Book­store-café keeps art alive in Richmond Hill

Owner bought the shop af­ter two weeks on the job

Richmond Hill Post - - NEWS - by Jes­sica Wei

Cover­notes has es­tab­lished it­self as the linch­pin of the artis­tic com­mu­nity in Richmond Hill since it was founded by Nancy Dyer in 2009. In De­cem­ber 2016, Monique Man­tella bought the used book­store, cof­fee house and com­mu­nity art gallery. Man­tella tells us about her first year as owner and how the cosy 19th­cen­tury school­house con­tin­ues to en­cour­age art and lit­er­a­ture by host­ing events and lo­cal artists in Richmond Hill, with a side of cof­fee and sand­wiches.

How did you be­come the owner of Cover­notes?

I was a pa­tron there for a few years and was work­ing across the street. I’ve al­ways worked in the restau­rant in­dus­try, but I hap­pened to be work­ing at a doc­tor’s of­fice. I saw that there was a “barista wanted” sign. I got hired on to work as a barista, found out that it was up for sale, and I bought it two weeks af­ter I started work­ing there.

How did you feel tak­ing over such a beloved in­sti­tu­tion?

I did not have a clue how en­trenched into the com­mu­nity that Cover­notes was. I found that out very shortly af­ter tak­ing over. Ev­ery­body has an opin­ion on how it should be run, done, or­ga­nized, what­ever. It’s a bless­ing and a curse; more so a bless­ing. There are peo­ple who have been pa­trons for a long time who ac­tu­ally helped guide me through the first few months and still do.

How is the arts com­mu­nity in Richmond Hill?

There’s a whole arts com­mu­nity up here that I didn’t even know about un­til I took over Cover­notes. It’s a re­ally tight-knit com­mu­nity, and peo­ple are ex­tremely sup­port­ive of one an­other. All the art on our walls are by lo­cal artists. There aren’t many places in town to put art­work up, so we ro­tate the art­work out ev­ery month (10268 Yonge St., 905-508-2826).

Cover­notes owner Monique Man­tella (left)

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