Nestled along Bush Street in Red Wing’s historic downtown sits Fair Trade Books owned by Richard Malinchoc DeVoe, wife Zoe, and their red lab, Reveler.
There is always something special to see when stopping in, whether that be the original tin ceilings, hardwood floors or their 2,000 new and 14,000 used book collection.
If you are a first-time patron, the book store will give you a free book based on your reading preferences. Think “Books make great gifts.”
Books about history, politics and economic theory are Devoe's favorites right now, but if that is not your cup of tea, the couple will give you a free book you are sure to love.
They have gifted more than 47,000 books to new customers since opening in February 2014, DeVoe said.
DeVoe had always wanted to open up a bookstore, but first had a career as a union pipe insulator working on oil refineries, factories, hotels, universities and more.
He was inspired by a conversation with a Minnesota bookstore owner and the downtown Red Wing location, enough to leave his job and open up Fair Trade Books.
And as they say, the rest is history. Even a pandemic couldn’t stop the little bookstore that could.
The community and a passion for books helped keep the store fruitful while COVID-19 changed the world.
“We are grateful to our special order customers, to those who called and emailed, and who knocked on the door to chat,” DeVoe said. “By offering curbside delivery, appointment browsing, online sales, and shipping book bundles and subscription boxes, the bookstore was able to sustain our customer focused, community oriented, and fully supportive business, and reopen.”
Events are in full swing again at the store with author book signings on most Saturday afternoons. Anyone can check out the Facebook page for the event schedule.
DeVoe encourages new and old customers to stop in and take a look around.
Fair Trade currently sells much more than books, including vinyls, woodworking gifts from Midwest Woodturners, fairtrade gifts, notecards from Crane Creek Graphics, magnets, bumper stickers, mugs, candles and puzzles.
While you are visiting, don’t forget to say hi to Reveler.