A Book (And Wine) Lover’s Paradise

Turn of the CorkscrewBRVC awakens literary dreams with quintessential bookstore

There’s a new bookstore in town that offers literary lovers and book enthusiasts alike a place to relax and escape with a good story. But this magical place offers something that you can’t get at other retail book stores: wine.

Owners Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran spent years among books at Borders, until the chain closed its doors. Not ready to leave that life behind, the two friends decided to create a unique environment combining their love of literature, food and wine.

“My first novel came out the same day I lost my job with Borders when they cut the department out. I always knew this was something I wanted to do, open a bookstore,” said Hoenig, who currently lives in Bellmore.

IMG_6137“We officially opened in October after doing a crowd-funding campaign to raise some funds, but we did a lot of research in the beginning to find a location,” said Zieran, who lives in Levittown. “Everyone kept saying go to Rockville Centre, then we saw the foot traffic and how busy it was and said we need to be here.”

The business partners saw a market on the South Shore of Long Island and were determined to find an old charming house to set up shop.

“The woman who owns the building is an architect. This space was empty and she had a lot of potential renters,” said Hoenig. “She just kept putting it off. She said something told her that there was something better and apparently we were the something better.”

No stranger to book clubs, Hoenig hosted a book discussion group in her home called “Book and a Bottle,” after realizing that at author events, she wanted wine, not coffee, and figured other people felt the same.

“We knew that we needed a different business model from your traditional bookstore…another income stream than just books alone,” said Zieran. “We’re still sorting things out but we have a nice selection of wines and craft beers.”

Turn of the CorkscrewCTurn of the Corkscrew stocks up on items from Restaurant Depot, like David’s cookies, which are frozen and unbaked until baked on premises. The bookstore also has soups, sandwiches, cheese plates, hummus and vegetable platters. As for merchandise, everything from literary cards and stationary, to rescued wine candles, shirts, book bags, and of course, books, is available.

“We have several distributors where we get our merchandise from, and Peter Pauper Press is a big one,” said Hoenig, adding that the store also features local artists each month. “We have close to 20 book discussion groups that meet here. Everything is in our calendar online.”

Not a member of a book club? Customers can join the Turn of the Corkscrew book club, which held its first meeting in February.

“People are very impressed with our events program and that says a lot about creating a welcoming environment,” said Zieran. “People appreciate our inventory. They say we have a great selection of books.”

“We have finance, business, fiction, children’s sections and so many more. We cover everything,” added Hoenig.

The book-loving duo joined the Rockville Centre Chamber of Commerce, and have been welcomed by the town in the most warm and kind ways.

“Our local florist sent us a beautiful bouquet of roses, people have sent us plants, they have been very welcoming,” said Hoenig.

“We started hearing that independent bookstores were doing a little better and the shop local campaign really helped us, but we were still nervous,” said Zieran of the business venture. “Books are list price, so you can only offer discounts. We can’t compete with the buying power of Barnes and Noble or Amazon and we don’t even try. There’s something for everyone here and that’s what we wanted.”

IMG_6136Upon entering The Turn of the Corkscrew, an intoxicating aroma of chocolate and paper greets you, adding to what Dorothy felt when she landed in Oz, as customers don’t feel like they are on Long Island, but somewhere like Vermont.

“People should come here for the ambiance. Get a glass of wine and walk around the store,” said Zieran. “You can’t do that at Barnes and Noble.”

“I’m pleased with how it all transpired,” said Hoenig. “Everything is on the line; our livelihood, our retirements…I would regret not doing this,” said Hoenig.

Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine is located at 110 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre. Visit www.turnofthecorkscrew.com or call 516-764-6000 for more information.

Learn how Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine got its name — What’s in a name?


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Jennifer Fauci
Jennifer Fauci is the former managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Anton Media Group's award-winning special sections and Anton’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of six PCLI awards.

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