***March 24, 2020 UPDATE***
Orca Books has a tentative agreement to finalize the sale. Then the pandemic happened. Governor Inslee has issued a Stay at Home order for two weeks. During this time, non-essential businesses must close unless they can work remotely. This is, of course, stalling the transition or Orca Books Co-op. The current staff of Orca Books have been idled and it is doubtful that the Co-op can proceed until the order is lifted.
However, Orca Books Co-op is ready. It is seeking a new location with a much reduced rent (and reduced footprint). While the Co-op had hoped to make the move a "member event", the reality of the pandemic is that Co-op will likely need to hire movers. Your support is still needed!
For over a quarter of a century, Orca Books has been a mainstay of Olympia, Washington. It is the largest locally owned bookstore in the community. The "retail apocalypse" hit local bookstores first, but Orca survived. Orca Books has persevered through power outages, earthquakes, and even blizzards. The store is ready for a new type of ownership that reflects its long relationship with the community it serves (from Bellingham to Portland and the Olympic peninsula). Linda Berensten has chosen to transfer ownership to the community as a multi-stakeholder cooperative with membership classes for consumers, workers, low-income consumers, and organizations. The membership and capital campaigns raise money to facilitate the sale.
As of February 2020, the co-op has raised the minimum threshold to begin the conversion. However, the co-op still needs capital either in the form of membership or donations. This operating capital will help the co-op in its transition and establish a secure foundation for the future of this community-owned resource and asset.
This fund through the fiscal sponsorship of NWCDC, a 501(c)(3) organization, will also help the co-op cover the costs of due diligence and organizational set-up of the organization, and marketing connected to the transition. Funds donated through this site are tax deductible up to the extent allowed by law and will be used to non-capital, non-employment expenses associated with the conversion.
Help Orca Books continue in its journey and transformation to a community-owned resource. Your donation will create a living legacy of knowledge and community for decades to come.