‘Cultivating’ the mind

Published 10:57 am Tuesday, August 23, 2016


MURFREESBORO – The Roanoke-Chowan area’s first bookstore is now officially open and ready for patrons to learn about local culture, view local art and purchase books covering a wide range of topics.

The Cultivator Bookstore is a brick and mortar building with books that you can touch and smell, and dog-ear the pages. It’s located on Main Street in Murfreesboro in a building formerly occupied by Hertford County Habitat for Humanity’s ReSale Store.

The Cultivator is owned and operated by Caroline Stephenson and her husband, Jochen Kunstler. They held a grand opening on Friday night, Aug. 19.

Stephenson said the idea to open the bookstore came to her in March of this year. She and her husband gathered their resources, which included book donations and help from Indiegogo, an organization that offers crowdfunding by allowing people to solicit funds for an idea, charity, or a start-up business.

Stephenson stated that a bookstore has been greatly needed in this area for a long time.

“Local residents have longed a place where you can find culture and purchase books that will broaden your intellectual horizons,” she said.

Jochen Kunstler opined as he was watching people who turned out for the event, “this is is place where people can meet and actually talk.

That’s exactly what everyone was doing on Friday, reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. There wasn’t even a cell phone in sight.

About 60-70 people came out for the grand opening. Pat Clement, director of the Hertford County Arts Council, served as hostess. She shared that the Cultivator Bookstore will be the new home of the Hertford County Arts Council where they will hold their monthly meetings. The Arts Council will also be holding classes and workshops at The Cultivator.

Local artists including Craig Dennis, Kim Hoggard and Selton Vaughan Jr. were present, displaying their paintings. Local photographer and historian Frank Stephenson exhibited his photographs and books that beautifully represent the history of Hertford County. Local author Janice Cole Hopkins, who has written several Adult Christian fiction novels, was attendance to autograph copies of her books that were available to purchase. Hopkins’ books are historical in nature, mostly being set in the North Carolina mountains.

The Cultivator will truly be an asset to Hertford County. They will open daily at 10 am. They offer new and used books and a variety of artwork and handcrafts for sale, including the pottery of James Messer. There is a large selection of children’s books and a children’s play area. Books can be swapped or traded.

There will be open mic nights and free WiFi.

Young and old alike can truly find something to enjoy at The Cultivator.