Red Balloon Bookshop, one of our Community Business Partners, has been a part of the Saint Paul community for over 35 years. Located on Grand Avenue, their titles and merchandise reflect the best in children’s and young adult literature, from classics to newly published favorites. Owner Holly Weinkauf has long known that this was a world she wanted to be a part of, even before she bought the bookshop eight years ago.
Since she was in her teens, Holly has been interested in supporting small local businesses. In particular, she has always wanted to be involved in running an independent bookstore. Her career path initially took a different direction while she worked as a children’s librarian, stay at home parent, and prenatal educator. But those experiences shaped her love of reading as she took on the different perspectives of these roles. Perennial favorite books of hers now include the Little Bear series, Bless Me, Ultima, The Giver, and anything by local author Kate DiCamillo. When the opportunity to purchase Red Balloon Bookshop presented itself, Holly was ready to step in.
Red Balloon was already an established neighborhood destination in 2011, when the transfer of ownership occurred. As Holly has overseen the business and its direction for long-term success, she has continued to foster its well-known spirit of community. Red Balloon’s staff are eager to discuss books and make reading recommendations. The bookshop hosts free weekly story times, book clubs for teens and adults, book signings, and other author events regularly. Holly also ensures that they give back to the community by donating books and gift cards to local nonprofits that promote literacy and a love of reading, and by partnering with Saint Paul Public School’s Project REACH over the holidays to provide books to children who are in temporary housing situations. Community is integral at Red Balloon, and Holly is appreciative to be part of such a wonderful local one.
What Holly enjoys most about owning the bookshop is hearing the excitement and enthusiasm in kids’ voices as they walk through the door. Really, though, it is easy for anyone to appreciate the unique experience that visiting Red Balloon Bookshop offers.
Co-op member-owners save 10% on all full-priced books at Red Balloon Bookshop!