Ten months after closing our storefront in Downtown Asheville, we are excited to announce our future location in West Asheville! The building at 610 Haywood Road, which sits across State Street from Sunny Point Cafe, will accommodate a greatly expanded book selection, vegan cafe, dedicated community event space and a shared office. We’ve secured most of the funds needed for the expansion, but we still need around $13k, for which we’ve launched a crowdfunding campaign.
From our Indiegogo campaign:
This 2,500 sqft location will more than double our retail floorspace without compromising our ability to run a great vegan coffee shop and host free community meetings, film screenings, workshops and forums.
With expanded floorspace comes the ability to put our selection on par with that of other first class indie bookstores. We'll be adding over 1,500 new titles, expanding our existing sections and creating new ones that our old store lacked. Our inventory will still have the offbeat flavor you love, there's just going to be a whole lot more of it! Additionally, we want the new Firestorm to be a place that is exciting and welcoming for folks of all ages, which means space that is kid and parent friendly.
Based on feedback we received from our patrons and community partners, the new Firestorm will include both a 300 sqft community room and a 240 sqft shared office. The latter will serve as a new home base for our friends at the Center for Participatory Change (cpcwnc.org), a fourteen year old nonprofit that builds collective power to create equity in WNC.
Perhaps most importantly, this relocation will allow us to sustain and reward all the hard work that makes Firestorm possible. For the last six years, our co-operative has been a labor of love, with member compensation remaining largely symbolic. At 610 Haywood, we'll be able to establish a payrate that supports participation by folks with school debt, children, medical care or other expenses that would previously have sent them elsewhere.
We'll be posting updates along the way, including our floor plan, mural updates and other exciting news about our future. We invite you to look at our campaign page and contribute in whatever way you can!