, Montana and Oregon. I don’t even know where to start with Oregon, but we have a lot of, we have a lot of client base,” she said.
Nicole and her mom said eventually, they spent more time at the bookstore than anywhere else.
“It’s home, we probably spend more time here than actual home,” Nicole said.
“This is home, I always tell people this is home, when you come here this is home,” Deanna added.
Which is why closing their doors on December 23rd, is even more heartbreaking.
“If it hadn’t been for the pandemic, we would be thriving; this would not even be an option with COVID; we’ve never been hurting ever like this but because of COVID and the restrictions, we’re done, which is sad,” Nicole said.
“We’ve made deliveries, we’ve taken things, we’ve sent things, but it’s just not the same. People are nervous about coming out in public, you know, especially our elderly clientele and we have to watch out for them I get it,” Deanna said.
But all is not lost for the Brown family. They’ll have a lifetime of stories to carry with them, wherever they land next.
“It’s gonna be hard when it shuts down, but we have all these great memories,” Nicole said.
“Not sure, just not sure gonna take some time, take a deep breath and see what God has next for me,” Deanna added.
The store will close on December 23rd, their hours are 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday. You can learn more information on them here.
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