(l-r) Natalie, Lauren, Collin, Dana and Stacey Pacholek grin behind the counter in Stacey’s Happy Place on Aug. 14. The family-run books store and coffee shop opened on Eckville’s Main Street in July. Photo by Kaylyn Whibbs/Eckville Echo

Bookstore, coffee house opens on Eckville’s Main Street

Stacey’s Happy Place, run by Collin and Stacey Pacholek with their three daughters, opened on July 27

A coffee shop and bookstore is the newest fixture to Eckville’s Main Street.

Collin and Stacey Pacholek, alongside their three their three daughters, opened the doors to Stacey’s Happy Place on July 27 as their first ever business venture.

“I just always wanted to open a bookstore,” explained Stacey. “I love books and just thought wouldn’t it be great to have a place where people can just gather and talk and there’s a sense of community and it’s just fun and relaxing.”

Coming from Red Cliff, Alta., the pair decided to set up shop in Eckville with family in the area and a shared love for little towns.

“Little towns are important to keep alive, so it’s nice to bring something people want,” said Collin, adding they are country people at heart.

“We just want to be open to the community for them as a place to use,” he explained.

So far, Collin says, the shop has received great feedback from the community and see a steady cliental as more and more people discover them.

The family-run business aims to provide reasonable prices with a large coffee costing only $1.50.

“I want people to read and really have fun with it, so we wanted to keep our prices low so that everybody could actually afford it,” Stacey said.

Used paperback books go for $5 with the hardcovers being $8. New books are ticketed at 40 per cent off the suggested price.

“Our daughter’s a barista, so this was kind of her idea to do more of the specialty coffees and stuff,” continued Stacey, “… why can’t you feel a little indulgent every now and then for a good price?”

Currently Stacey’s Happy Place has 2,700 new and used books on its shelves with the collection constantly changing.

The used books are either brought in by donation or hunted down at garage and estate sales by Stacey. People can also leave recommendations for books in store or on the Stacey’s Happy Place Facebook page to be added to the “to find” list.

Aside from finding books for the collection herself, Stacey also put personal touches in the decor with family photos and furniture items from home to make people feel comfortable.

“We tried to keep it vintage, but comfortable and cozy,” she explained. Collin added the seating area in the back half will grow and become even more cozy once COVID-19 guidelines relax a bit more.

The shop is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m, although the hours may lengthen during the winter months.

People are welcome to sit in the shop and relax, take a drink to go or even request the space for gatherings, like knit night.

“It’s really just been us family working hard at it… it’s turned out better than I thought,” said Stacey. “It’s been fun.”

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