Store to offer books and wine

A new bookstore concept is coming to Midtown.

Entrepreneur Kevin Standfield and a partner are turning a former office space into a used bookstore and wine bar at 1330 21st St. The establishment will also sell cheese, beer, dessert and coffee.

"My two favorite things in the world are to sip port and read a book," Standfield said. "I like the idea of our customers being able to sit down and hang out and read a book."

To come up with a name, Standfield stuck with a theme he likes. He’s calling it Book Monkey, like the Yogurt Monkey shop he and a partner opened on Fair Oaks Boulevard.

"I’m in a monkey thing right now. I don’t know why," he said.

Boxes of books sat under plastic Wednesday as the store was being painted. A back wall has already been added. Theatrical lights, a large-screen plasma TV and shelves will be installed in time for the store to open by March 25. The wine bar will be built and outdoor seating added in May or June once a license to sell beer and wine is awarded.

The store has already had a soft opening. The boxed books are being sold for $3. After the official opening, books will sell for up to $10.

"We’re open-ish while we’re under construction," said Tracy Hernandez, the store’s sole employee. "It’s dusty and chaotic, but we’ve still got books out here and lots of finds."

Standfield is opening the store as an offshoot of Holt Concannon, his year-old Sacramento company that sells consigned books for individuals and charities, including churches, through Amazon.com. Those books are sold under the online bookseller Book Quest in Sacramento.

Those books sell for $10 to $30. If they don’t sell within 90 to 120 days, they will now be moved to the bookstore and offered at reduced rates. Some books may never make it to the online bookstore because they’re priced low from the start. Sale prices are kept competitive or low because high-priced books take longer to sell or may never be sold, he added.

Standfield is poised to become 21st Street’s patron saint of books after vowing not to discard any unsold books. He’ll return the books or donate them to Loaves and Fishes’ Mustard Seed School, Sacramento County Jail or another charity first.

"We give them a shot at the big time. Then we try the brick-and-mortar approach. If that doesn’t work, they go to donation," he said. "The landfill and recycling is not an option."

Standfield and his partner aren’t particular about the subject matter of donated books. They are primarily interested in hardcovers, but paperbacks are accepted, too. They prefer old books to new because old books sell better online. That way, they don’t compete with stores or online businesses selling millions of new books, he said.

Under the consignment deal, Book Quest or Book Monkey takes 30 percent of the profit from each book sale, then splits the rest with the consigner. That can turn into substantial cash for individuals with large book collections or charities whose large memberships donate books, Standfield said.

The majority of titles sold at Book Monkey will go for $5 or less. Those books — about 80 percent of the stock — will bring $1 to $1.50 each to consigners. The remaining 20 percent of the stock brings in $5 to $6 per book to consigners.

Standfield is currently searching for the right person to operate and co-own the wine bar. That end of the business pulls in customers but takes a lot of work, he said. He also expects to open a second store, most likely in East Sacramento, before long. If they can sell 50 books a day, he expects to make $250,000 a year from the entire venture. He’s selling 20 books a day now, which brings in $120,000.

Book Monkey will be open daily. Hours will initially be 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. but will be extended to 9 p.m. once the wine bar opens.

The 50-year-old Berkeley grad has worked as a project manager at corporations including IBM and partnered with people to open several businesses, including Sutter Brewing Company in 1993. The microbrewery later changed hands and became Hoppy Brewing Co.

Standfield said he’s devoted to books because they’re a critical path to learning and study — and they’re in danger of disappearing if society as a whole replaces them with online reading via computers and e-books. His love of books has turned into a nostalgic bid to save as many as he can.

"If we had a mission statement, it would be: ‘A home for every book,’ " he said.

 

Photos by Jonathan Mendick and Suzanne Hurt.

Editor’s Note: The Sacramento Press editorial has changed the text of the story. In paragraph 15 it was stated that Tamara Gordon was a partner with Standfield for Book Monkey. This is not the case. We apologize for the error.

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March 17, 2010 | 11:19 PM

Great to have another venue to read a good book with a glass of wine at an independent bookstore!

May 24, 2010 | 9:46 AM

please tell us your story…….

March 18, 2010 | 3:57 AM

woohoo! Can’t wait to check it out.

May 11, 2010 | 12:44 PM

Read the comment s below before you close this page you will be happy you did.

March 18, 2010 | 8:16 AM

yea for independent bookstores :)

March 18, 2010 | 4:20 PM

Would I be kicked out for reading my Kindle?

March 21, 2010 | 2:48 PM

Most excellent! I love seeing more independant places opening up, I think it not only gives back to the economy in a financial way but it also brings character to the City, which is much needed to attract tourism and bring in even more money. No one wants to visit a place that has the exact same things they buy at home. Add in that the locals get a cool new place as well ands it’s a complete win all the way around.

March 24, 2010 | 2:56 PM

I’ve driven by that giant yellow sign that’s so thriftily luring around a dozen times wondering what I’ve been missing. Thanks for the story! It seems to be a business that Midtown lacks and Sacramento will love.

March 28, 2010 | 9:09 PM

This guy is ripping people off. My family contacted him about helping us with my grandmother’s books after she passed away. He “borrowed” 4 books (one was a first edition Ernest Hemingway) so that he could research their worth and also said he could help us sell some of the other books on consignment and would be back to pick up those books. After continual phone calls, he finally told my mother that he didn’t remember what he did with the 4 books but “they weren’t worth that much anyway.” After much badgering, he agreed to send a minimal payment for the missing books. Guess what? The check bounced. I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy is selling other stolen books as well.

