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Flintridge Bookstore settles in to new digs after transporting tons of titles

Bookstore owner Peter Wannier stands in front of his new Flintridge Bookstore location in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday. Wannier said the business never closed as it moved between the locations.
Bookstore owner Peter Wannier stands in front of his new Flintridge Bookstore location in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday. Wannier said the business never closed as it moved between the locations.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

After a monthlong move that involved employees trekking approximately 10 tons of books down a 350-yard stretch of La Cañada’s Foothill Boulevard, Flintridge Bookstore has completed its move and is settling in at its new location.

The previous storefront at 1010 Foothill was finally emptied of all remaining contents Tuesday.

Meanwhile, business at the new location at 858 Foothill was already underway, even as employees stocked the shelves with titles.

Employee Annie Welch, of Sunland, who has worked at the store for three years, organizes children's book titles in the new location of the Flintridge Bookstore Tuesday in La Cañada Flintridge.
Employee Annie Welch, of Sunland, who has worked at the store for three years, organizes children’s book titles in the new location of the Flintridge Bookstore Tuesday in La Cañada Flintridge.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

During a Feb. 18 visit to the new digs, bookseller Maia Vazquez was installing what would soon be the store’s nonfiction section. Even then, customers were popping in to look at the new space and check out the intimidating bank vault doors still on site after Citizens Business Bank vacated the building last year.

“I like it,” Vazquez said of the space. “I think it has a good feeling to it.”

It is a point of pride for owner Peter Wannier — who runs the operation with wife Lenora — that the bookstore never shuttered its doors to accommodate the move. Instead, customers could find books and other items at one of the two locations during the transition.

Flintridge Bookstore owner Peter Wannier, on the emptying floor room of his old bookstore location at 1010 Foothill Blvd., gathers his bicycle to ride to his new location in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
Flintridge Bookstore owner Peter Wannier, on the emptying floor room of his old bookstore location at 1010 Foothill Blvd., gathers his bicycle to ride to his new location in La Cañada Flintridge on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.
(Tim Berger/La Cañada Valley Sun)

The move is a downsizing as employees move from a 6,340-square-foot building (which Wannier sold to Glendale mortgage lender House America in November for $4.9 million) to the smaller 2,300-square-foot space previously occupied by the bank.

As a result, the business no longer includes a coffee shop and will likely host fewer events and meetings at the new location.

In an earlier interview with the Valley Sun, property owner Alex Venneri, who owns 858 Foothill and several storefronts east of the parcel, confirmed Wannier signed a five-year lease with the option of a three-year extension.

“They’re very nice people,” Venneri said of the bookstore owners. “We’re glad to have them.”

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