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In August 2014, the Drake family were en route to the Lake District on a lovely bank holiday weekend and stopped off in Penrith.
Obviously, the need for a cafe and a coffee was high priority, but better still that combo with books was stumbled upon. The Wordsworth Cafe and Bookshop was discovered (sadly no longer there). Upon leaving, having had a chat with the owners, Mel and Richard had a discussion about how “that could be the sort of thing we could do”. December 2014 and seemingly this discussion was a regular one as Matthew, our son, pointed out, so subconsciously it seemed that owning a bookshop was a thing.
In January 2015 Richard informed his head of department of the intention to leave teaching and he set about trying to work out “where do you buy lots of books from?” Fortunately, their soon to be fairy godmother, Adrienne, and Gardners Books provided the answer and after several crazy ideas such as “we could buy a bus” we found a place. A WHOLE 12 square metres in what used to be Blacketts on Stockton High Street.
And so on September 22nd 2015 DRAKE – The Bookshop opened its “doors” to the public and immediately had the books christened with champagne (thanks Lou). From that day forward we have never looked back. Stockton Council, B Supplied, Gardners Books, The Booksellers Association, Chicken and Frog Bookshop to name but a few were incredibly helpful in the early days (and still are) and since then so many people have helped to make us look professional and competent!
In October 2016 we moved to our current home on Silver Street where we have been happily at home ever since! And in 2021 we expanded into an empty unit at 26 Silver Street which now houses our children’s bookshop.
Asof February 2024, we are still at 26 & 27 Silver Street and the team is slowly growing. Along with Mel and Richard, Saturday Boy, although at University now(!) still helps out and Han has been with us almost 2 years, while Saturday girl Eve is now full itme as an apprentice. And mabye one day Margot the Bookshop beagle will manage more than an hour at a time!