April 6, 2010 | 12:41 PM

I happen to know firsthand that this guy is a rip-off artist. Contact anyone he has EVER done business with. He would sell his mom for a buck. Be careful! Oh, and he is the king of bouncing checks. He simply cannot be trusted, just look at his track record.

April 28, 2010 | 9:31 PM

He is looking for partners to invest with him in this bookstore. Tell me more. Anna

May 24, 2010 | 9:48 AM

PLEASE PLEASE report this to the police!!!!!!

May 2, 2010 | 7:04 PM

Anna – While trying to obtain this guy’s address, we got some negative feedback from others who have done business with him. Feel free to email at peptogirl@gmail.com me for more info.

May 6, 2010 | 9:40 AM

Not surprised at all about the other negative comments. Not one bit. Do not invest in this or any other busines with this man. You will be very sorry and lose everything.

May 6, 2010 | 11:07 AM

Thanks so much for writing about him. I almost invested 25,000 in his business. There was something not right about him and at the last mintue my partners and I looked him up and saw the comments from Amy , Vicki and Rene. I texted him that I was not interested and he asked what changed my mind. I said I read an article about him. I haven’t heard from him since. Thanks again. I think this newspaper should have checked him out before featuring his bookstore.

May 6, 2010 | 10:05 PM

His string of bad business decisions dates back about 30 years. There’s no conscience there, whether it’s business or personal relationships. It’s sad, because he truly is a brilliant man with some great ideas and concepts. But they will never be realized because he simply does not care about traits like honesty and integrity; never has, never will. Someone at the Bee should be asking why he has gotten away with his con for so long. They keep printing stories about his new businesses, and then the businesses disappear overnight.

May 7, 2010 | 1:09 PM

I am so glad that you did not invest your money, annemarie. He is so very dishonest. Just dig a little deeper and you will see. It goes all the way back to his college days and continues. Ever wonder why nothing he does is still around?

May 11, 2010 | 11:58 AM

there are a few very negative reviews on yelp, one that is filtered.. same things, bad checks, dishonesty, something just doesn’t feel right. The community does need to know that this is a potentially bad situation for an investor. It is only right.

May 12, 2010 | 8:46 AM

Wow, the truth is finally being told. I have known for so long and always worried for anyone that would be conned out of their money.

July 30, 2010 | 10:34 PM

Contact me now: kevinstandfield@yahoo.com

July 30, 2010 | 10:35 PM

Contact me now: kevinstandfield@yahoo.com

June 4, 2010 | 7:09 PM

I’ve been contacted by at least 5 different individuals who say they’ve been scammed by this man. I stupidly didn’t keep the email addresses. Please email me again and I will put you in contact with someone. peptogirl@gmail.com

Thank you.

July 30, 2010 | 10:33 PM
June 27, 2010 | 2:29 PM

Public Record:
Kevin Standfield was sued in 2008 by the City of Sacramento for bad checks.
He was sued the same year by the Yoghut Monkey partners also.
Look it up at the Sacramento Superior Court website.
You can also find 2 DUI cases…
Before the Yoghurt Monkey he was involved in another yoghurt business on Freeport Blvd. It ended in a fiasco.

July 30, 2010 | 10:31 PM

Throwing darts online is great for those without the balls to make their point in person. My email address is kevinstandfield@yahoo.com. Man-up or Woman-up, don’t hide behind some website. I sis my best before going back into online booksales. Do you have a problem for me. Step?!

August 22, 2010 | 11:48 PM

Kevin, you better be quiet. Remember when you were involved in the Yogurtopia business on Freport Blvd?
One day you were to deposit some business checks and pocketed the money instead. Of course it was all a misunderstanding..
You are very lucky that you have not spent any time in prison (Except one night in jail for drunk driving)

mc8
Avatar of mc8
August 4, 2010 | 4:49 PM

As a business owner myself who provided him a service, we experienced one of these bounced checks. While the amount is petty, I contacted Kevin directly and even emailed him at the above email address to collect and have been given nothing but a run around from him for months. Last time we spoke, I was given a sobb story about his debt situation and he even made a futile attempt to make me feel guilty about trying to collect from him by saying that a relative of his is sick. I empathize for his situation (if it’s even true), but it seems after reading the above messages that there is a pattern of a delusional alcoholic con-man who some day will have his poor business karma bite him in the tail. Kevin, you man up and start taking accountability for unsettled debt!

April 7, 2010 | 9:00 AM

Mr. Standfield leaves a trail of bad checks and lies for everything he touches. He knows it. Just look at how many unsuccessful business ventures he has been in and how many people he has scammed out of their money. Please, do not be fooled.

May 24, 2010 | 9:48 AM

Please please report this to the police

mc8
Avatar of mc8
August 4, 2010 | 4:41 PM

We did a service job for him. We’re a fairly new business, and what do you know… it’s our first bounced check. Avoid this guy at all costs. I sure won’t eat at Yogurt Monkey, and his other business called Book Monkey just closed down after only three months of operation. I wonder why…(I say that sarcastically). Could it be bad business karma?

July 30, 2010 | 10:34 PM
July 30, 2010 | 10:35 PM

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