Our story started in November 1991 when Joan Lucey opened a small book shop in Macroom, County Cork. Although it was thriving, Joan decided after a while that she needed a new challenge. When she heard that the building on Bridge Street in Cork City was up for sale, Joan took a chance and opened with 1800 square feet of retail space. About six years after opening, and following a few extensions, there was 5000 square feet of space available in the shop.
Vibes and Scribes soon carved a niche for itself as it did not directly compete with the big chain shops. Instead, Joan focused on supplying her customers with good quality bargain books and she also dealt in second hand books. She found that the people of Cork appreciated a place to find books on more unusual topics such as mind, body & spirit, cult authors, philosophy, art and even erotica for the more discerning customer.
As the support for Vibes and Scribes on Bridge Street grew and grew, Joan was prompted to open another shop on Lavitts Quay, also in Cork City. She decided to try out some arts and crafts supplies to complement the books. It was a difficult transition to incorporate and a complicated area to get to grips with, but the products proved popular with the customers.
Due to the success of the arts and crafts side of the business, Joan then expanded into fabric, wool, yarn, haberdashery and upholstery supplies. These areas have been very well supported as many people are getting back into making and repairing clothing and household items themselves.
In 2011 Vibes and Scribes received the ‘small to medium business of the year’ award from the Cork Business Association and we were also shortlisted for the Bord Gais Irish Bookshop of the Year awards.