Wild Fig Books and Coffee reopens as a co-op
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- The only black-owned bookstore in the commonwealth of Kentucky is back open after the community raised thousands of dollars to purchase it.
Wild Fig Coffee and Books has been a sanctuary for people on the north side of Lexington for years.
“It’s been a space where I find community, where I find reassurance, where I find healing,” said April Taylor of Lexington.
But then back in September the owners decided to sell the business.
“As somebody who saw this as a safe sacred space where I could organize with my fellow community members I really didn’t want it to be owned by somebody who didn’t have the same connection to the legacy of Wild Fig,” said Taylor.
So Taylor put out a call on Facebook asking the community’s to help her raise 25-thousand dollars to purchase the bookstore.
“And by divine intervention or some awesome serendipity we were able to actually raise the money and purchase the business,” said Taylor.
But this time Wild Fig wouldn’t be owned by just Taylor, instead she turned it into a co-op.
“We thought that was an awesome way for the people who have a deep connection to this space and to the neighborhood to be able to co-own it, benefit from the existence of this space and kind of be the caretakers of the legacy of this space,” said Taylor.
Not only will the bookstore be a source of income for people in the neighborhood but supporters say it will also give kids on the north side better access to books.
“It’s crucial to have access to books. So many studies have been shown that in lower income communities especially for young people to become college and career ready, just having access to books can change the narrative,” said Adrian Wallace of Lexington.
It’s that changing narrative here at Wild Fig that Taylor hopes will inspire others to do the same.
“I feel like we’re blazing a trail for something that can be replicated in all kinds of communities across the country,” said Taylor.