Share This Page

Sewickley's Penguin Bookshop for sale — again

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 6:06 p.m.
Peter Yarrow, 74, of the folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary, talks to children following a short performance at Penguin Bookshop in Sewickley on July 30, 2012. Yarrow's visit also included a book signing for his new children's book, 'It's Raining, It's Pouring.' Photo by Kristina Serafini

For the second time since 2007, Sewickley's iconic bookstore is for sale.

Owners of the Penguin Bookshop — an 84-year-old staple nestled among other mostly mom-and-pop-type shops along the town's main retail thoroughfare, Beaver Street — say they are hoping to sell the business by the end of the year.

“It certainly needs new, younger owners,” said Janet McDanel, 75, who along with her husband Bud put about $1 million into renovating the property when they purchased the store in 2007.

“The bookstore is vital to Sewickley. It's a meeting place. We have book clubs that meet there (and) lots of events go on.”

Penguin Bookshop has been visited by well-known personalities such as chef Lidia Bastianich; Peter Yarrow of the famed music group Peter, Paul and Mary; and Steelers defensive end Brett Keisel; among others.

McDanel said she and her husband “fell into” owning the business when former owner Margaret Marshall was selling the store.

Both of the McDanels have a “strong feeling of community for the Village and thought it was an important businesses to have,” McDanel said.

She said the couple is hoping someone within the Sewickley Valley community would consider taking over the business.

“The key ingredients are all in place — a loyal customer base, a dedicated, hard-working staff and a beautiful setting,” McDanel said. “We have a wonderful staff of readers and booksellers with expertise, genuine friendliness and a desire to connect people with good books.”

No sale price for the business was available.

In 2012, Penguin Bookshop sold more than $500,000 in books, stationery, calendars and gift items, according to Paz & Associates — a Florida-based bookstore training company overseeing the sale of the store for the McDanels.

Alex DeLoia, of Village Green Partners — a Sewickley-based nonprofit marketing the town's business district — said the organization hopes a new owner can be found.

“It would be really, really sad if the Penguin left,” DeLoia said. “It's such a landmark in Sewickley.”

Bobby Cherry is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 or rcherry@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.