Ad Spot

South Main Book Co. has a new owner

By Deirdre Parker Smith

SALISBURY — South Main Book Co. has a new owner for the new year.

Alissa Redmond has bought the business from Wendy Alexander-Persse, who bought what had been Literary Bookpost in 2016. She changed the store’s name to reflect a new start.

Redmond has no plans to change the name, or much else, for that matter, until she has a good feel for the community and what it wants and needs.

“I want to learn the business and the community and then think about changes.”

JON C. LAKEY/SALISBURY POST South Main Street Book Company New owner Alissa Redmond in the bookstore recently. Redmond purchased the Salisbury independent book store store from Wendy Persse. Salisbury,North Carolina,12/19/19.

Redmond has worked for the U.S. State Department and is actually on an extended sabbatical. She and her 4-year-old daughter, Margaret, had to leave Bolivia recently due to political unrest.

“I was looking for a house to buy in Salisbury,” she said, “to be closer to family.” Her brother lives in Charlotte and her parents in Clinton.

While she was looking for real estate, she came across the sale of the bookstore.

“If I could have hand-picked anyone, it would have been her,” Alexander-Persse said.

“We’re very different and that’s what the store needs. I’ll miss it, especially the kids, but when it’s in good hands, that makes it easier.”

Redmond has many different experiences — she was a volunteer in the Peace Corps before working for the State Department. She has lived in New Orleans, after Katrina, India, Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Bolivia, among other places. She adopted her daughter in Hong Kong, and will adopt another daughter in March 2020, Tin Yan, 9.

She needed a home base in order to finalize her second daughter’s adoption. Once she saw the store for sale, she talked to Alexander-Persse and to the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce which helped her contact other people in the community about what was going on and what was coming up.

“It fits with my family, then fit more — I can bring the girls here — my older daughter is learning English and this is a great place to learn.”

She has joined the Chamber and has made connections at Livingstone College. “With the colleges here and the symphony I knew people would be here as customers.”

“Great people have been friends of the store and they still will be,” she said.

Alexander-Persse has introduced her around. And when Redmond started meeting women who had adopted children, she felt like she would have a strong support base to raise her daughters.

Alexander-Persse had some interest from others about the store, including some local people, but that was as far as it went. “I stopped thinking about it,” and then Redmond came along.

Redmond might add new signage. She wants to maintain and improve the children’s area; she’d like to have more events, such as author signings.

She’s thinking of adding programs on Friday nights or Saturdays, perhaps collaborating with Salisbury Wine Shop. She’d like to have regular children’s programs, like Saturday readings. “I love that mezzanine and can picture a couple people playing music up there.”

She wants to be flexible on the store hours, think about opening some on Sundays, or being open later.

She’s interested in promoting and working with literacy programs. She has taught English as a Second Language and has worked with non-government agencies on literacy and wants to use those connections to help others. She has contacted the Rowan Literacy Council, as well.

First, she’s going to learn more about Rowan County by taking the history class in 2020, and she’s going to go to the American Booksellers Association’s winter conference in January in Baltimore.

For the time being, she’s decompressing from her years of travel and working on the adoption process.

Her background is in community development, so she’s going to learn the retail side of the business. She plans to be at the store most of the time, then may call on some former assistants to help out.

Having a home feels good. She wants to put down roots for her girls and she feels safer here. Daughter Margaret will be at First United Methodist pre-school. She hopes Tin Yan will be able to go into third grade. They are living in the historic district, “so I have no commute.”

“This is one of the most beautiful bookstores I’ve seen in my life.”



Rowan health director: Use proven precautions to slow outbreak


Good Vibes only: Local designer making hundreds of facial masks for health professionals

China Grove

Easter bunny abides by social distancing rules during China Grove ride-by event


City council to meet electronically Tuesday, consider new meeting policies


Volunteers will step in to help feed students over spring break


Deceased mom’s delayed COVID-19 test results left family in uncertainty


Biz Briefs: Food Lion donates $3.1 million for critical needs


RCCC offers tips for transitioning to online studies


COVID-19 causing couples to postpone wedding parties for later dates


‘Health is wealth’: Professionals urge people to take care of mental health during COVID-19 pandemic


State to provide $350 a week for COVID-19 related unemployment


‘Kept our masks on’: Salisbury couple made rapid return to US as COVID-19 spread




Businessman challenges local companies to contribute to COVID-19 Relief Fund


County commissioners asked to schedule public hearing for local business tax incentive


Granite Quarry-Faith Police looking for missing 15-year-old


Schools to cut back on meal distribution after spring break to reduce coronavirus exposure


Americans urged to wear masks as dramatic steps to combat virus roll out


Legislative economist predicts billion-dollar hit to state revenue


Blotter: April 4


Rowan County reports 44 positive COVID-19 cases


Police: Victim argued with someone before shooting in Jersey City neighborhood


Thieves hit 13 vehicles in three Salisbury apartment complexes


Local survey indicates most businesses impacted quickly by COVID-19