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Minding the Store: A Big Story about a Small Business
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Minding the Store: A Big Story about a Small Business

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  49 reviews
“I really enjoyed this book. In fact, I could go for a second helping!”—Amy Sedaris

“Entrepreneurs will learn a thing or two about translating a dream into thoughtful business growth, and everyone will laugh, cry, and nod along with a woman who has chosen to live an extraordinary life amidst many piles of dishes.” —Danny Meyer, CEO of Union Square Hospitality Group, founde
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published October 30th 2018 by Algonquin Books
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3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  141 ratings  ·  49 reviews

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Stewart Tame
Nov 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I’ll confess I’ve never heard of Fishs Eddy before. But I'm passionately fond of graphic novels, so I decided to check this out. What an utterly charming book!

Julie Gaines, along with her husband Dave, co-founded Fishs Eddy, which the back cover describes as an “iconic housewares shop.” I’ll take their word for it. Never heard of the place, but 1) I don't live in NYC, nor have I ever visited, and 2) housewares aren't really my thing. The book chronicles the growth of their business--which seems
Oct 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Goodreads and Algonquin books for this ARC.

Even though I don't read graphic novels, or in this case, non-fiction, it's fast reading (finished it in one day).

I was curious about how they came up with the quirky name of their business "Fishs Eddy" and come to find out it was a very small town in Upstate NY that they passed.

I love discovering new places, even in books, even if I never visit the store and this store wasn't just unique in it's selling of the wares, dishes, glassware, etc.,
Rod Brown
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was ok
I'm not sure what the intended audience is for this.

The art is childish and the story is told in a very simplistic manner, but I think children would have no interest in this story about a store selling secondhand dishes in New York City. As an adult, I found it dull and a bit frustrating for all the gaps and unanswered questions about how people so bad at running a business have managed to stay in business.

Ultimately, I guess this vague and self-serving book is a souvenir for fans of the Fish
Kat Drennan-Scace
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting look at my favourite NYC store - Fishs Eddy - and how it evolved over the years. I liked the inside look and the art was great, too! This was a quick read, over a lunch hour, and more of a graphic memoir than a business how to (which I didn't mind, that's what I was looking for). Overall, enjoyable especially if you know the store.
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this illustrated biography chronicling the beginnings of New York's Fishs Eddy.
Matthew Noe
Nov 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
As the partner of someone who wants her own business, this was an interesting and at times enlightening read. I received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss - but I think I want to own a copy too.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had Minding the Store on my library hold queue for a while, and the BPL delivered it to me this weekend, on Small Business Saturday! How perfect! So I hunkered down in my local (small business) coffee shop and read this fun graphic memoir about the personal and business adventures of the founders of the dish store on Union Sq, Fishs Eddy. Part economic adventure story of new adults in New York and part a personal family story, Minding the Store is certainly full of precious lessons learned, de ...more
Shayna Ross
I am not familiar with Fish Eddy's and honestly, I am not sure how I came across this book in the first place. In any case, we have a fairly broad overview of Julie and Matt's venture into selling historic and antique dishware to the New York City community as well as some personal notes. It was a good read regarding business and life in NYC, but not so much with personal revelations and artistic direction.

If you want to read about what and how Fish Eddy's came to be, this is a good read - it is
Jun 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this sweet and charming story about the trials and tribulations of developing a successful business in Manhattan. I had never heard of Fishs Eddy (yes, that is the correct spelling and non-punctuation) before but it sounds like a fun and appealing place to visit. Most everyone who reads this well-told graphic memoir will want to add the store to their list of "must-visits" when in NYC.

Thanks to the publisher for the advance reading copy.
Michelle Arredondo
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read.

Minding the Store: A Big Story about a Small Business is a quaint and unique way to create a fantastic memoir. Graphic novel form....the story of Fishs Eddy...or rather how it became to be and how it continues to be. A hole in the wall unknown place to the quirky Mecca of eclectic dishes and glassware. Funny little retellings of the ups and downs of starting a small business..witty in it's telling. You just can't read this book and not grow a deeper appreciation for all the "m
Oct 24, 2018 added it
A unique and entertaining look at the ups and downs of the iconic NY specialty shop Fishs Eddy, told in the style of a short graphic novel illustrated by the founders’ son. The author is candid about the challenges she and her husband faced starting and sustaining their business, and it is fun to find out more about the unique vision that has led to Fishs Eddy’s success.

Please note that I don’t use the star rating system, so this review should not be viewed as a zero.

