Griffin Bay Books changes hands

Submitted by Griffin Bay Books.

For 43 years Griffin Bay Bookstore has been prominent in downtown Friday Harbor, contributing in myriad large and small ways to the literary, cultural, and social lives of our island community. It has been our mission to provide islanders with the books and literature they treasure, catering to the unique preferences of loyal customers. Our shelves have always been stocked with a wide range of books, a collection that is considered “curated” in trade parlance. And though there have been many changes in island life since 1979, there has been continuity of mission and purpose. Under wise and careful stewardship, the three owners—Chris Schmidt, Susan Eyerly, and Laura Norris—have stressed hands-on customer service, bringing friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful staff to the bookstore, bibliophiles dedicated to finding just the right book or gifts for customers.

Laura Norris and staff extend a great thank you to all our customers for their loyalty and ongoing support for the last 16 years. We have weathered fraught times together—a recession, a pandemic, and significant changes in Friday Harbor as well as San Juan Island. And as we have said before, adapting to uncertainties and changing circumstances is no small feat for any of us. Now new—and refreshing—opportunities are coming to the bookstore.

This month there is new ownership at Griffin Bay Bookstore. Laura Norris has passed the torch to San Juan Island resident Mae Cannon effective Monday, Dec. 5. While there will be someone new at the helm, there will be the steadiness of continuity, the steadiness of mission and purpose and in staffing. You will see familiar faces behind the counter, Allyson, McKayla and Shaw (and occasionally Catherine and Laura), and behind-the-scenes Nancy. Business will continue uninterrupted as usual. Rest assured, all gift certificates will be honored and special orders fulfilled. The store is well-stocked for your Christmas gift-giving needs.

Laura expresses great thanks to all the book lovers who’ve browsed our shelves over these many years: “With a full and grateful heart, I am leaving Griffin Bay Bookstore steeped in the confidence that its future is secure in the hands of new owner Mae Cannon. She is a devoted bibliophile with a wide breadth of talents and expertise which will suit the bookstore and reading community well. It has been my honor to serve the island community which I grew up in and love so much for these past 16 years, but I know the time has come to welcome in the next generation and I trust that all of you will join me in supporting Griffin Bay Bookstore’s new owner, Mae.”

The new owner, Mae Cannon, has loved Griffin Bay Bookstore since the very first time she and her husband ever came to visit Friday Harbor. A resident of San Juan Island for the past several years, Mae loves books and has a personal collection across a variety of genres. Owning a bookstore has been a lifelong dream since childhood and from her perspective, there is no better place than on San Juan Island. Mae will be in the bookstore beginning Tuesday, Dec. 6; please stop in and join us in welcoming her.

Mae describes her vision for the bookstore: “I am excited to keep the tradition of Griffin Bay Bookstore strong. My desire is for the store to continue to be a place where all people feel welcome and can come to learn about the treasures of our island and beyond. I look forward to being involved in the island community as well as being a part of Friday Harbor’s business community. I salute Laura Norris for her years of running the bookstore, and I am grateful to learn from her expertise as I embark on this new adventure.”

As always, we at Griffin Bay Bookstore extend great thanks for your presence in our lives and wish you good tidings during the holidays.