Downtown Seymour bookstore and cafe combine

Two downtown Seymour businesses have combined forces and moved their shops into the same building, just doors down from their original stores.

Jenna Martinez, owner of The Magic of Books Bookstore, and Jason and Stacy Harmon, owners of 1852 Cafe, are now sharing a space at the former Blush and Brush Beauty Bar location, 115 W. Second St. After the move, they re-opened for business a little more than a week ago.

Martinez said the two shops will remain separate entities but just be in the same building.

“1852 Cafe is setting up in the back half of the store, and the front half will be the bookstore, and we’re going to have couches and coffee tables so people can drink coffee and read,” she said.

Martinez said it’s going to double her space with books, and only a few months ago, she was looking for a bigger space, as her goal has always been to expand.

“Jason, Stacy and I have collaborated on many events and just work well together, and one day, he and I were out here joking around and I said, ‘Hey, this place is for rent,’” she said. “So we started looking around inside, tracked down the owner and started talking, and it was a perfect fit for us and double the space that we both had, so it’s perfect.”

Martinez said it was getting cramped at the bookstore, so the move definitely needed to happen.

“I’m excited not only because we’re expanding but also because that extra space will allow us to have more activities,” she said. “We can get our creative writers group going again, and this will allow us to hold events from the metaphysical side.”

She said they’ve already got crystal classes and tarot card classes lined up.

“We’ll also have women’s empowerment circles and spiritual book clubs and our regular book club.” Martinez said. “So it allows so much more than just our products to expand, but it’ll allow our stores to expand so much better.”

A monthly women’s poetry open mic event, run by Skye Nicholson, will be starting up soon, and a Harry Potter Trivia Night is being planned for Aug. 27 with all proceeds going to READ Jackson County.

The goal of the Harmons and Martinez was to be up and running by their anniversary date of Aug. 1.

”I hadn’t realized it before, but 1852 Cafe’s one-year anniversary is Aug. 1, which is our second anniversary date,” Martinez said. “So we’re going to have our big anniversary celebration 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 30, then the grand reopening ribbon cutting will be Aug. 6.”

Jason Harmon said he thinks their collaboration is amazing, and he sees it as the Seymour equivalent of Barnes and Noble and Starbucks.

“I’ve been talking to everybody coming into the cafe and Jenna has been talking to everyone coming into the bookstore, and everybody is excited about it,” Harmon said. “It’s something we’ve wanted to do and have been joking about since we opened, and we just walked in front of this building and it all came together.”

Harmon said their cafe is now three doors east and the bookstore is one door west from their previous locations, making it easier for people to find them.

“This collaboration isn’t going to stop here because we’re going to have Matt McDonald of This Old Guitar to hook up some bluetooth speakers in their sound studio so we can pipe in live music here, and I can’t wait,” he said.

Harmon said there was not a lot of work to do at the new location, except polishing the floors, getting a fresh coat of paint and some other minor things.

“The biggest part is putting in the kitchen, where we had to scrape every bit of the ceiling tile, repainting and having fire-resistant plastic put on the whole wall, using Schneider’s and the same crew as when we built the other building,” he said.

Harmon said the reopening is just the beginning because they’re going to put profits back into the business and make it awesome.

“We are still two separate entities but were joking around about being called the Magic of Books and Beans,” he said. “Why not combine books and coffee and goodies and treats and fun?”