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Business

January 19, 2013

Green Toad going strong in fifth year

Oneonta’s Main Street is an easy place for shoppers to stroll while looking for unique items, handmade crafts and an assortment of culinary treats.

The Green Toad Bookstore is nestled in a row of historic buildings in the center of downtown. When visitors enter the lofty shop with its exposed brick walls and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, they are encouraged to meander.

A comfortable arrangement of lounge chairs and low tables beckon browsers to settle in and explore new books. In the back of the building, a children’s section offers a variety of activities, toys and books. There is a rocking chair, floor pillows and an over-stuffed green toad. 

Michele Barry opened the unique book store about five years ago.

“I grew up in Oneonta,” Barry said. “I felt like a bookstore would be an anchor for my community. With two hospitals and the colleges… there was a need for something like this downtown, not Southside.”

Barry researched the industry and wrote a business plan. She kept an eye out for a suitable location. When the storefront beside the Latte Lounge came open, Barry knew it would be a perfect fit. She approached the owners of the coffee shop and an agreement was made to open a passage between the two stores.

“They have been great,” Barry said of the owners of the Latte Lounge. “The whole community is amazing. I love the people that live here. They have embraced the Toad.”

On a recent afternoon, Nancy Masucci and her daughter Sarah Masucci, both of Treadwell, came to the Green Toad to find a book.

“We like this bookstore,” Nancy Masucci said. “It offers a wide variety of books.”

The pair spent 30 minutes or more browsing the young adult section.

“I like the ‘Hunger Games’ and the Beka Cooper series,” said 13-year-old Sarah.

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