So despite all of our addictions to technology, I think most of you would agree that a good old-fashioned book will never go out of style. One of my favorite book stores in Sag Harbor has reopened in a different location in town, and it’s better than ever. Taylor Berry, has created Berry and Co, a space that feels like home, where you can go, grab a read, an herbal tea, and sit outside in the fresh air on her porch to enjoy some quiet time. The walls are covered in book pages of famous authors, which is fun to walk around and read, and makes the experience very welcoming. Berry has the best kid’s corner, with all of my favorites, where your children can go and have their own magical, uninterrupted story-time. Quiet time for both parents and kids, I call that a win win! If you are looking for books on school’s summer reading list, they are stocked! Also a great wind-down activity post-camp.
How many years have you been in business?
We opened on Main St. in Sag Harbor in 2014, we relocated to our new location in April of 2019.
How did you get your start and what was your initial inspiration?
I’ve always been an avid reader. From a young age “my essentials” always included a stack of books. After years in the restaurant industry, when I moved out to Sag Harbor full time I decided I wanted to create a space that felt like the bookstores I had loved my entire life. A place where people felt at home and were able to discover the knowledge of the ages – new releases, classics, hidden gems you would never expect. I went to college Burlington, Vermont and there was a tiny bookstore on Church Street called Crow Books. It was my favorite place to hide away for hours. If I come even remotely close to giving people the feeling that that bookstore gave me, I’ll feel like I hit the mark!
What do you feel differentiates you from others in your field?
I think that independent bookstore owners are a special breed. I certainly think my experience in the restaurant industry has molded who I am as bookstore owner. I like to consider myself a concierge bookseller. Whether it be our Roving Bookstores, curating personal libraries or just finding you the perfect book. Part bookseller, bartender, therapist—whatever you need! Our new space feels like a magical treehouse, with the deck and the tea and the amazing light, that certainly gives us a different feel!
What do you feel gives you longevity?
For 5 years, I worked to build a bond with our community. There are other options; there will always be other options. I believe competition breeds success and to be successful you have to stay ahead of the curve. With the addition of our Roving Books and Pop Ups we have really expanded the availability of books to our readers.
How do you positively impact your clientele?
I’d like to think that every reader leaves finding exactly what they need, even if it was something they didn’t realize! The truth is that I believe that reading is one of the most important things we can do for ourselves and our children, I’m just the person that puts the book in your hand but it’s so much bigger than me. When I created the pop-ups and The Roving Books it was because I think that everyone should have access to books everywhere.
What is your favorite part of your job?
The impact we have on people. I love when people come in having loved (or even hated) a book and tell us about it. When they enjoy one of our teas and it helps with what ails them. That squeaks by as favorite only to the experience of being in the store when everyone starts engaging with each other. Kids reading and playing in the children’s section (thoughtfully designed after Peter Pan’s Neverland) Adults discussing everything from books to current events. Watching the sharing of knowledge is such a special thing.
What is your favorite secret Hamptons spot?
I can’t tell! It won’t be a secret anymore! The Hamptons has so many little nooks and crannies. I will say, our little corner of the world on Division with The Sag Harbor Baking Co and Jack’s Stirbrew has quickly become one of my favorites. I doubt it’s a secret spot but I love Bistro Ete is Watermill!
How do you benefit mamas?
I think it’s two fold—we give mommies the support they need in raising great readers whether it be by recommendations, birthday party gifts, book fairs and story hour and we also give them a place to take a deep breath. Being a mom is one of the most rewarding things but gosh, it’s not always easy! If a mommy can sneak away for a bit, grab a tea and a book—maybe a J. Southern Studio room spray or some Doterra Essentail Oils and I can give them even one moment to pause in that, I feel like we’re helping. Even if they come in with their little ones, I’m happy to grab them for an impromptu story hour while Mommy browses and finds what she needs! I think taking care of our Mommy’s is paramount—without them, where would we be??
What is the most memorable feedback a client has given you?
I’m not sure I could pick just one. I’m always deeply touched by the parents that come in to tell me we found the perfect book for their hesitant reader.
Pay it forward and name your top colleagues in the same field or related field.
The ladies at The Book Group are wildly inspirational to me. I’ve worked really closely on some of my private book parties with Maria Seremetis Events and I always blown away by what she brings to life. Jessica Soffer, the author of "Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots" has been hosting Writer Workshops, one in particular called The Note that is quite possibly the most wonderful thing I’ve experienced in a very long time. I can go on and on about the people in book related fields that impress me and inspire me!
What is the best advice anyone's ever given you? Or what is your "mantra" / words to live by?
I’m lucky that I have been in the presence of some really brilliant people over the years that have given me lots of wonderful bits of advice. The gist of almost all of the best advice has been to follow your gut or your heart or your instinct and be true to yourself. And always always, always take a deep breath – before you react, before you hit “send” before you make any decision!
As moms, the day can escape us, what is your best time-saving trick?
I am the WORST procrastinator so I would be the blind leading the blind. But I will say I do little things like prep the coffee the night before, pick out a few outfit options. When it’s possible I try to do everything I can the night before, even with the bookstore, before I leave I basically set it up for open so if there is a catastrophe, all I have to do it turn on the lights and I’m ready to rock!