MILTON — Do you ever think about a nice leisurely day when you can just sit back and enjoy a good book and a cup of coffee? Carrie Jackson does and it was that thought that prompted her to open her very own book store, Blackwater Books Exchange Café.
The store, located at 5406 Dogwood Drive, was a previous bookstore that Jackson said she used to frequent before taking over in November of 2016.
"The one women who owned it fell ill and was going to close down," she said. "I've always loved books and I didn't want that to happen."
Jackson said she had reached a point in her life where she didn't need to continue to work, so she decided to take the shop over. She said she always enjoyed the idea that Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million had where people could come in and purchase books, but could also sit and browse the books and drink coffee. She said her dream was to keep the used books shop concept and incorporate that café atmosphere.
"I thought I have the shop, now how do I make it more profitable," she said.
While the book café is her ultimate goal, she said she hasn't quite achieved it yet. She said the café portion takes up more time and resources thank she initially thought. She said with coffee shops in close proximity she does not have many customers who come into the shop for that purpose. But Jackson said she does have customers who do use her store for other community purposes.
"I have a knitting group who comes in every Wednesday," she said.
She said it started after one of the knitting group members, who is a regular customer of the store, came in and told her that they needed a place to meet. Jackson allowed the group to begin meeting at her shop.
Jackson said being as a Milton resident and shop owner in the city, she makes it her goal to give back as much as she can. She said she recently donated to Milton High School and Hobbs Middle School and worked with the MHS Literacy Club on a project last fall in which all proceeds went back to the club.
Jackson said that while book stores may not be as prevalent as before, people's love of reading books still exists.
"With the town's continued support we'll keep that love alive," she said.
Blackwater Book Exchange Cafe is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.