By Stevanie Wazna-Blank
Adobe Books and Art Collective, which is reinventing itself as a cooperative, recently gave the public a sneak-peek of its new venue at 3130 24th Street, which it plans to open officially in July.
The Market Place Party on May 18 was meant to showcase the new space and introduce Adobe to the neighborhood as a place not just to sell books, but to enable local artists and merchants to show and sell their work.
“I’m delighted,” co-op member Andrew McKinley, who owned Adobe in its previous location, said about the event. “I can’t think of a better way to transit. This is a good energy day, and we hope we have more. We’re all scared about being successful, but 24th Street may be a better home.”
On the sidewalk near the store’s entrance last weekend, artist Amos Golbaum sold silk-screened clothing and Hearth Coffee Roasters offered samples of their “women’s coffee,” harvested and sold by women in Rwanda. Inside, publishers Bold Italic and Super Classy Publishing and several local artists and jewelry-makers sold their wares.
Ten percent of total sales and all proceeds from the small bar in the back went to Adobe.
“It’s great to see the energy in the new store already. I personally feel fortunate to be a part of it and am very proud that I can be here,” said Chris Carson, a writer for the art and literary zine “Keep Eyes,” which was on sale for $1 a copy.
Jeff Ray, who is spearheading the new co-op and is also a leader at the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, said Adobe hopes to host more pop-up events and will have easily moveable bookshelves with which to do so.
The 13-person co-op is developing a business plan that will involve a gallery specifically for art exhibitions and sales of products from local artists and merchants. McKinley’s own photos will be the first art on display at the new store.
“We’ll sell less books, but sell more music, t-shirts and artwork. It will be a stronger place for the arts,” McKinley said. “The new location will have less books,” but selected more deliberately, he added.
Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and Tartine Bakery donated food for the event.
Rent at the new, smaller location is $5,600 per month – $1,100 above the previous rental price of the iconic 16th Street shop, but still below the $8,000 the landlord raised it to earlier this year.
The store’s owners tried negotiating to keep rent down on 16th Street, but those negotiations were ultimately unsuccessful. This spring Adobe was served an eviction notice and ordered to leave by June 15.
In recent months Adobe held fundraising events and an Indiegogo campaign to rally support. The bookstore has used $14,000 of the $60,000 raised on rent, maintenance and moving costs.