Sherman’s Books & Stationery Stores has entered into an agreement with Susan and Barnaby Porter to acquire the popular and successful Maine Coast Book Shop & Café in Damariscotta on Jan. 1, 2016, according to Sherman’s owner Jeff Curtis.
At that time, Sherman’s will operate all its stores under the trade name Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shops.
Sherman’s currently has five locations along the Maine Coast in Bar Harbor, Camden, Boothbay Harbor, Freeport and Portland’s Old Port. Sherman’s oldest location, in Bar Harbor, is about to enter its 130th year. It was founded by William Sherman in 1886, acquired by Jeff Curtis’s parents, Pat and Mike Curtis, in 1962 and acquired by Jeff Curtis from his mother in 2006.
Under Susan Porter’s leadership, the 50-year-old Maine Coast Book Shop & Café has grown into the cultural hub of the Damariscotta community. In 2008, the Maine Coast Book Shop & Café received the top honor of being named The New England Bookstore of the Year by the Book Publishers Representatives of New England and the New England Independent Booksellers Association.
Both Sherman’s and Maine Coast Book Shop share the honor of being named Best Bookstores in Maine by DownEast Magazine readers through the years.
“Joining together, we look forward to bringing the best of the Maine Coast Book Shop to the other Sherman's stores and the best of Sherman's to the Maine Coast Book Shop to ultimately create the Best of the Best local, independent bookstores for each of our communities,” Curtis said.
Curtis believes that the acquisition of the popular and successful Maine Coast Book Shop brings an economy of scale and a wealth of talented people together ensuring the long-term viability of independent bookselling in Maine.
“I feel strongly that a bookstore is the soul of a vibrant downtown,” Curtis said. “We will do everything in our power to make sure The Maine Coast Book Shop remains the social and cultural center of Damariscotta. It is already a popular and successful business ... we do not intend to make any significant changes.”
Susan and Barnaby Porter will continue to run the business through this Christmas season. Sherman’s will assume daily operations on Jan. 1, 2016.