Family Business: Jamie Robinson

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Mason resident Jamie Robinson has given her whole life to her community. Fourteen years ago, after her parents decided they were going to sell the family business, Darrell’s Supermarket and Hardware, Robinson and husband Scott decided to carry on the tradition.

“I had already worked here all my life,” said Robinson. “It just felt comfortable.”

Had it not been for Scott’s younger brother previously working there, Robinson may have never met her husband. At the time, Robinson was divorced with two kids, Jared and Tory, on her own. A work party was approaching, and Scott’s brother asked Robinson for advice on what to bring to the potluck. Robinson’s response was a “date for me.”

He took her words literally and phoned his brother. They met at the party, hit it off and were married 12 weeks later. They have now been together for 26 years and have had a third child together, named Lindsey.

They have pursued different business avenues together as well, including opening a bookstore, Bestsellers Bookstore & Coffee Co., in 1997 and a deli, The Vault, in 2008. In 2001, they moved the bookstore to a different location and incorporated a full service coffee shop within. Robinson’s son Jared and daughter-in-law Ashley help run the bookstore and deli in downtown Mason, while she mostly works on all the operations from Darrell’s.

“When you own a supermarket, your favorite thing to do is to go out and eat. We’d always end up at a bookstore,” Robinson said on her inspiration for Bestsellers.

Robinson doesn’t have any plans for future businesses. Next up on her plate is the possible purchase of a liquor license for Bestsellers — the idea of sipping a glass of wine while reading a book appealed to her. In her case, the book would most likely be a biography similar to her all time favorite biography, The Color of Water.

“I like learning about other people’s struggles, whether they be funny or tragic,” said Robinson of biographies.

Along with doing the bookkeeping, scheduling, ordering and crisis management at her many businesses, she also is a member of the Mason Area Chamber Board, an elder at the Presbyterian Church in Mason and she helps with the Downtown Development Authority.

“Sometimes you wish you had more time for days off, but even when I know I can leave, I go to work,” said Robinson. “But it has been a real pleasure to be able to live and work in your own town.”


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Tags: bestsellers bookstore, darrell's supermarket, jamie robinson, the vault