“We have a love of reading, good beer, and Minnesotan community," says Cream & Amber co-founder Katie Terhune. "We saw an opportunity to strengthen the Hopkins community, which lacked a bookstore, by creating a space where you can grab a book in one hand and a dark roast, or stout, in the other."
She and co-founder Kacey Hruby Wyttenhove met in college and discovered their shared love of books and beer. With Cream & Amber, they’ve realized that affinity and created a space geared toward fostering community via books, beer, coffee.
The bookstore/bar/cafe (barbookfe?) also serves panini, salads, soups, and snacks—and Sleepy V's mini doughnuts during weekends—so you can really make a day of it. Below are five more things to know about this chill spot.
5. The book selection is well curated.
Cream & Amber stocks both used and new books, but this isn’t a version of Half Price Books. The precious real estate of the cozy space means Terhune and Wyttenhove need to be choosy about what’s on the shelves, and, during our visit, we had no complaints. The overall number of books may not be vast, but the topics covered and the careful selection mean you’ll have not trouble finding something to love. Also: Used books are very reasonably priced. We scored a copy of Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty More cookbook for $6!
4. Your book club has a new meeting spot.
This place is all about bringing people together (see this recent tweet), so of course they have a community room available for groups up to 13 people. Does your book club need a place to meet? Are you getting together to plan an event? The Cream & Amber community room meets your space needs, and you can easily incorporate coffee, beer, and wine into your get-together. Plus, it’s free.
3. We'll say it again: This bookstore serves coffee, beer, tea, and wine.
In a move that’s stunningly obvious, Wyttenhove and Terhune combined the joys of a bookstore, cafe, and bar. (If you like Moon Palace's Geek Love Cafe, it's safe to say you'll love it here.) It’s a seamless melding, with airy bookshelves lining the walls and a bar so welcoming you just have to pull up a stool and get a little something to drink. Beers are sourced locally and will rotate often; coffee comes from Bootstrap Coffee Roasters, and each order has free refills so you can keep your literary conversations fueled.
2. They’re poised to be the bookstore in Hopkins.
Hopkins has a nearby Barnes & Noble, but as far as Mainstreet goes, Cream & Amber has the lock on being a seller of books, used and new. And despite what people may think about the decline of the written word, books aren’t only holding their own, they’re gaining ground. The American Booksellers Association reported that book sales in November 2018 were 10 percent higher than a year prior. Indie bookstores are ideal gathering places for communities (see #4), so it’s not much of a surprise that they’re bounding back during a time when social media and screen time leave us hankering for actual human interaction.
1. Add them to your Independent Bookstore Day map.
No specifics yet on how Cream & Amber will celebrate Indie Bookstore Day on April 27 (fingers crossed for more mini donuts from Sleepy V’s), but with their set-up, it promises to be fun.
Cream & Amber
1605 Mainstreet, Hopkins