Amidst financial hardship, an Uptown bookstore turns to the internet to crowdfund

- A mystery novel bookstore is now turning to crowd-funding despite Once Upon a Crime’s presence in Uptown Minneapolis for more than three decades.

For 31 years, this neighborhood bookstore has catered to the thrill-seeking, suspense-loving bookworm.

“Within the genre of mystery you can tell any story,” said Devin Abraham, the store’s manager.

However, if this family business doesn’t get funding fast, the neighborhood charm could be on its last chapter.

“We’re just at the place where we don’t know if we can keep going without help,” Abraham added.

“Just thinking about my bank balance and making sure I can pay off all my bills,” added store owner Meg King-Abraham.

Once Upon a Crime, in Minneapolis’ Whittier neighborhood, has almost a cult following among mystery fans, but recent changes in their community have affected business.

“It’s getting a lot more expensive to be here,” Abraham said. “We’re surrounded by upscale living where it used to be affordable homes.”

They’re seriously considering moving, but that still doesn’t solve the problem of having to compete with online retailers and electronic books.

“Convenience is worth a lot to people but on the other hand, if you close down all the little shops you’re not going to have any unique experiences,” King-Abraham said.

They believe investing money into launching online sales could save them, but another loan just isn’t possible, so they’ve turned to the internet for help.

“If we want to see small businesses survive, and that means, not just that you’re allowing families to run businesses but you have neighborhoods that are different from each other then we’re going to have to invest in small businesses,” Abraham said.

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