Rating the Suburbs - Hudson
owner of the Learned Owl
There are pictures in many of the businesses of a time when there was a fence around the village green — no trees, and cows grazing on it. Other than the trees that have grown on it and all the cars on the road, when you walk down Main Street, it looks like the old pictures.
It happened 25 years ago at a businesswomen’s meeting in Aurora. A friend and I started chatting about how we wanted to do something on our own, so we started talking about what we could do, and we didn’t have any good ideas.
A guy I used to work for said, “I think you should own a bookstore.” Once he said that, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
It’s a wonderful job, but you don’t have time to read.
When I bought the store, there were 35 independent bookstores in the Cleveland/Akron area. It used to take a sales rep two weeks to visit all the bookstores here. Now they make a special trip to see me and one or two others.
The community is very supportive of not only me but other independents. They realize that Main Street Hudson is unique, very charming and a big draw and keeps property values up.
I can walk into Hudson’s Restaurant on the Green and they immediately know to get me a Diet Coke or, in the evening, a glass of white wine with ice on the side. It’s a town where if you know that somebody’s had a death in their family, people come from behind the counter and give you a hug.
I’ve had customers that I’ve had for 25 years, and their families are now coming back with kids to be here. They are more than customers after 25 years.
There’s aunique balance. At first everyone was a little nervous, because we didn’t know what First and Main was going to be like. But now we are working very nicely together. We not only have a lot of unique stores, but we have the national chains that people look for.
The warmth, the charm. We have history. I moved here because of my business, but I am staying here because of the warmth and the charm.
There aremany, many historic homes. They have plaques on them. Hudson has the feel of a small New England town with the gazebo and the village green. There are sandstone sidewalks in many places.
People might think that there’s no parking, but we like to think of Hudson as a place that will save you from your gym membership. You can park in many places, you’ll just have to walk half a block to get where you’re going.
rating the suburbs
12:00 AM EST
June 4, 2009