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A Message from Island Books

To the Island Books community —

We are truly grateful and humbled by the outpouring of support our community has always shown to Island Books but especially over the last few weeks. Your support of Island Books not only supports a Mercer Island institution but also supports 6 employees and provides health insurance for some of those employees (which is obviously important in these times).

We live in scary and uncertain times. Nobody knows what the next few weeks and months will bring. Our thoughts are with our most vulnerable family members, customers, supporters, and residents. It appears that the COVID-19 crisis will not only bring a health crisis to our community, but it may also bring an unprecedented economic crisis as well.

Island Books not only needs your support to survive but we also need a strong small business ecosystem around us as well. So, in addition to supporting Island Books, we humbly ask that you support the businesses in our Town Center and on the south end shopping center. Yes, you might pay a little more than you would online or with a national chain but we ask that you view that extra cost as an investment in your community. We guarantee that the national chains and online retailers will still be there once this crisis has passed (and it’s important to keep in mind that it will pass) – we promise. Without your support, small businesses may not be there in the future.

We want to guarantee that our island has a thriving small business community once this has passed because it makes Mercer Island a better place to live. These businesses also employ people who are part of our local economy (and also spend money at other small businesses like Island Books). So we suggest the following:

  1. Get some amazing chocolates and candy from Island Treats. We promise it will help take your mind off things. If you’re not able to come into the store, you can buy Island Treats from Island Books and we will deliver them to you.
  2. Treat yourself or someone else to a bottle of wine from Barrels. People have been relaxing with wine for centuries, we suggest you help carry on the tradition.
  3. With the kids home from school, they’ll need some food. How about pretzel rolls and bagels from Shawn’s Café and Bakery (7420 SE 24th St, Ste 3, Mercer Island, WA). We can tell you from firsthand experience that his pretzel rolls and bagels are legit.
  4. One of the few businesses on Mercer Island that is more of an institution than Island Books, is the Roanoke. As you know restaurants are the first to be hit during the COVID-19 crisis. If you’re healthy enough to be out and about, how about lunch or dinner at the Roanoke?
  5. If you want to escape without leaving the island, how about taking a micro vacation and checking out some art? We know just the place, go visit Clarke & Clarke for some art and artifacts.
  6. Perhaps you’re working from home and you’re realizing there are some home improvement projects that need to be done. Go visit your locally owned hardware store. The Calvert family has owned True Value for decades.
  7. Since you’ll probably be home more, you’ll be cooking more, right?  You’ll need some cookware for that. Why not visit Terra Bella our neighbors in the Islandia Shopping Center?
  8. OK, maybe suggestion #7 gave you a visceral reaction because you hate cooking. How about a home cooked meal delivered to your door from Custom Plate?
  9. Sounds like nobody is going to Paris anytime soon (including Victor and Vaiva) so why not visit Paris on Mercer Island and get some amazing French pastries at L’Experience in the Islandia Shopping Center just down the way from Island Books.
  10. “I hate chocolate,” said no one ever. Good news! Artisan chocolate has been available on Mercer Island for decades at Oh Chocolate. Let’s make sure that it’s available for decades to come.
  11. We all need to stay healthy through this crisis and work off all that stress (and chocolate…and wine…and pretzel rolls and bagels…and French pastries).  Why not sign up for classes at the MI Athletic Club or take your mind off things at Yoga Bliss.
  12. Of course, throughout this crisis, your hair will continue to grow.  You’ll need to look presentable once you emerge from quarantine.  Get yourself cleaned up and looking beautiful at Au Courant Salon (7900 SE 28th St, Ste 100, Mercer Island, WA) and Studio 904.
  13. Need a gift to cheer someone up?  How about getting a picture framed at Cascade Frames (3049 78th Ave SE, Mercer Island, WA 98040) or a unique gift from Boutique Lounge.
  14. We’ll all need to eat. There’s a wide variety of restaurants on the island (too many to name here) that we encourage you to support. For those of you who are unable to go out because of self-quarantine, many of these restaurants offer take-out options. Many others offer gift certificates (which provides them much needed cash to continue to run their business during this crisis). For those of you able to support them, we strongly urge you to do so.

This is not an exhaustive list. If we’ve omitted any businesses, please know it was not intentional. Our humble request is that you shop locally (regardless of whether we listed a business here or not).

Please shop local, we (Island Books and all your local small businesses) need your *sustained* support over the next few months more than ever.

Stay well. We’ll get through this…together.

— The Island Books Team