The Village Well is a new independent general interest bookstore café opening in the heart of downtown Culver City. With a mission to build community, the space will be comfortable, bright and inviting, a new place to gather and hang out, designed to support the preferences of people from Culver City and the Westside of Los Angeles.
In advance of its physical opening, anticipated in late summer 2020, the store is launching its e-commerce site today. Physical books, e-books and audiobooks, as well as branded merchandise and gifts from local social enterprises, are now available online.
“I have dreamed about opening this business for a long time, but I never imagined I’d be launching under these circumstances, with not just one but two major crises shaking our economic foundation,” says owner Jennifer Caspar. “But we’re not shying away – we understand that people don’t stop reading during crises, and definitely never stop needing community. The Black Lives Matter movement has started an important, complex and difficult conversation, and I want the Village Well to be a place that will facilitate conversations like that. It’s reminding us once again that we need environments where we can come together to listen to each other openly and let our perspectives be challenged and broadened.” The website includes curated lists of books about understanding racism for kids and adults.
The Village Well is located at 9900 Culver Blvd, on the southwest corner of Culver and Duquesne Boulevards. When it opens its physical doors, among the multitude of books for every age and interest, the store will include a café that will serve coffee, tea, fresh-pressed juices, simple delicious healthy food, beer and wine.
“Until our physical opening, we are open for business online,” adds Caspar. “We are building our book inventory and can access over 1,000,000 titles through our supplier’s warehouse. Books arrive within 1-2 days. Our staff is hand delivering all local orders the same day they arrive.” For the month of June, the store is offering a free tote bag with all new customer orders.
A hallmark of the Village Well is its dedication to social issues. Each month, the store will highlight a different cause, providing reading lists, links to organizations that are helping to address the subject, and opportunities to gather, hear from experts and learn from each other.
Throughout June, the Village Well is focused on Economic Inequality, and is supporting local nonprofits that are providing food and essential services to people in the Culver City community who have been impacted economically by COVID-19. These include FeedCulver.org, The Peace Project’s Culver City Shares, and Culver City Council PTA’s Backpacks for Kids program. It has also added lists of books to help people understand and combat racism.
The store’s windows are currently displaying artwork from the talented visual arts students of Culver City High School’s Academy of Visual and Performing Arts (AVPA). Stroll or bike by the store, check out the windows, tag @villagewellcc in your selfies and enter for your chance to win a gift bag full of bookish goodies. Details here.
The Village Well has also reached out to the CCUSD community for participation in the creation of a 20’ mosaic mural that will be installed across the front of the coffee counter.
When the store’s physical doors open, all social distancing protocols will be in place, including sidewalk seating, reduced indoor seating, rigorous cleaning practices, plenty of hand sanitizer, curbside pick-up and home delivery.
To sign up for the mailing list and to shop now and claim a free tote bag, visit the website at www.villagewell.com.