(For actual advice about run
Jul 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: graphic
Julie Gaines reminisces about the experience of starting and running the famous dishes store Fishs Eddy in New York City, along with her partner Dave Lenovitz. Much of the book is light on details and on story arc, with chapters often ending abruptly; it reads almost like an oral history in places. However, Gaines' enjoyable irony and the emotion she put into the business come through admirably. The chapter on the difficulty the business had with its various CEOs is by far the most interesting a ...more
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Quirky and humorous, this biographical graphic novel is about the history of Fishs Eddy and the family who has lovingly supported it through several years of change; within the store itself and within the lives of Julie and Dave (the founders and owners) and their two children (son Ben provides the artwork for the book). It is a sweet story of two people in love willing to face challenges together, overcome several obstacles and come out better for it. I only question why there was no acknowledg ...more
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was a delight to read .I can honestly say I've never read anything like it before and I'm a lifelong reader. It was a quick easy fun book that made me want to run out and buy new dishes ☺.....Truthfully I'd never heard of Fish Eddy before I won this copy on Goodreads so I had to look it up on the internet.I was happy with the website too.It was a nice bedtime story i was able to finish without dozing off since I kept chuckling .If you are in the market for a change of pace from your us ...more
Jason Jacobs
Nov 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-giveaways
I received this book as a give away. I have read all of one other graphic novel so this is a different reading experience for me.

The story was okay - with dry humor and an overall feel-good warmth to the characters. The illustration was childlike, maybe "whimsical" would be a better descriptor. It went well with the tone of the narration and the punchlines.

Overall a quick, pleasant read (thirty minutes at best) with the kind of ending you can write yourself from just looking at the cover.
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is very lovely book. It is memoir in form of graphic novel, but made in a little bit different format.
This is warm, entertaining and funny story. It is illustrated biography of Fish's Eddy store, that is located in NYC. The owner of the business tells the beginnings, and ups and downs of her business.

If it comes to illustrations I am not big fan of the style.

But I did enjoy this graphic novel a lot.
Brianna Sowinski
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
This one went through my hands at the library and I was intrigued; I liked the artwork and I love graphic memoirs. Honestly, I had not heard of Fishs Eddy prior to reading the book. I've mostly lived on the West Coast? Dishes are purely utilitarian or grandma's china in my family? I don't know. I loved their small business success story and Gaines humor and honesty. I might need some hipster dishes now.
Dec 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The subtitle describes it perfectly, A Big Story about a Small Business. This graphic novel, written by Julie Gaines and illustrated by her son Ben Lenovitz, tells the story of founding the dish company Fishs Eddy, following your heart’s passion to work for yourself doing something you love snd believe in, together. It’s also about saving a bit of Americana history as the rest of the world throws everything out.
Jason S Wrench
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had never heard of Fishs Eddy before reading this book, but I can honestly say that I was really happy to have had the opportunity to not only learn about them as a small business but also learn their story. I read a pre-publication version of the graphic novel and was very impressed with the simplicity of the graphic novel but the depth at which the story unfolds. I can definitely see encouraging my own students who are interested in entrepreneurialism to read this book.
Derek Moore
Aug 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I never read a book so full of illustrations before. Sometimes the contrast of print with the color of illustrations made it difficult for me to read. Not too fond of that. However, on the whole, it was lighthearted and an easy read. It was comical at times and very different from what I have been reading lately. A very good change of pace.
Oct 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: giveaway-win
** Thank you to Algonquin Books for providing a copy of this book through the Goodreads Giveaway program **

An entertaining, quirky and cute graphic biography of a sweet little store in NYC and the couple that brought it into being. This book will appeal to those who are fans of Fishs Eddy and NYC.
Joy Johnson
Jan 31, 2019 rated it liked it
A book about a small business startup, their failures and success. Written in graphic format, the author, Julia Gaines, describes their attempt to make something they love doing into a thriving business.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Charming! The story is a series of vignettes, and some readers might want something a little deeper or more linear, but I enjoyed the format, thought the drawings (by Julie Gaines' son) were delightful, and ultimately found it a sweet and touching tribute to New York City and small businesses.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fishs Eddy is a favorite store from our time in NYC, so I was happy to explore this autobiography of a business. Aside from a few overshared HR moments, it is interesting to see the story of how a business thrives, regroups, and revives.
Emilia P
Aug 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: comic-books
A quintessential, personal NYC story, funky and sweet, not quite as focused as it could be, but still a lovely and loving ride through small-time, idiosyncratic entrepreneurship in a big-time ever-changing big old town.
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story and illustrations are as charming and authentic as the store. I really enjoyed it and would recommend it to anyone who loves the store, loves New York or loves to read about the origin story of an original business.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
My feelings about this book are mostly that I am jealous of Julie Gaines' professional life. I feel like I was meant to open a vintage dish shop in NYC in the 1980s with my beau.
I guess the next best thing is reading about it...?
Recommended to all entrepreneurs.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Abbie Joiner
Oct 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Renee Lareau
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Absolutely delightful. I read it in one evening and it was just what I needed today.
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