Vineyard Style Magazine, Capturing the Essence of Martha's Vineyard Living SUBSCRIBESUBSCRIBE


Bunch of Grapes Bookstore
Turns the Page and Starts a New Chapter

By Olivia Cameron

Almost exactly nine years ago, Molly Coogan started work for then owner Dawn Braasch at the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, first as the events coordinator, then as the manager. Braasch bought the beloved staple, located on Main St, Vineyard Haven, in 2008.  

“I feel very lucky to have worked at the store as long as I have, and work towards this transition with Dawn,” says Coogan. “I’ve been the book buyer for a couple years, and I’ve been able to see what works and move towards making that ideal bookstore for the island, really getting to that point with Dawn’s guidance.”

She knew Braasch planned to sell the Bunch of Grapes, and she and her husband, Brendan Coogan, who teaches at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School, decided they had to purchase it. “The more I thought about it, the more I realized there wasn’t really anything I’d rather do than stay with the store,” says Coogan. She’s always worked with words in some capacity, and owning a bookstore feels like a fulfillment of a dream. Her parents were big readers, their house filled with books. “When we’d come on vacation it was always the first stop to stock up for the weeks ahead. I’ve been coming to this place my whole life.”

The biggest change people will notice in the store is the addition of Bookmark, the cat. Coogan also plans to continue to be the great local resource that people have loved for decades, to do her best to bring in and expand on what people want to read, or to make an effort to source it for them “We want people to feel comfortable and like the bookstore as a reflection of their interests and passions.”      

She counts herself lucky to be part of a supportive community that embraces the idea of shopping locally, enabling Bunch of Grapes to stay open as an important resource. The bookstore isn’t just for buying books, but also a place where people can come and talk about books, attend events, bond over shared interests. “It’s what’s called a third place,” says Coogan. “There’s home, and there’s places you have to go, and then there’s that third place, a place you can go and connect with community.”  

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, 23 Main St. ,Vineyard Haven, 508-693-2291,