'We're still here' as Parker bookstore nears anniversary

Family carries on late father's downtown shop after one year

Nick Puckett
npuckett@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/7/20

Melissa and Mark Foley are going to give it one more year. In February, when the two inherited Poor Richard's Book Shoppe in downtown Parker from Melissa's father, Richard Fitch, they promised each …

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'We're still here' as Parker bookstore nears anniversary

Family carries on late father's downtown shop after one year

Posted

Melissa and Mark Foley are going to give it one more year.

In February, when the two inherited Poor Richard's Book Shoppe in downtown Parker from Melissa's father, Richard Fitch, they promised each other they would reassess if they could handle running the shop after one year.

“We felt like, in the end, we weren't really ready to go,” Melissa Foley said. “And we're still not.”

Poor Richard's takes and sells mostly used books and has everything from young adult fiction to cookbooks. It's the only independent bookstore in Parker, aside from a couple comic book and collector shops.

The bookstore opened where it currently sits, at the south end of the strip mall now shared by Wild Iris Salon and Hair By Cody Rae, since 2008. Melissa's family moved to Parker from Kansas shortly after her mother died. Fitch died in February and left the store to Melissa and Mark. Finch had run a bookstore in Kansas since the 1990s called First Edition Books.

“We both felt like it was something we wanted to do,” Melissa Foley said. “When my dad passed away … we got a sense that people really liked it and they felt like it was important. He was the bookstore.”

An old, boxy TV hangs from a wall that Fitch used to watch sports on as he spent all day in his bookstore.

"Besides his family, Rick had two loves," Melissa Foley said, "Books and sports."

And they don't want to move it because it's part of what makes the bookstore special.

Mark Foley described Fitch as an encyclopedia for books.

Much of the inventory is donated books. Adventure. Romance. Fantasy. Required texts for high schools. No textbooks. No records or record players. No tarot cards or posters or merchandise of any kind. Just books, wall-to-wall.

“We're still totally unautomated and trying to keep it as basic as (Fitch) had it because I think that's part of the charm of this place, to actually write your store credit down on a note card instead of having everything on an iPad," Mark Foley said.

Melissa and Mark work full-time jobs on top of running the shop. As a result, it can't be open as much as the two may want. Melissa is a nurse practitioner and Mark works in real estate. They often run the shop themselves on the weekend.

“It’s a balancing act,” Melissa foley said. But, “we’re still here.”

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