Jujube turns a fresh page in SVG for book lovers
September 14, 2010
Jujube turns a fresh page in SVG for book lovers

Book lovers now have a place where they can shop for books at their leisure, in a comfortable, inviting environment.{{more}}

Jujube, which opened its doors on September 1, is located on the ground floor of the Demerara Building on Grenville Street in Kingstown.

The bookstore is the brainchild of former banker Michele Samuel, who said it had always been her dream to go into a business of that sort.

“I like books. I grew up with books around me. Mommy always had a ‘library’ of which she was very proud and valued highly. She taught her children to treasure books.”

Samuel, who is a chartered accountant and a certified internal auditor, spent most of her years working in the banking environment. She however said she felt the need to “do something on [her] own.”

“I needed a bit more flexibility in my life because of my two young children. I also wanted a legacy for them, in particular.”

Samuel and her husband Telbert Samuel are parents to two children: Nailah 7-years-old and Dru 14-months-old.

Samuel said even though opening the bookstore has been a lot of work, requiring as many or more hours than when she worked as a banker, “It is my own, and I believe eventually, I will have the support staff I need- to give me the flexibility I want with my family life.”

“I wanted to be part of the literacy effort in St. Vincent, and offer more than just textbooks and a spattering of other reading material. People do read; they just don’t buy their books here. Now they can,” Samuel said, debunking the commonly held view that Vincentians do not read.

So what does the name “Jujube” mean and why did she choose it?

Samuel explained that initially, the concept was to have a juice bar along with the bookstore to encourage socialization. In thinking of a name for the juice bar, she came up with “Jujube” as it is a fruit and an uncommon type of name. She said she was encouraged by a friend to stick with the name “Jujube”, even after the concept of a juice bar was dropped.

Jujube will carry “a little bit of everything, so we are building our stock gradually,” Samuel said.

Their present stock includes text books; autobiographies; best selling novels; a wide range of literature (fiction and non-fiction) by black authors; children’s books; Bibles; devotionals; Christian novels; self-help books, cookbooks and gift books by Helen Exley.

Samuel said Jujube also carries board games, bookmarks, greeting cards and gift bags as well as school supplies, magazines, newspapers and comic books.

The entrepreneur also disclosed that an Internet station will soon be provided at the store for customers to use to browse Jujube’s website (still under construction) to search the store’s inventory and to place orders.

“You will be able to do that right here in the store, or at your convenience at home,”Samuel explained.

Jujube will soon also offer business support services such as the preparation of business plans, tax returns, customs brokerage, internal audit consultancy, etc. Samuel, who is also a Certified Information Systems Auditor, will be supported in this aspect of Jujube’s service by her husband Telbert, who is also a chartered accountant. This aspect of the business will also offer executive assistance to the business sector, providing services such as preparation of correspondence, reports and presentations as well as planning meetings and training events.

The bookstore, which also offers photocopying, binding and laminating services, is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday and on Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.