Saving a Store in Crisis: Paying Creditors and Bending Rules at an Indie Bookshop

Remembering Jonathan Benton, Bookseller

This week on The Localist, Carrie reminisces about her time managing Jonathan Benton, Bookseller. Carrie dives in with the lessons she learned through lots of trial and error, and what she took with her to her own shop. Carrie inherited a ton of debt when she became manager, but she was able to turn it around and got the store in the black by the time she left! Her methods may have bent the rules a bit, but Carrie gives tips that are applicable to all businesses. Full show notes at

Mentioned in this episode: 

Church Street Coffee and Books


Birmingham Post-Herald 

Jonathan Benton Bookseller

Cracker Barrel 

Carrie’s Kickstarter 

Sri on Instagram 

The Localist by Carrie Rollwagen

Co-Owners of Golden Age Wine on The Localist Podcast 

Golden Age Wine

Trattoria Zaza 

Print Gocco

Hermione Granger 


Brick & Tin 

@ThinkLocalist on Instagram

About Carrie

Carrie Rollwagen is host of the Localist podcast and cofounder of Church Street Coffee & Books. Currently, she works as Vice President of Strategic Planning at Infomedia, a web development company in Birmingham, Alabama. Find the Localist at @thinklocalist on Instagram and follow Carrie at @crollwagen.

Email with a purpose Let's Keep in Touch

Good news (and practical tips) for small businesses — we're not into being pushy or spammy.