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April 1, 2021
Fresh Face: Read Rose Books
Elizabeth Peters and her business partner, Teddy Boucard, have the makings of natural entrepreneurs. Aside from the usual trials and tribulations attached to first-time business ownership, the young couple has managed to weather the most challenging months of 2020, a year mired in uncertainty for many. Fortunately for them, their familiarity with the Lancaster area, coupled with a key local connection, made it all possible.
The story behind the reopening of Read Rose Books, as Peters tells it, sort of happened by chance. Last March, prior to the crippling wave of shutdowns and restrictions, the couple was walking through Downtown Lancaster when they encountered Tom Blaszczyk, Read Rose Book’s previous owner, at the store’s 23 North Prince Street location. Blaszczyk, a history teacher, and one that taught Boucard during the former student’s time at Lancaster Catholic High School, decided to sell the store early on in the pandemic.
Peters, a 2018 graduate of Elizabethtown College, and Boucard, who studied culinary arts and worked as a sous-chef, considered it one of those rare, can’t-miss opportunities. And rather than squander such a chance, the couple decided to pursue it.
“It had been a lofty dream of mine to own a bookshop and Teddy has always had aspirations and a strong mindset for entrepreneurship, so we took a risk together,” says Peters. “Five weeks later, and with help from Tom and our dog Mamba, we were able to open on the first weekend of July and that was it.”
In the time since COVID-19 started impacting Lancaster, many local businesses have had to reinvent themselves to survive what has become the “new normal.” Peters and Boucard have invested time in perfecting their website, as well as their online store and social media platforms. All of these efforts play a major part in fulfilling their mission statement: providing once loved books with a second home.
For Peters and Boucard, much of Read Rose Book’s success, especially during these challenging times, can be attributed to the unwavering support of close friends and family and the neighborliness of Lancaster City.