After closing its doors at three stores earlier this year, Bob Slate Stationer has re-opened in Harvard Square under a new owner.
Photo by Brock Parker.
New Bob Slate Stationer owner Laura Donohue said she tried to hold a “soft opening” for her store on Brattle Street in Harvard Square this month.
But before Donohue even had her shelves stocked, her credit card machines working and the final ok from city inspectors to open for business, customers were already lined up outside her door on Oct. 15.
“Word went out accidentally that we were open,” Donohue said. “We started having people coming to the store lining up outside the door.”
So Donohue, not wanting to turn away loyal Bob Slate Stationer customers who had gone without the store in Harvard Square for more than six months, let them in to take a look around.
“We just wanted to make sure that they knew it was the same,” she said.
Donohue, a longtime customer of Bob Slate Stationer, bought the business from Justin and Mallory Slate over the summer after the former owners closed up shop in Cambridge at the beginning of spring. The family-owned business had been around for more than 75 years when it closed its two stores in Harvard Square and a store in Porter Square.
Donohue found a new space for the business at 30 Brattle St. and officially opened the store on Oct. 17, though she said the shelves still aren’t fully stocked and she’s not planning to have a grand opening until mid-November.
When she opened the doors for business last week, Donohue said customers began pouring in and paying cash because the store wasn’t ready to accept credit cards until the weekend.
“I can’t believe how many people have found us and I’m not sure how they found us,” Donohue said.
The new store is about 1,850 square feet, which Donohue said is about the size of the old Bob Slate Stationer on Church Street in Harvard Square. She said the store is only stocked at about 25 to 30 percent right now, mostly with best-selling items like 2012 planners and calendars, holiday cards and basic office and art supplies.
But Donohue said more stock is coming in every day, and within three weeks she expects the shelves will be almost full.
“It might not be until after Christmas until I have all of the variety and the fun things,” Donohue said.
Justin and Mallory Slate are helping get the business back up and running and Donohue said she has hired said several employees from the old Bob Slate stores.
“It’s nice that the customers come in and see that friendly face that they know,” she said.