NORTH TONAWANDA — Bookworms rejoice, Old Editions Bookshop has finally opened for business at its new location.
Old Editions has been providing the Western New York community with antique books, first editions, collectable magazines and more for decades. After a number of successful years in Buffalo, owner Ronald Cozzi has moved his operation into the old Platter’s building on Oliver Street.
“A few years ago, my wife suggested to me that we should look for a business location with a one-floor plan, it took two or three years, but we finally found this location,” said Cozzi, whose previous store spanned four stories. “After two years of remodeling and setting up, we’re happy to be finally be having our grand opening.”
Cozzi was joined on Thursday by members of the public, local officials and his employees for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate his grand opening. Cozzi says they have half a million items in their inventory, with something for everyone, on any budget.
With 17,000 square feet of space, once occupied by machinery that was used to produce Platter’s chocolates, there are books and boxes of books anywhere you look. Cozzi says he’s still bringing some items over from his previous location, including some of its more delicate and rare items, like a 500-year-old Bible.
But most of his stock is made up of everyday, second-hand books that Cozzi has collected over the years.
He says that he sells books that are hard to buy elsewhere because most of them are no longer in print.
“These are second-hand, used books that I buy from the public, there’s no other way to get second-hand books,” Cozzi said.
“Why do you need a second-hand book store? Simple. When a book goes out of print...you can’t get it anywhere, you can’t order it anywhere.”
Though the bulk of the building will be used as warehouse space for books sold online, the business does have a retail area in what used to be Platter’s ice cream and chocolate shop.
The business was assisted in its move to North Tonawanda by the Lumber City Development Corporation (LCDC), which helped Old Editions secure a $20,000 grant through the state’s Microenterprise Program. The grant allowed Cozzi to purchase a forklift, that will allow him to better manage his vast inventory.
LCDC Executive Director Mike Zimmerman said he thinks Old Editions is a good addition to Oliver Street, where many of the businesses and residents have been working to bring the once thriving corridor back to life.
This will be one of the first businesses in the last few years to move to the northern end of Oliver Street.
“(We’re) absolutely thrilled that (Cozzi) made the decision to come to North Tonawanda and bring his business,” Zimmerman said.
“We think it’s a great addition to what’s going on on Oliver Street, all the positive development recently.”
North Tonawanda Mayor Arthur Pappas, a retired teacher, was particularly excited about the book shop, joking that Cozzi would have a hard time getting him to leave.
He said the store has significant educational value and will give parents something to do while their students are taking music lessons across the street at Matt’s Music.
“We are so happy to have you here,” Pappas told Cozzi.
Cozzi said they’ll spend the next few months bringing the remainder of his inventory over from the Buffalo location.
He says he expects to have this process completed by March. For more information on Old Editions Bookshop, visit them online at oldeditions.com or in person at 954 Oliver St., North Tonawanda.