New Orleans, LA
Tucked just a few blocks from Loyola University is the Maple Street Bookshop. It is a beautiful example of the house re-imagined as a bookstore phenomenon. And with the same care that turns a house into a home, this store is warm, friendly and makes all who visit feel like cherished guests.
Maple Street has an incredibly rich and captivating history. It was opened in 1964 by Mary Kellogg and her sister Rhoda Norman, and instantly became the hip place to hang out in what was at that time a politically conservative New Orleans.
This from our own author Chris Wiltz, who wrote
Because Mary and Rhoda Norman felt like fish out of water in mostly conservative New Orleans, the bookstore became a place the left wing and avant garde could depend on as a source for their books and as a meeting place. They would hang out on the screened side porch—where the travel section is today—schmoozing until after dark, sometimes well after closing hours if anyone had enough pocket change to run down to Bruno’s and buy a few beers to fuel the conversation.
Former Loyola history professor Donna Allen purchased the store from longtime owner Rhoda Faust, Mary Kellogg's daughter, in the spring of 2007, and is making sure Maple Street continues to be the hip place to hang out.
Of special note, Rhoda Faust is the originator, along with Brenda Thompson, of the Eracism movement, which has a fascinating and wonderful story all its own. Click here to read how it all began.
Here is manager Gladin Scott and assistant buyer Maureen Iverson on the occasion of my last visit. Gladin has accumulated his vast book knowledge over many years, first as a longtime customer of Maple Street, now as its expert head buyer.