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.