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Simcoe entrepreneur: 'Every community needs a bookstore'

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It was a moment of reflection that inspired a new bookstore that opened in downtown Simcoe on June 26.

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“It was about a year ago and we had heard the Coles was closing,” said owner Catherine Wiebe. “We wanted to open a bookstore of our own and we were sitting in the backyard trying to come up with a name.”

Married to Tim Fox, Wiebe wanted to include the family name in the name of the store. The couple have three children: Lucy, 8; Beatrice, 6; and Wilbur, 2.

“So, we’re sitting there watching the fireflies. It was gorgeous night and it just sort of came to me – Firefly and Fox,” Wiebe said. “Fireflies are points of light in the dark and that’s what books can be – points of light in a world that is sometimes dark and that’s what we want to do with our store.”

Wiebe welcomed family and friends to Saturday’s grand opening of the store at 13 Norfolk St. N.

“Every community needs a bookstore,” she said. “We’re the only new bookstore in Haldimand-Norfolk and, before we opened, residents would have to head out of town to Paris or Brantford.

“They don’t have to do that anymore. They can visit us instead.”

The store also offers online shopping and orders can be placed by phone. Curbside pickup and delivery in Norfolk also are available, as is Canada-wide shipping.

“We’re a general interest bookstore but specialize in children’s and Canadian literature and local authors,” Wiebe said. “Anything we don’t have, we can order.

“We want to make this a place where people can visit and make connections to other worlds through books.”

The store is open noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday to Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.

Wiebe said she hopes to hire an employee and expand store hours in the fall.

She teaches at West Lynn Public School in Simcoe. In the fall, she’ll be teaching in the mornings and going to the bookstore in the afternoon.

“I’m really fortunate to have such great support from family and friends,” Wiebe said.

“My husband, Tim, has been great. He made the sign out front and my girls have been terrific.

“They’ve provided me with lot of suggestions as to the kinds of books I should be getting for children.”

To learn more about the store visit www.fireflyandfox.com/ .

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