In October of last year, Book World announced that it was closing all 45 of its stores, 20 of which were located in Wisconsin, including locations in Rhinelander, Eagle River, and Minocqua.
Looking at losing an important community staple, two Minocqua area residents felt compelled to do something about it.
Tracy Grigus and Michael Bauer opened the Shade Tree in Minocqua in mid-May of this year, and they opened the independent bookstore in the exact same location that the Minocqua Book World location closed at in October.
"Book World was open for many many years. A lot of people were dependent on them," Grigus says. "Sometimes you have to just stand back and see what the community needs. If you want to be a new business owner, it's nice to see what we need versus what I may want and it looked definitely like something a lot of people were going to miss."
Though the Shade Tree shares several similarities with the Book World location that came before it, Grigus says they haven’t been afraid to make changes.
"I think it's a different feel and a real positive space," she says. "It's nice to see how happy everybody was that it was still going to be a bookstore and business has been really good."
One of the changes Grigus made was to bring more local books into the store.
"I wanted to bring a strong regional section," she says. "I also wanted to bring a lot of books from our area, our woods, our bugs, our birds, our everything. So that people coming to visit know where the best hiking trails are, can pick up a paddling book and go out kayaking."
The Shade Tree at 522 Oneida Street in downtown Minocqua is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.