Downtown Vancouver Welcomes White Oak Books

Story time in White Oak Books

One of downtown Vancouver’s newest small businesses is inviting book lovers of all kinds inside its doors.

White Oak Books opened in November 2023 by Sara Glavin and Peter Glavin. The all-inclusive bookstore, which takes great pride in the number of books stocked on feminist issues, indigenous studies, and race studies, has one full-time employee and three part-time employees.

The bookstore is located on the corner of McLoughlin Boulevard and Main Street in the retail/residential building owned by Green Leaf Uptown, which is managed by Green Leaf Partners Management. The residential building is currently 97 percent occupied. White Oak Books is the building’s most recent lease, joining Yoga Six and Cycle Bar, which have been tenants there since 2019. Currently, there is one vacant retail space.

Reaching for the ceiling in White Oak Books

Sara, who is the book buyer and main person that runs the store, shares that her selection of books and merchandise represents her lifelong belief in inclusivity. So far, the community has responded with great enthusiasm to her and Peter’s new business venture.

“Both of us have lived in Vancouver our entire lives,” she said. “We are both avid readers and avid bookstore people. The response from the local community has been astounding, gratifying, and humbling. We knew there was a need for a locally owned new bookstore. We had no idea that we would get this tremendous response. We are about 25 to 30 percent ahead of our financial projections.”

And just as the community has embraced White Oak Books, the shop also wants to embrace the local community. To do this, they feature local authors and are scheduling more and more author events. The team is also working to introduce regular book clubs and story times.

“We want to be a hub for the local community,” Sara said. “We think this will evolve over time.”

To officially introduce themselves to Vancouver, White Oak Books is hosting a special grand opening event on April 13 from 12pm to 8pm. Bleu Door will cater food and desserts, and there will be a professional DJ, face painting, and balloon animals. There will also be a giveaway every 15 minutes throughout the event.

“The grand opening is as much a ‘thank you’ to the community as it is an event for the store,” Sara shared. “We know we’ve only been open a short time, but we will do our best to continue to represent our book-loving community.”

Brooke Strickland
A lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest, Brooke Strickland is a full-time freelance writer that specializes in writing blogs, website content, and business news for companies & publications around the country. She is also the co-author of Hooked on Games, a book about technology and video game addiction.

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