Sparks fly with new romance bookstore in Belfast

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 6:22 PM EDT
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BELFAST, Maine (WABI) - Get ready to fall in love with Downtown Belfast’s newest character...

From sports, to paranormal, to LGBTQ+ subgenres, Grump & Sunshine on Main Street in Belfast has something to pull on every kind of heartstring.

On these shelves, you’ll find a mix of mainstream bestsellers and works from independent authors and publishers. As a small business, Grump & Sunshine recognizes the mutual benefits of putting hidden gems in-store.

Behind the bookstore is Cassidy Gintz, 25. A lifelong entrepreneur, Grump & Sunshine is the latest in her business pursuits.

“I feel I’m somewhat indie as well, I’m doing this 100% on my own. And there’s a lot of authors that do their own publishing and writing completely by themselves, and I feel like we are kindred spirits in that and we can really collaborate and help each other,” said Gintz.

“Building businesses and, you know, going in for myself has really just been my whole life,” explains Gintz. “So, I graduated high school a year early, I opened a pet-sitting business in Florida and I worked with that for several years. And then my family moved to Maine when I was 21, and we bought a bed and breakfast. It’s still running by family, and now I’m doing this by myself.”

Grump & Sunshine is already feeling the love from the community and prides itself as a safe space for all -- allowing customers to shop without shame or worry of judgment.

“I want this to be a safe space where someone can pick up a book and not be worried that their neighbor is staring at them and upset that they’re reading it,” said Gintz.

Some may even think of romance novels as chick-lit, or just written for women, but Grump & Sunshine’s clientele begs to differ.

“Romance books? Come on! I thought I was the only one around here who appreciated them,” gushes one local customer, Bailey Woodrow.

If you’re looking for your next literature love -- no matter what that looks like -- a trip to Grump & Sunshine in Belfast could make for your perfect meet-cute!

For store hours, directions, and more, find Grump & Sunshine on their website.