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The Next Chapter for Womrath Bookshop: Meet the Bishops PDF Print Email

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By Susan Miele

Oct. 16, 2019:  While some people look forward to winding down as they near retirement age, Morin and Barbara Bishop don’t seem destined for that lifestyle just yet. Instead, they purchased Womrath Bookshop.

Womrath has been a Bronxville fixture for some 80 years, with the Sgarlatas at the helm for nearly half of them. They wanted to see the store sustained in the right hands. “It’s a vocation,” Gene said. He and Wanda stayed on for six weeks following the store’s sale to help train the Bishops for success, providing guidance in every aspect of the business, including purchasing. Even before the sale was finalized, Morin shadowed Gene for a month.

“We’re profoundly grateful to Gene and Wanda for getting us started here and making sure we know what they’re doing,” Morin said. “We’re really, really grateful.”

The Bishops have no retail background, but both husband and wife have worked in publishing for nearly as long as the Sgarlatas operated Womrath. Barbara is a graphic designer, and Morin is a writer and entrepreneur.  Morin's career includes six years as a writer/reporter at Sports Illustrated, twelve years running his own custom publishing company (Bishop Books), seven years as Editorial Director of a custom publishing company, and most recently President, editorial director, and co-owner of an editorial services firm, specializing in the creation of editorial content for books, magazines, digital communication, and custom publications.

The Bishops have great respect for the store’s heritage and are confident they are inheriting an established entity in a community peppered with bibliophiles. “We’re also grateful to Gene and Wanda for the tremendous work they’ve done over the last 35 years in developing a really faithful clientele. I’ve had more great conversations about great books in the last month than I’ve had in the last decade,” Morin noted.

A few changes are in the works, though these aren’t likely to be objectionable, even to longtime Womrath devotees. The changes will include improved in-store signage to highlight various genres, a customer seating area (and possibly self-serve coffee), and warmer lighting. The Bishops also plan to host frequent in-store events, including author readings and book discussions. Store hours will likely expand, with the opening time at 10:00 am and closing time, perhaps 7:00 pm. And, in keeping with the times, an expanded social media presence is planned. 

The inventory, however, is not changing. “Gene was a master. I sat at the feet of a master and learned how to order from him--arguably the most important task,” Morin noted.  Morin also loves to discuss books, a quality of the Sgarlatas’ that helped them earn a loyal customer following. Moreover, Kathy, who assisted the Sgarlatas for some 30 years, is also staying on and will be a great resource for continuity and know-how.

Morin’s father was a pastor in Rye. Barbara sees common ground, noting that Morin's new role at Womrath will enable him to connect with the community via books --almost like a retail pastor.

“This is where we live. The idea of contributing to it and strengthening it appeals.”

Pictured:  Morin and Barbara Bishop

Photo by A. Warner


 

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Books & the Arts Directory

Art Restoration and Framing

Fine Arts Gallery of Bronxville

The Fine Arts Gallery is a beautiful gallery in the heart of our village. It sells original art and specializes in local artists from Bronxville past and present. It provides high end custom framing, art consulting, restoration and appraisals. Appointments are available upon request. It also sells the Historical Conservancy Journals which include a history of the village as well as the artists who have lived here and are presenting living here ($20/copy).

99 Pondfield Road
Bronxville, New York 10708
914-779-5053


The O'Silas Gallery at Concordia College

171 White Plains Road
Bronxville, NY 10708
https://osilasgallery.org/

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Books & Culture

Bronxville Public Library

The Bronxville Public Library traces its origins back to 1875, when it was a small lending library housed in a room attached to the “Bronxville Model School.” The Library was officially chartered in 1906 and moved into the Village Hall Building. The needs of the library grew with the town and, in 1942, a new standalone building was erected, which is where the Library is today. Over the years, the Library was renovated and expanded to meet the needs of the community.

The Library has wonderful resources for adults and children and offers a comfortable and relaxing environment. The Library also houses a fine art collection, consisting principally of Bronxville painters and sculptors.

The Library offers special events, art exhibitions, and programs for adults, young adults and children.  All events are open to the public, unless otherwise indicated.

The Bronxville Public Library
914-337-7680
201 Pondfield Road (Midland Avenue & Pondfield Road)
http://bronxvillelibrary.org/


Womrath Bookshop

Womrath Bookshop is a located in the heart of Bronxville village. In addition to selling books, the store also sell children's toys and holds readings both at the store and elsewhere in the community, such as at the Library.

76 Pondfield Road, Bronxville

(914) 337-0199

http://www.womrath.com/

Music & Performing Arts Schools

 

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Concordia Conservatory

Concordia Conservatory, a preeminent center for music education in Westchester County, is a welcoming community where children and adults find lifelong inspiration and joy through learning, performing, listening to, and participating with others in music. Concordia Conservatory, a community outreach division of Concordia College, offers top quality music programs for early childhood, youth, adults and seniors. The Conservatory's vision is to enrich the lives of the people in our community through music.

Executive Director: Kathleen Suss

Concordia Conservatory of Music & Art

Concordia College-New York

Phone: 914-395-4507

Kathleen.Suss@concordia-ny.edu

www.concordiaconservatory.org


Crestwood Music Education Center

Crestwood Music Education Center, founded in 1987, has established itself as one of the most reputable and premier music schools in Westchester County with well over 800 students studying piano, guitar voice, Suzuki and much more. Their philosophy is to create a very positive, stimulating environment that gives each student the chance for creative self-expression. They believe in the importance of having a world-class faculty with extensive education as well as the teaching and performing experience that can only found in America's finest music schools.

453 White Plains Road
Eastchester, New York 10709
914-961-3497

 

Art, Drama, Music & Books Recent Articles

 
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