Fifty Shades of Grey, a latte and a slice of cake, please

Cheers: Book Fayre owner Kathryn Fairs enjoys a cup of tea
Cheers: Book Fayre owner Kathryn Fairs enjoys a cup of tea

Owners of a Woodhall Spa business really are celebrating their own success story as they look forward to their 10th anniversary.

The Book Fayre initially opened in one of the smallest retail premises in the village.

It then moved to a mid-sized shop in Tattershall Road.

Now, it occupies one of the village’s biggest premises off The Broadway.

As the title indicates, books are at the heart of the business.

However, it’s one of the few places in the county were you can order a latte and a slice of cake to go with the latest James Patterson best-seller - or perhaps your very own copy of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’

Kathryn Fairs, who owns the business with husband Reggie, explained: “You need an extra draw to bring people in, apart from books.

“We decided to open a coffee house and when these premises became available, it gave us the perfect opportunity to do both - two in one if you like.

“It’s going well. Our message is happiness is a cup of coffee and a good book and I’d like to think that is what we provide.”

There have been positive spin-offs for the local economy.

When the shop first opened, it was strictly a ‘one woman’ operation.

Now, she employs a five-strong team who help run the bookshop and the coffee house.

In addition, two youngsters with special needs help out as volunteers.

Mrs Fairs added: “It was a major decision when we moved here, particularly opening a coffee shop because there are already quite a few cafes in Woodhall Spa.

“However, we believe what we have here is unique. There are not many places in the entire county where you can pop in, buy a book and have a cup of coffee and a slice of homemade cake - all under one roof.”

Mrs Fairs stresses that there is still a strong market for the traditional form of books - despite the digital revolution.

She added: “I know just about everyone these days seems to have a Kindle but a lot of people still like to have an actual book in their hands.

“I know I do and fortunately a lot of people feel the same.”

The Book Fayre has worked closely with a number of locally based authors, including Abby Tartellin.

The former QEGS’ pupil has written a couple of international best sellers and has visited the Book Fayre to promote her work and encourage other authors.

There are plans for a series of events in the summer to mark the Book Fayre’s 10th birthday - including a visit by ‘Kipper The Dog’ - a character from a well-known children’s novel.

Mrs Fairs added: “We have come a long way in ten years.

“We’re delighted it is going so well and hopefully we will be here for a long time to come.

“We have no plans to move although I don’t know where we’d go next.

“The only other premises are the two supermarkets - Bugdens and the Co-op - and we’re not ready for that!”