Monarch Books, an independent bookstore, recently opened its doors in the heart of the village of Arroyo Grande. This welcoming shop invites people to browse the shelves and tables, where they can find anything from a clothbound classic of Wuthering Heights to the Newest Collaboration written by James Patterson and Dolly Parton. Roughly half the space is dedicated to children’s books: board books, picture books, and chapter books, all carefully chosen to make sure all kids find themselves reflected in the stories. Besides books, there is also a variety of book-themed sidelines: bookmarks, tote bags, puzzles, and more. The whole store has been carefully and thoughtfully curated for the reader’s delight.
The owners of Monarch Books, Aaron and Taneesha Regez, both grew up locally. A veteran of the Army, Aaron has a background in historical site preservation and Taneesha always found jobs surrounded by books: in schools, libraries, and at home schooling the kids. For Taneesha, owning a bookstore was merely a dream, a dream probably shared by most book lovers. Last year they started researching what it would take to turn their dream into a reality, and this year after finding the perfect location, they took the leap.
Both found SCORE to be a tremendous resource as first-time business owners. In particular the mentorship of Bob Hyde was a huge help, as he was always available to answer questions and ask thought-provoking questions that helped the new owners solidify their business plans and goals.
Aaron and Taneesha hope to be in the book business for years to come.