Long-time Island bookshop goes on the market

Jenni and David Wilke have decided to sell Books by the Way, a small but vibrant bookstore next to Café Luna that the couple purchased nearly four years ago.

The shop, which recently changed locations, moving directly adjacent to the bustling café, is now smaller than the shop the Wilkes purchased from Jan and Charlie Peterson in November 2007. But Jenni Wilke said the smaller size hasn’t hurt the shop: The couple still has plenty of titles and can often find exactly what patrons are looking for, she said.

They decided to sell because Dave Wilke’s parents, half-owners in the business, had planned to retire and move part-time to Vashon to help tend to the store. But with changes in the economy, Jerry and Janelle Wilke haven’t been able to retire as planned and provide the support the younger couple needs to operate the shop, Jenni Wilke said. 

“If those plans had panned out, we wouldn’t be selling,” said Jenni Wilke, the mother of three children.

Dave and Jenni Wilke have already had conversations with some interested parties and are confident they’ll find a buyer for the 40-year-old store.

“We’ve positioned the store into a very healthy spot,” Jenni Wilke said.


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