High Street Impact and Business in the Community entrant – Vellichor Books
Mitch Hughes says his partner is delighted he’s opened a book shop – because now he hoards books at work rather than at home.
The 30-year-old, from Fenton, opened Vellichor Books in Piccadilly Arcade, Hanley on February 3.
He sells new and preloved books, has a café area and has opened up a first floor community room that groups can use free of charge.
“I’ve always loved the idea of having my own book shop,” said Mitch, who previously worked as a teaching assistant and support worker.
“Maybe it’s because I used to watch the comedy series Black Books. It’s something I’ve wanted for so long.
“Then some friends of mine opened Geek Retreat in the city centre and I thought if they could do it then I could too. Once I decided to do it everything moved quickly.”
Community impact is important to Mitch so he created a room on the first floor, complete with chairs and beanbags, that he hopes will be used for book club meetings, book launches, artists’ workshops and more.
“I think it’s especially important to have this sort of offer in Hanley,” said Mitch. “It could even be that a group of friends would like to use the space as somewhere quiet to study. I want to sell books and I’d like people to buy drinks but I also want Vellichor to be a community.”
The shop sells books of all genres although Mitch says he has a personal interest in horror writing and will also be stocking comics.
He added: “I love reading and I just love being around books and collecting books. My partner is happy because now I’m collecting them at the shop rather than at home.”
Vellichor Books has entered the High Street Impact and Business in the Community categories of the Staffordshire University Business Awards.