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Gina and Chris Are Dreaming About A Book Shop

Gina Holmes and Chris Jones of Waterford have a dream and they plan to make it reality, they are determined to be the owners of a new 3,000 square foot book shop in New London, Connecticut. Today they’re standing in the middle of a cement space, but soon in a “tomorrow” not far off they will be standing in their book store.

They know what the floor will look like and the walls, and they have a lot of people who will help transform it when it’s “go time.” Right now there are no book stores in downtown New London and they want that changed.

Gina and Chris are engaged, so not only are they joining forces in business but in life too. They’re gathering funding on line as so many are doing these days, it’s an acceptable thing because with a tough economy it feels good to help those who just can’t do it on their own. By donating, others are helping to build a new community in what is now a vacant building in downtown New London, Connecticut. One of the ways the couple is “crowd funding” is through Indigogo and the dollars are coming in from many places even from outside the United States. Authors are donating and just folks who want to see something wonderful built in the name of literature.

The couple plans to have the place up and running  by the fall of 2012 and in a depressed economy there are a lot of folks routing for them, and I’m one of them. They have big plans and they’re putting themselves out there with a great plan, they’ve thought it through. They know there will be pitfalls, but they’re not be deterred. That’s the kind of spirit needed to help rebuild cities and towns across the state.                                                                                                                                            

The couple will be calling their place Monte Cristo Independent Bookshop. The building in which they hope at least 40,000 books will go, is a renovated 1914 building which was called the Monte Cristo Garage. The actor who played Monte Cristo for years back in the early 1900’s, James O’Neil, put the building u. It housed an automobile and garage business for the wealthy who had cars back then.  It was known as “the garage deluxe of America.” It had 30,ooo square feet and the capacity to house 268 cars.

James O’Neil was the father of the famed  four-time Pulitzer prize winning Connecticut playwright, and 1936 Nobel winner for literature, Eugene O’Neil. James O’Neil made a fortune playing “the Count.” He was one of the most popular actors of the late 19th century. So that’s the history behind the building. Gina and Chris plan to write all kinds of new stories about its future.

***** Post script…..They built their shop it is very much alive and well Monte Cristo Book Shop


  1. Posted August 2, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    For Gina and Chris,

    The State of Connecticut is offering loans and grants. Contact Michelle Lugo at Michelle.Lugo@ct.gov. Michelle will send you back an information packed email that is very informative.

    I attended one of Michell’s lectures and have her information. Also, Michelle is speaking around the state to inform people of this program. It is not filled with red tape, and well worth your time to look into should you be looking for funding.

    Here’s another tip, the Service Core Of Retired Executives (SCORE). These people know business. To find a them near you call your local Chamber of Commerce. They are incredibly knowledgeable and a fantastic source for questions and problems. I’ve sat with them many times.

    Good luck with your book store.

    Best regards,

    Wayne English

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted August 2, 2012 at 4:04 pm | Permalink

      Wayne, thank you so much for sending this along, this is wonderful, I will make sure they get the information.

  2. Farfel
    Posted August 20, 2012 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Good luck to the couple. They are entering a business that is undergoing upheaval … hope they make it.