Small Business of the Year

The Anderson family has been selling books since 1875.

“We’re selling ideas and fun and adventure and so much more,” said owner Becky Anderson. “Books create a whole environment that a lot of other things that you can sell just don’t do.”

It’s that passion for reading that’s driven the bookshop’s success for six generations. Anderson acknowledges her store faces the same economic challenges other independent booksellers face. She says customers are spending less but unlike their competition, Anderson’s does business differently to keep readers coming back.

“We have amazing staff and they know how to connect [with customers],” said Anderson. “We know so many people by name. It’s like walking in the door, you’re family.”

Naperville resident and bookworm Mary Ann Bobosky nominated Anderson’s for the Small Business of the Year Award. The shop was one of 26 businesses eligible for the award. The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce recently honored
Anderson’s Bookshop with the award. In 2001, the shop won retailer of the year but this was the first year it was the overall winner. Chamber members praise the booksellers for their ability to market services creatively.

“Everybody’s having to manage in tough times, having to do more with less,” Chamber President and CEO John Schmitt acknowledged of the current economy.

“One of the things I think Anderson’s does better than anybody else is the authors they bring in for the book signing.”

Anderson credits the store’s partnerships within the community for its success.

“We are here because of this community and we partner and build bridges with so many different groups within Naperville, whether it’s schools, not-for-profits, other business,” said Anderson. “If you don’t connect with your community, then you might as well shut your door.”

The Anderson’s hope their open doors, welcoming booksellers and savy business plan equal success for generations to come.


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