Black Birch Books

Black Birch Books owner Taylor Jordan amid her mounds of books, covering all genres. She also has a special section dedicated to children.

WASILLA — Black Birch Books owner Taylor Jordan is inviting the community to enjoy free food and fun conversations at her Bookstore Friendship Potluck Dinner Saturday. She said that anyone is welcome to visit anytime between 1 and 4 p.m.

“Whoever comes, if they feel so inclined, they can bring some pies or some cookies. Bring something if you can; and if you can’t, whatever. There’s going to be plenty of food. We’re not gonna’ run out. Everybody can just sit and hang out and just kind of be with their community, which is something kind of rare right now,” Jordan said.

Jordan said they will be providing entree items like turkey and ham with other Thanksgiving staples. She said that visitors can bring dessert or other items to the potluck. She said they’re also offering a to-go option for those wishing to minimize their contact.

“I just really wanted an excuse to show my appreciation to the community,” Jordan said. “I appreciate that they’re comfortable enough with me and the book store, and I’ve made a safe enough place for them that they are willing to come to my residence where I’m doing business out of right now.”

The Black Birch Books brick and mortar facility has been closed since March. Jordan has been operating the business out of her home since the shut down. She said it’s been working out really well, and she’s had a steady stream of customers from all walks of life.

“They’ve come here to the house and still do their shopping, and hang out at the bookstore, and network, and get the critical social connection that they’ve been missing,” Jordan said. “It’s everybody’s safe place.”

Jordan said that she has enough capital to relocate and reopen. She’s just waiting for the right time and the right place to set up shop. She said that she needed a bigger space anyway, noting that her inventory has grown from about 4,000 books to over 25,000.

“I’m ready to reopen but I know it’s smart to wait,” Jordan said.

She’s currently looking at various locations, planning to stay in Wasilla and close to schools so local students can walk there to read, hang out, or do their homework. She also wants to stay close to MyHouse since that’s been her sole source of staff, hiring homeless local teens honing their job skills.

Jordan said that she aims to reopen within the first few months of 2021, using the book store’s third anniversary in May as a cut off for the “absolute latest.” She said there will be a huge celebration to mark the occasion when the big day finally comes.

“When I’m open you’re gonna know it,” Jordan said with a laugh.

In the meantime, Jordan plans to keep her business running from her home. Those interested in attending the potluck can stop by her residence located at Well Site Road off Fairview Loop Saturday anytime between 1 to 4 p.m. She said there will be plenty of signage posted for visitors to find the place.

“You’ll know when you get here. There’s skeletons everywhere. They’re all reading books and waving,” Jordan said.

For more information, visit the Black Birch Books Facebook page or email blackbirchbooks@gmail.com.

Contact Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman reporter Jacob Mann at jacob.mann@frontiersman.com

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