Westport Community Newsletter

by | Press

The basic concepts we've been circling around are a bookstore and child-centered community space. That might mean parents co-working while the kids play, or it might be look more like after-school activities and classes, camps, and school's out programs, potentially a co-op model.

It was nice to be interviewed for the Westport Community Newsletter! We’ve archived it on our site, so you can read the Q&A with Amy here. Thanks to Catherine Seidenberg for her questions.

EW Adams Hardware at 6592 Main Street in Westport is becoming a bookstore (Snowfort Books) and children’s space! Read on to learn more about our new residents Amy, Adam, Grace and Cleo Robinson, and what they have imagined for this space.

Tell me a bit about yourselves: where did you move here from?

In summer 2022, my husband, Adam, our two young daughters, Grace and Cleo, and I moved here from Atlanta, where I was born and raised. I’m a writer and, for most of my career, taught English and writing in high schools and colleges. Here in Westport, I’ve been consulting on the educational programs for John Brown Lives! Adam is from Auburn, NY, and grew up skiing and camping in the High Peaks with his family and the Scouts, and he is a publisher and web designer.

Why did you choose Westport?

The pandemic reshaped our thoughts about how (and where) we wanted to raise our kids, and we began to dream about living somewhere beautiful, somewhere quieter, with really good local farms. Our thoughts started coalescing around New York State (Hudson Valley? Finger Lakes? Adirondacks?). We’d gotten married in Lake Placid in 2016, and I thought it was gorgeous, but a bit too remote, and Adam said I’d be too cold in the winter. Then Adam read The Dirty Life, which is how we learned about the Champlain Valley region, and we took a trip up here in the dead of winter to be sure I could handle it. I remember trudging around in the snow on a -20 degree day in January of 2022—so cold the pipes in our Airbnb had frozen, and we all had to curl up together to stay warm—and thinking, “It’s worth it.”

What attracted you about this particular building?

My sister-in-law sent me a link to it way back when we were still long-distance house-hunting, and I felt drawn to it immediately, and then more or less forgot about it. We were thrilled when we learned that it was still for sale a year later, after we’d sold our house in Atlanta. Our imaginations were sparked by the historic feel, the handsome shelves that just seemed perfect for a bookstore, and the big bay windows in the front.

What are your dreams, visions and inspirations for your new space?

Every time we walk through the door, the space speaks to us, and we feel energized about our ideas and plans. It’s an amazing building and we are so grateful to the people who have run it before us, and that honored that we get to steward it for this community now. Adam and I both love hospitality, hosting, gathering people together, and it’s important to us that we are actually filling a need in the area. And as parents who often drive quite a ways for children’s activities, we want to design with young people in mind, and offer a warm place to spend winter afternoons. The basic concepts we’ve been circling around are a bookstore and child-centered community space. That might mean parents co-working while the kids play, or it might be look more like after-school activities and classes, camps, and school’s out programs, potentially a co-op model. We had a little get-together to commemorate MLK Jr day and it was heartening proof of concept.

What is your experience so far with doing business, and living in, Westport?

I’ve loved the relationships I’ve cultivated through John Brown Lives! and being part of a local nonprofit doing such powerful and important work. Adam has really appreciated being able to start building a local clientele, which is refreshing after working mostly virtually for clients all over the country. And as for living here, we couldn’t be happier. That’s still being reinforced for us every day, whether through the natural beauty of the area, or through some interaction with the people we meet. I knew I’d found real community when I got two texts from other moms telling me how my daughter was settling in on her first day of summer camp at BVCS [the youth council summer program!]

We are still in discernment mode, and we really want to hear from people about what they feel would best serve the community. You can send us a note at snowfortbooks.com, or drop by anytime the lights are on and say hi!