October 2, By Tara Law
After months of anticipation, a new bookstore will arrive in Kew Gardens this Saturday.
Kew & Willow Books, located at 81-63 Lefferts Boulevard, will open its 700-square foot space on October 7.
The bookstore will initially be open weekends, but the owners plan to operate full-time once they have gauged the community’s interest in different books and events. In the past few months, the owners hosted several meet-and-greet sessions and had a story time session for children.
Natalie Noboa, a co-owner, said that the community clearly is looking forward to the opening of the store this Saturday. She said that as they have been getting closer to opening, they have found notes on their gate thanking them for coming to the neighborhood.
“This community deserves a bookstore, and a community space,” said Noboa. “The best thing a bookstore can do, especially a brick-and-mortar store, is provide a community service.”
The owners—Vina Castillo, Holly Nikodem and Noboa— gained experience selling books to working for a Barnes and Noble in Forest Hills. They came together after the store closed and decided to open a community shop of their own.
In April 2016, they received community backing through a Kickstarter campaign called “Queens Still Reads.” In the end, 831 donors pledged $72,360 to fund the new store.
Noboa said as part of the community focus, the store will serve as a forum for local authors to share their work. The shop will feature work from local writers such as Alex Segura and Bill Chang.
Kew & Willow Books will join one other English language bookshop in Queens, The Astoria Bookshop. Book Culture, which owns three stores in the Upper East Side, plans to open a store in Long Island City next year.
Kew & Willows will be open on Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.