Help Bel Canto Books Expand in Long Beach

Bel Canto Books, a BIPOC-owned indie bookstore founded in 2018 by Filipina poet and former hospitality executive Jhoanna Belfer, is expanding into a second Long Beach location in Bixby Knolls.

As the only Asian American woman-owned indie bookstore in Long Beach, California, Bel Canto Books takes special pride in uplifting the work of historically marginalized authors and artists.

The new 400 square foot space will be part of KUBO LB, a collaborative community enterprise established to support local Filipinx, LGBTQ and BIPOC-led small businesses by fellow Filipino American community leaders Romeo Garcia of Romeo Chocolates and Jennifer Estacio of Flipp Family.

We will offer a thoughtfully curated selection of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, children's books, and gifts that focuses on BIPOC authors and artists. Our location within KUBO LB will enable us to host author events, children's events, community book clubs, workshops, and more.

We are crowdfunding $83,000 to establish this new BIPOC-focused indie bookstore as a sustainable gathering space for the Bixby Knolls and the greater Long Beach/Los Angeles literary community.

Our budget for startup costs is:

Monthly rent: $1,800 x 12 months = $21,600

Staffing + utilities = $1,124 x 12 months = $13,488

Inventory = $26,250

Fixtures + signage = $8,750

Licenses + fees = $1,000

Operating expenses = $12,000

Total = $83,088

We hope you will join us in fulfilling our mission to provide meaningful community experiences through the power of reading and storytelling.

Please stay tuned to our Instagram (@belcantobooks) for progress updates as we begin the process of bringing this new space to life! Our goal is to open in early Spring 2023.

Thank you in advance for your support, well wishes, and shares! We can't wait to welcome you into our Bixby Knolls space.

Jhoanna Belfer
Owner & Founder of Bel Canto Books




About the organizer:

Jhoanna Belfer is the founder and owner of Bel Canto Books, an independent bookstore in Long Beach CA. A Filipina-American poet and former hospitality executive, Belfer began hosting pop-up book events in 2018 as a way of connecting her business experience with her lifelong love of reading.

She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Independent Booksellers Alliance and the American Booksellers Association's Booksellers Advisory Council, and is a founding member of the Burning Issues Book Club and the Indie Bookstore Field Trips group.

In 2022, Belfer co-founded two annual AAPI-focused literary festivals, FAB (Festival of AAPI Books) Long Beach and Liwanag Lit Fest, celebrating Filipino American storytelling, in partnership with the Long Beach Public Library and a dedicated team of community volunteers.
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Jhoanna Belfer
Long Beach, CA

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