Minneapolis’ Once Upon Crime bookstore needs help

“We do about 60 author events a year that attracts a lot of people."

Edgar Linares
November 28, 2018 - 6:47 pm

By Edgar Linares


A bookstore in southwest Minneapolis is asking the public for help before they have to close down for good. 

Devin Abraham is the manager of Once Upon A Crime, the mom and pop-owned bookstore in the city's Whittier neighborhood at 26th and Lyndale Avenue South. 

“We have a tiny kids section and a tiny true crime, but the rest of the books we have are mystery fiction,” said Devin.

By Edgar Linares

Her parents, Dennis Abraham and Meg King-Abraham, bought the store in 2016. They both work full time jobs and leave the store’s business up to Devin. She said they spent nine months negotiating the store’s sale before making the final purchase.

“We ended up taking out a personal loan and an I-O-U to the previous owner for $50,000,” said Devin. 

She said right away they started facing financial struggles with the installation of a bike lane on 26th Street, which reduced their parking. Then, a ruptured water line destroyed $2,000 worth of books. But Devin says what’s really hurting their bottom line is the $50,000 I-O-U to the previous owner. 

“We’re almost out of our line of credit. But we’ve run the numbers and we know that if we didn’t have to pay back those $50,000 we would be a solvent business,” said Devin.

Therefore, they turned to GoFundMe for help and in one day, they raised more than $10,000. Word of the closure is being shared on social media, primarily driven by community members and local authors.

“We do about 60 author events a year that attracts a lot of people, getting signed books, getting local books. Local is huge for us,” said Abraham. “It’s books that we carry that no one else has.”

Once Upon A Crime’s lease is up on April 1, 2019, so they have until then to raise the $50,000 needed.

By Edgar Linares