Big Bear Used Books and Café

122 Pleasant Street
Easthampton, MA 01027

From the first page: Big Bear Used Books and Café bets on local readers

Located in Easthampton, Big Bear Used Books and Café is owned and operated by Dan, Veronica, and Chandler Frantz-Eggleston, a local family who lives for books and coffee. Their mission is simple: “Drink Coffee. Read Good Books. Be Happy.”  Big Bear’s grand opening took place in the middle of the pandemic, on October 1, 2020, with a socially distanced ribbon cutting ceremony featuring Mayor Nicole LaChapelle.

Hesitant about opening a business during a global crisis, the family chose to get Big Bear up and running without taking on additional loans. With store revenues coming in at around 40% of projections, they decided to expand their online presence with an Amazon storefront, which offers one- and two-day shipping. The Frantz-Eggleston family shared some of their insights with us.

With another COVID-19 wave at our doorstep, what steps are you taking?

We have adjusted our website to allow online ordering of coffee and food. We are considering building out a to-go window for touchless/contactless pickup.

What are your thoughts on the “My Local MA” campaign, which is a direct response to the economic impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Baystate’s local businesses and communities?

We think the My Local MA campaign is a fantastic idea. Our country and especially our local community rely on small businesses to support us, though most people don’t realize that. Anything reminding them of that fact is a step in the right direction. It is heartbreaking to see so many family-run businesses closing; besides the family impact, these people employ others in the community and job loss is always devastating.

Partnering with the planet: Down Island Farm promotes sustainability and community

Down Island Farm is a woman-owned business on Martha’s Vineyard, MA. Below, the team shares some details on their business…

Read story

Capturing the moment: Shana Sureck Photography takes the long view

COVID-19 has been both a challenge for Shana Sureck Photography and an opportunity to explore new directions. As a photographer…

Read story

Finding customers: Oceana brings its business – and its wares – online.

Jane Williamson, owner of Orleans-based Oceana, could write a book on the importance of teamwork and flexibility for a small…

Read story