A locally owned bookstore is coming soon to downtown Mt. Pleasant.
Jennifer and Riley Justis, the owners of Sleepy Dog Books, plan to open an official bookstore at 120 E. Broadway Street in late April or early May.
Both Jennifer and Riley Justis graduated from Central Michigan University and were both keen to bring a bookstore to Mt. Pleasant because they believed there was a need for a bookstore in the area.
“It has been a lifelong dream of my wife and me to open a bookstore,” said Riley Justis. “We are both avid readers and have researched and worked with various lenders.”
Sleepy Dog Books offers a variety of books from different genres, as well as a variety of products from various Michigan-based companies. Some of the products include cards, socks, bookmarks, and candles, among others.
The couple were able to find a lease for a downtown location and just took over the store in early 2022. The Justis are currently working on painting the shop and will soon be adding individual bookshelves.
Sleepy Dog Books has also received funding opportunities to further support their business.
This includes Michigan Women Forward’s “53 Voices” pitch challenge sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, where women entrepreneurs can submit a short pitch and receive grants for their business. Jennifer Justis, the main owner of Sleepy Dog Books, took third place during the competition and received $ 1,000 in grants.
To further promote Sleepy Dog Books, parishioners opened a pop shop during the Downtown Holiday Market in December. The bookstore will have additional pop-up shops before the store officially opens.
While the community is waiting for Sleepy Dog Books to officially open a bookstore downtown, the store has an online store where customers can order books to have them delivered to their homes. The shop is operated by Bookshop.org, which supports local bookstores.
“We have received extremely positive feedback from the community,” said Justis. “We are happy about the followers we have gained on social media.”
Please visit Sleepy Dog Books’ Facebook page or sleepydogbooks.com for more information.