Imagine a place filled with adventure, laughter, history, and stories of days gone by. Sprinkle in a little fantasy, maybe some sci-fi, or a mystery that you just can’t seem to put down. This place is Jan’s.
As a new and used bookstore, Jan’s is more than just a place to shop for your next book. It’s welcoming atmosphere makes you want to stay awhile and enjoy a cup of their Coffee of the Day. In the handful of times I’ve been there…okay, it’s more than a handful, I have met new friends, learned of authors that live right here in Beaverton, got to pet a baby goat, and occasionally get to visit with some pretty sweet pups on my visits.
This little gem of a bookstore, located on the corner of First and Tucker in Downtown Beaverton started in Aloha 37 years ago. Jan’s had no plans of leaving the longtime location, but after they lost the lease it was time to look for a new spot. Lucky, for Downtown Beaverton they found their new home. Complete with their very own parking lot!
Grab that cup of coffee now and get to know Jan’s and the owner, Lori a bit more:
Q: What was your background before moving to Beaverton?
A: It's sort of a catch all history. I graduated with a Women's Studies degree from Cal State Long Beach in 2003, deciding to leave California with no destination in mind I looked for the cheapest apartment in a major city, which turned out to be in Portland. Got here, started working temp jobs, ended up at an Escrow company, moved to a home lending office and then to a real estate agents team. After 7 years in the hardest time in the economy, I decided that industry wasn't for me long term; I started a free-lance office administration business providing services to small business owners. After several years, one of my clients offered me a full-time position building a customer service team for a gift card product. 7 years into that job, I felt I had learned what I could from that position. I had been a customer and friend of the bookstore, Jan's Paperbacks for about 10 years and knew that the owner wanted to retire. It seemed to be kismet timing wise for all of us.
Q: What is your favorite thing about downtown and central Beaverton?
A: The surprise of it. For so long, everyone only knew about the Beaverton Farmers Market. But Downtown has so many great businesses being added all the time that it's a constant surprise for our customers. I love learning about all the other great businesses down here. I love seeing customers faces when you tell them about what's been going on in Downtown.
Q: What is your least favorite thing about downtown and central Beaverton?
A: I think Downtown could use some entertainment options. As it stands people come down here to do 1 thing and then leave. As time goes on, I'd love to see more customers just walking around creating a community feeling and I think having an entertainment option would help that.
Q: If you could share one nugget of advice what would it be?
A: Only one?!? Don't get so focused on one idea that you can't see the world changing around you and you neglect to change with it. Always look to the future while keeping your head in the game. Never settle.
Q: Name your greatest success or what you are most proud of in your business experience.
A: Re-opening the store was a big one for me, but I feel like my greatest hasn't happened yet. I feel like I have a lot of great years ahead of me and the bookstore, and I'm looking forward to celebrating the stores 40th, 50th, 60th and hopefully 70th, years in business.
Q: What do you love most about what you do?
A: The customers. Very rarely does someone come in to a used bookstore in a bad mood, so I get to spend all day with people that love books and are just happy we're here.