For nearly 50 years, Bogart's Bookstore & Cafe has been an essential part of the South Jersey community. In addition to being the only independently owned and operated bookstore cafe in the area, it has been a haven for book lovers, artists and musicians. Giving back to the bookstore family and community has always been an integral part of our identity, and it has been a great pleasure to host poets, community meetings, recovery groups and emerging authors. Covid restrictions have devastated so many small businesses. We all drive past the empty storefronts every day where a treasured local gem used to operate.
Against all odds, we have made it this far. Despite all the challenges, we have been able to stay afloat barely and keep the doors open and the lights on. I have said so many times through this time, “I feel like I’m treading water with all my might, just trying to keep us afloat.” And we were staying afloat, if just *barely* breaking even. I kept thinking, “If we can just make it around this corner, things will start getting better.”
But this year has dealt us yet another set of challenges, and we are finally reaching our breaking point. We have had to adjust our hours due to losing some of our amazing staff, sickness, and now the cost of everything- from ingredients to utilities- has gone up faster than we have been able to raise our prices. We’ve stopped treading water and are drowning quickly. The amount we are asking for would cover what we’ve fallen behind on in these last three months (yes, it’s happened that fast). I haven’t been able to give myself a paycheck in months, so I’m behind on my own personal bills as well. We still need to purchase more supplies to be able to continue making amazing food for our community. I hope to catch up on our debts, bring back our employees and regain footing.
It’s hard to ask for help, but I realize it’s time to ask for help from our community, which has shown us so much love over the decades.
Please consider helping to support us in our goal of staying open. If monetary support isn’t accessible for you, please consider sharing our story and stopping by our shop.
Thanks so much for your consideration. Please share our story.