It’s the end of an era. After 45 years in the bookselling business, the Morrow family is moving on from Northshire Bookstore. The business, which has two locations—its flagship in Manchester, VT, and the outpost on Broadway in Saratoga Springs—dates back to 1976, when Ed and Barbara Morrow first opened the Manchester store (they lived in an apartment under the store). Their son, Chris, came on board full time in 1998 and continued his parents’ work, eventually opening the second location in Saratoga in 2013. On Friday morning, Chris announced that the business had been sold to Manchester residents and longtime Northshire patrons Clark and Lu French.
“I started the process of selling the stores before COVID, but the pandemic reinforced that the time was right for me to move onto other things,” Chris said in a statement. “When thinking about selling, my main worry was always finding someone who had the right sensibilities as well as the chops; someone who appreciated the book, the art of bookselling and our amazing staff, and who also had the background, energy, vision and resources to carry the bookstores into future decades.” That person, Chris continued, turned out to be two people: the Frenches.
“The Northshire Bookstore is more than a bookstore to us,” said Clark and Lu, who serve on the boards of the Manchester Community Library, arts organization Taconic Music and boarding school Burr and Burton Academy. “It’s a vibrant gathering and shopping venue where memories are made and discovery is encouraged. Supporting and nurturing this enriching experience is our highest priority. We are sincerely grateful to the Morrow family for trusting us with their life’s work and welcome the opportunity to continue their legacy for many years to come.”