Bookworm of Edwards owner Nicole Magistro writes letter announcing store sale to Edwards local
Bookworm of Edwards owner Nicole Magistro, after seven years as the sole owner and more than 15 at the store, has decided the time is right to start a new chapter in her life. She sold the store to Edwards local Matt Lee, whom she said has that same passion for books and for the Bookworm’s history.
Magistro also said that she won’t be leaving the Vail Valley, and that Bookworm customers will still see her face when she comes in to pick up new titles, grab a smoothie or just say hello.
Below is the text of Magistro’s letter to the media.
As many of you know, I came to work at The Bookworm as a 23-year-old writer who wanted to be more connected to the community. The founders, Kathy Westover and Neda Jansen, didn’t hire me right away, but eventually I got a part-time job selling books at the store. Since 2005, I’ve been an owner; at first I partnered with Neda, learning how the industry worked and why the fundamentals mattered. In 2007, chef-partner Kristi Feichtinger and I discovered how much the community truly craved a gathering place. For the past seven years, I’ve been alone at the helm, still learning as I went, oftentimes taking cues from more experienced staff and community leaders. All along, I just figured it out.
We’ve had some very proud moments rising from our collective hard work — like moving to Riverwalk, opening a café, throwing a lot of great parties, winning a James Patterson grant, the Pannell Award, and being recognized nationally for our Adopt-A-Reader program. Of course, we’ve known many tough times, too — the rise of online shopping, digital reading, bad snow seasons, a housing crisis and now, a global pandemic. Every step of the way — and most recently through the store’s heartfelt Go Fund Me effort — our customers have stepped up to show how important The Bookworm is in their lives. I am proud that the Bookworm has become like the living room of Eagle County.
It’s been an amazing experience to own this bookstore, but in the past few years I’ve envisioned new personal challenges for myself while trying to find a way to make those next steps happen for me without having to step away from the store. This includes my dreams and priorities for my family. I have come to realize that I can’t have it all. And as shocking as it feels, the time has come for me to write a new chapter.
This month, I sold the Bookworm to Matt Lee, an Edwards local, entrepreneur and father of two, who shares my passion for books and community. Matt embodies the traits that a leader needs to take The Bookworm to the next level, perhaps even more so than I have throughout these years. He loves The Bookworm and wants to honor our history and build on the legacy to make it even better. He is ready to figure it out. He is one of us.
Matt will maintain all the things you love about the store — right down to The Bookworm’s amazing staff, our community-first mission statement, and the crepe recipe! He’s also receptive to your ideas; he is wide open and listening carefully. He will be looking to you to find out what you like best about The Bookworm, and what needs to improve.
Be assured that I will be around. I am not moving or going anywhere — except maybe on a short vacation! I want to be able to walk into my beloved Bookworm and pick out books and order smoothies and slurp tomato soup and see your smiling faces. You can count on me to make sure it goes as smoothly as possible, and that I have total faith that it will.
Our bookstore has thrived in times of challenge and change — it was founded the same year as Amazon went public. We expanded during the great recession. We’ve made it better and better and more indispensable every step along the way. The store is bigger than me, just like it was bigger than Kathy and Neda and Kristi before me. It will thrive during this transition and it will be amazing. I truly believe that. I ask that each of you be open to the new possibilities of The Bookworm, and I know that you, as an important member of the community, will enjoy your local independent bookstore even more tomorrow than you do today. I’ll look forward to seeing you there!
With so much gratitude and love,