Hillary Hoffman and Neil Serven, owners, Federal Street Books, 125 Federal Street, Greenfield
Tell us about your business or organization
We carry thousands of used and new books, including an extensive paperback fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and mystery selection. We also carry children's books and many non-fiction categories including history, anti-racism, cooking, philosophy, art, and biography/memoir. We highlight books from local authors. We offer curbside pickup and local Greenfield delivery in addition to in-store browsing and online ordering. We can also special order new books.
Why Franklin County?
We moved to Franklin County to buy our first and hopefully only home. We appreciate Greenfield's walkability, the people working so hard to bring arts and cultural events to Franklin County, and all the friends we've made here. There are a lot of hard-working, smart, unpretentious people here making, selling, growing, and cooking beautiful things.
My husband Neil Serven and I (Hillary) are the fourth owners of Federal Street Books, founded in 1988. We've lived in Greenfield since 2008, and we both have book publishing backgrounds. We purchased the business in fall 2019 after the prior owner retired. Since buying the store we've made some changes! We now have online ordering for 2000+ of our 18,000 titles (and growing) and we're still finding, reorganizing and clearing thousands more books in our overstock. We hope to bring back author and other special events.
What’s your grail/ white whale/ dream find?
Clearing out our back office I found a first edition Ursula K. LeGuin -- that was pretty special, and it went to a good home.
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
People may not know that the business is on the site of Greenfield’s first-ever fire station! It was fun to install “fire-engine red” metal siding last year to reference our history.
Why do you value your chamber membership?
I value my chamber membership because I feel the Chamber has been devoting resources to cultivate tourism to Franklin County and Greenfield, and they have done this thoughtfully and professionally over the past several years — when we have needed it the most. Thank you for reminding us and informing others why where we live and work is so special.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Some people have asked why we continue to require and provide masks. It is important to us to keep our business accessible to as many people as possible. That includes our immuno-compromised and disabled friends. If we all make space for others from the get-go, we show ourselves to be a truly welcoming, inclusive, and empathetic community. We hope that our existing and our new customers continue to understand and respect this.