PW’s Bookstore of the Year for 2012, The Book Stall at Chestnut Court in Winnetka, Ill., is about to change hands. Late last week long-time owner Roberta Rubin signed a letter of intent with 48-year-old Stephanie Hochschild, who will officially take over the store on June 1. Although Winnetka-resident Hochschild had no bookselling experience when she first approached Rubin about buying the store last summer, she quickly gained it over the fall. Hochschild worked at The Book Stall from October through early December.
At the beginning of the year, Rubin whittled the field to three potential buyers, with the help of Donna Paz Kaufman and Mark Kaufman of Paz & Associates. She also got an assist from American Booksellers Association CEO Oren Teicher, who spent a day meeting with the potential buyers at the store. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the only candidate he invited to be his guest at Winter Institute in Kansas City, Hochschild, also made the winning bid.
Rubin says that she’s very excited about transitioning the store to Hochschild over the next few months. “Stephanie is so committed,” says Rubin, who notes that Hochschild will begin working with her in the store almost immediately. Although many of the details are still being worked out, Rubin says that she plans to work three-quarters time initially and then taper back to part time for the first six months under Hochschild’s ownership.
As for Rubin’s own next chapter, she says only, “I want to have an open slate.” She has previously expressed interest in reporting on the book business.