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Quail Ridge Books Has New Owner: NCWN Member Lisa Robie Poole!

New owner Lisa Robie Poole and Nancy Olson
New owner Lisa Robie Poole and Nancy Olson

There’s a new owner for Quail Ridge Books & Music in Raleigh: North Carolina Writers’ Network member Lisa Robie Poole.

Nancy Olson owned Quail Ridge for twenty-nine years, earning a national reputation for choosing bestsellers and promoting new Southern authors, especially writers from North Carolina. During that time, Quail Ridge has become a community pillar, hosting book discussion groups, writing groups, and authors from David Sedaris to Jill McCorkle (who gave her first reading at the store). But Ms. Olson had decided to retire, and so began the hunt for a new owner earlier this year.

She seems to have found the perfect successor in Ms. Poole, a Raleigh native, mother of three, and wife of Ven Poole, CEO of Waste Industries.

“I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to carry on the traditions of Quail Ridge Books,” Ms. Poole said. “I’ve always wanted to have a bookstore. It’s been sort of a fantasy of mine for a while.”

Ms. Poole attended the 2012 NCWN Fall Conference in Cary. She’s excited about starting this new chapter in her life as a bookstore owner.

“I have two daughters departing the nest, leaving just one behind, and the opportunity to add something to my life seemed interesting,” she says.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, Ms. Poole has never run a bookstore before. But Ms. Olson is staying on for the first three months as an advisor to teach Ms. Poole the business and will remain available to advise Ms. Poole indefinitely. The sale will officially take place on July 31, and Ms. Poole will begin working mid-August.

In 2011, Quail Ridge Books, located in Ridgewood Shopping Center, sold $3 million in books, cds, stationery, calendars and gift items. The 9,400-square-foot store also has a children’s book and music department and stocks about 70,000 titles. In 2001, the store was named Publishers Weekly Bookseller of the Year. That same year, the store also received the Pannell Award for Excellence in Children’s Bookselling and the Haslam Award for Excellence in Bookselling.