Monday, April 23, 2018
Business

Independent Inkwood Books to get new owner after 21 years

Here's one story of an independent bookstore that has a happy ending.

Inkwood Books, the cozy little shop in South Tampa, has a new owner after 21 years. And it's someone known in the community for getting a job done.

Stefani Beddingfield, formerly Busansky, has bought the bookstore at 216 S Armenia Ave. from Carla Jimenez and Leslie Reiner. Jimenez is retiring to advocate for the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and other causes. Reiner will continue to work in the store part time. Financial details of the sale were not released.

The two shocked bookworms last summer when they announced they were putting up the store for sale. They said they wanted someone new to write the next chapter, but many of us couldn't help but wonder if that was code for the end is near. If Borders couldn't make it in the digital media age, how could an indy bookstore without a coffee shop?

Beddingfield, 46, has deep roots in the community and is most known for raising $450,000 to build Freedom Playground at MacFarlane Park, Tampa's first universally accessibly playground. The mother of two wanted a place where her daughter, Sarah, now 13, could play with other children while in her wheelchair.

With that project completed, she was looking for a new challenge.

"I wanted something where I could still work in the community and with people,'' she said. "I love to read, and it seemed like a right time for my girls and something that we could do together as a family. It's a good fit.''

If Beddingfield is as gung-ho about running a book store as she was building the playground, Inkwood will be around for years to come. Stop by and meet her at the store, which is having a farewell/welcome sale. Everything is 50 percent off through Saturday.

Susan Thurston can be reached at [email protected] or (813) 225-3110.

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