Book Shoppe in Medina has new owners

Photos by Tom Rivers: Susan Phillips, left, welcomes the new owner of The Book Shoppe, Gloria Fierch. Gloria and her husband Fred Fierch became the new owners of the store on Dec. 2. Phillips will remain at the store until the end of the year, helping with the transition.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 December 2019 at 11:20 am

Susan and Roland Phillips ran the store for 21 years

MEDINA – The Book Shoppe on Main Street in Medina has new owners after 21 years of Susan and Roland Phillips leading the popular spot at 519 Main St.

Gloria and Fred Fierch on Dec. 2 became the owners of the store. The couple owned Pizza Place II in Middleport for 28 years, until selling that business nine years ago.

“Susan has made this an institution in Medina for 20 years,” Mr. Fierch said. “We plan on changing nothing.”

The Fierchs have stayed active in their retirement, with Gloria leading a Silver Sneakers exercise class at the Orleans County YMCA the past several years.

Fred has written two local books about Medina and Middleport history. He also is retired as a social studies teacher from the Orleans/Niagara BOCES, where he taught at sites in Medina, Sanborn and Niagara Falls.

The two missed the hustle and bustle of owning the pizza business. They wanted that excitement, but not quite at that level.

They have been long-time customers at the Book Shoppe. When the business was listed for sale, Mr. and Mrs. Fierch moved to buy it.

They have been at the store since last week, with Phillips introducing them to customers and helping with the ownership transition. She will stay at the store until late December, helping through the holiday rush and them ordering more books and toys for a new year.

“This has been fun,” Mrs. Fierch said at the store on Monday. “I’m enjoying the people and the total atmosphere. I just love being in Medina on Main Street. I want to continue the traditions of the book store.”

Gloria and Fred Fierch are shown in the arch leading to the children’s section at The Book Shoppe. They owned the Pizza Place II in Middleport for 28 years. They sold that business nine years ago and wanted to become more active in the community by owning the book store in Medina.

Mrs. Fierch has heard from customers that the book store is highly valued by the community. Besides the latest best sellers, The Book Shoppe gives prominent display of books by local authors. The store has a separate section for children’s books and toys.

The Book Shoppe sells toys that aren’t electronic and don’t make noise.

“They’re toys that children can use their imagination on,” Phillips said.

She is grateful for the 21 years of support from many loyal customers. Phillips said it has been exciting to watch the rebirth of Medina’s downtown, with many new businesses opening in recent years, and many building owners completing major restorations to the historic structures.

The Medina downtown has become a big attraction, and Phillips said the book store increasingly sees more customers from Buffalo and Rochester who enjoy shopping in Medina.

Phillips worked at the store for two years, when it was owned by David and Caroline Stefaniak. Phillips and her husband Roland became the owners in 1998.

She is pleased to see the new owners have a passion for business and being part of the community.

Phillips has watched many of her customers’ children grow up to be adults, and then bring their own children to the store. (The Book Shoppe hosted many Harry Potter parties, when new books of the popular series were released.)

Phillips was praised for making the store a welcoming environment, with the strong scent of gourmet coffee greeting customers. She also gift wraps books and presents for her customers.

“I want to say thank you to all of my great customers for all of the great years we had together,” she said.

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