Shannon Piserchio, who co-owns The Bookery Nook with her husband, Gary, used to write posts on Facebook asking someone, anyone, to open an ice cream shop near their place at 4280 Tennyson Street. She didn't know she was talking to herself: Three weeks ago, the Piserchios opened the Ice Cream Parlor at the Bookery Nook.
"I think it's funny that we ended up being the ones to do it, because even as I was writing the posts it never occurred to me that it would be us who would open a shop," says Shannon. "I don't think we ever anticipated we would be restaurateurs when we opened a bookshop."
With the increasing popularity of ebooks and the ongoing construction on Tennyson Street, the Bookery Nook has seen sales dip precipitously this past year. Rather than shutting their doors, the Piserchios decided to try and fill Tennyson's ice cream vacancy.
"We were really seriously considering closing our doors in May," says Shannon. "The construction has impacted our business specifically since January. People who own little bookshops aren't in it to make money. The profit margin isn't there, so we didn't have any cushion. We sent a note out to our customer base and said, 'This is the dilemma we're faced with. We really need your support if we're going to stay in business.'"
The couple received tremendous feedback from the community, begging them to stay. But they knew books alone couldn't sustain the business.
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"My husband had been thinking about ice cream for quite a while," says Shannon. "We thought, 'Maybe we go ahead and make this extra investment and we see if that's the thing that can help keep us in business.' We decided to open the ice cream shop and then we had people coming in all day every day asking, 'When is the ice cream coming?'"
The Piserchios partnered with Liks Ice Cream, a Denver-based company with two of its own locations that uses only local and natural ingredients. The Bookery Nook outs its connection with Liks and features some of that institution's favorite flavors, including Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip; the partners are planning to team with My Sweet Bakery, just a couple of doors north, to make a Tennyson-centric flavor featuring the bakery's caramel bars and vanilla bean ice cream.
So far, the response to the new, cool addition to the shop has been very positive, Shannon says. "I was already almost in the fetal position, ready to give up," she admits. "The support of the community really helped infuse our morale and we felt like, 'We'll see if we can make this happen.'"