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Beach House Books & More Building Renovation Fund

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Beach House Books and More Building Renovation Project
Hello! I am Georgeann, a retired librarian / library branch manager and with my husband Randy, we own Beach House Books and More, an independent bookstore whose mission is to provide an educational environment within the community, facilitate community engagement, and cultivate a hub for life-long learning.

The majority of the books we stock come from independent and self-published authors and donations from within the community. We have expanded into a physical bookstore and coffee café to help our locals and visitors alike find their next favorite reads.

Beach House Books and More was created in August 2023 and initially operated as an online bookstore. Over the past year, we have worked diligently to launch our website, expand our inventory, promote our products on social media and to cultivate a community of supportive authors and readers to help make this dream a reality. We will continue to make it our mission to support independent and self-published authors as much as we can, while still maintaining a reader-focused resource.

We have had great success as an online store and most recently we joined our local community in a physical location within two to three blocks east of U.S. Hwy 27 South at 3210 Physicians Way. We purchased this property, which will require some modifications and renovations in order to accommodate the needs of our community, but construction has yet to be started and will be completed in phases as funds allow. Our plan for this is to have a space that will allow us to expand our business, while maintaining our online storefront. This will also allow us the option of hosting in-person events such as author talks and signings, book clubs, and even game nights.

We chose this location because it is close to our home with Sebring having a diverse selection of small business shops and restaurants located in the hub of the downtown Circle. This ideal onsite location is within close proximity of one of our main hospitals, various medical and health related facilities, as well as all major county government facilities; County Courthouse, City Hall, Government Center, Tax Collector, Sheriff’s office, local fire station, administrative offices and legal facilities, in addition to various businesses vital to conducting essential daily transactions. According to the Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) website, there are 2,000 individuals that work within a one-mile radius of the Circle. The downtown association is also very active in promoting businesses and hosting events which we plan to be contributing participants in as a downtown small business supporting one another.

Retirees are generally avid readers which attributes to an increase in the need for books, materials and resources to be made available for use. Sebring is a retirement community – according to the latest U.S. census report and World Population Review, Sebring’s population in 2023 comprised of almost 12,000 people with approximately 35% of these individuals making up the over 65 senior population. Within a ten-minute drive in either direction of Sebring is Avon Park and Lake Placid, which are also retirement communities with similar demographics. From August to May, these figures triple with the “Snowbirds” being in town.

This new onsite location is within two to three miles of 11 public and private schools, as well as The Children’s Advocacy Center, located approximately two miles away.

This physical location at 3210 Physicians Way provides opportunities for field trips to the onsite bookstore which will offer more than just books for purchase. We will have the capability of offering internet presence for students as well as adults, provide face-to-face interaction with others and create a hub of knowledge and inspiration that fuels creativity and life-long learning.

The onsite store opened for business on April 27, 2024 in conjunction with National Independent Bookstore Day, allowing us to be able to expand our services and offer a multitude of opportunities for our children and adults in the community.

From my vast experience as a former librarian and library branch manager, I plan to implement several of the programs I presented in the library and expand on these by offering a variety of activities for the children in our community including; Children’s Storytime, a Creative Play Center for children while parents’ shop, Pups ‘N’ Books (children will be able to read to a dog), materials and resources for homeschooled children, spaces for tutoring, visits with Santa, an annual toy drive in conjunction with Toys for Tots, an annual school supply drive (partnering with the schools), and local food drives (partnering with the local food banks in our community). We will also have a puzzle table or two for adults to come in and relax while puzzling.

As an added bonus, a coffee café offering such items as coffee, tea, hot chocolate, bagels and muffins available daily for purchase while you browse for that perfect read or as a spot to come together to interact with others or just relax as a sole adventurer.

We also offer gift items for sale such as book bags, specialty book marks, ornaments, key chains, coffee mugs, and coffee, tea or water bottles. Purchase one of these bottles and bring it back in for a discount on your next coffee, tea or hot chocolate purchase.

As we all know, building costs are exorbitant these days, so we are asking for the help of the community in this needed and very worthwhile project to see it to completion. We have three initial donation goals in which we would be ecstatic to reach toward our building renovation fund. If we reach $25,000 in donations, we will be able to begin the process for the construction of the interior such as laying the ground work for taking down walls and opening up space for a more inviting atmosphere. $50,000 will help in the costs above, plus help with costs for better lighting, laying new flooring and installing window treatments. $100,000 would allow us to do much of the previous, as well as help us with costs for expanding inventory and purchasing additional equipment needed for maintaining the business. Attaining any or all of these goals would go along way toward the completion for the onsite location and benefit the community in a service that is so greatly needed.

Any donations received will be used toward our building renovation costs as well as any costs we gain as we transition to a physical store. Purchasing the property located at 3210 Physicians Way near downtown Sebring, Florida was a first step and now the next phase to begin construction on the interior for further expansion in the very near future is highly anticipated; however, this will require some assistance and support from the community as well as friends and fellow book enthusiasts.

As an added incentive, any donations received will be thanked with a gift card coupon with a maximum limit of 50% off the purchase of gently used merchandise to be used on their next order in our store. We will also be putting together a "wall of heroes" to display in the store containing the names of all of our wonderful supporters.

An additional 10% discount for Active Military / Veterans and Teacher / Educational Providers will be offered in the physical location now that our doors are open.

It takes a village to open a bookstore, and a community to make it thrive.

Thank you so much for your continued support; please check out our online storefront at beachhousebooksandmore.com and follow us on Facebook @Beach House Books and More.
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Donations (4)

  • sondra milton
    • $50 
    • 5 mos
  • Andrea Reynolds
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Rachel Schaefer
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
  • Casey Calhoun
    • $25 
    • 7 mos
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Organizer

Georgeann McNatt Gosch
Organizer
Sebring, FL

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