A classic secondhand bookstore and café …fostering kittens in season.
What's the backstory on the bookstore? And what does the name refer to? Many years ago, Ellen and her husband were pregnant with their first child. Not knowing the gender, they used the working title ‘Otis’. In the end, it was a girl. With their next pregnancy, Ellen ate an obscene amount of clementines. Thus the working title ‘Clementine’.
In June 2011, Ellen Helmke opened a used bookstore unlike any other.
Originally from Evanston and Winnetka Illinois, she attended the University of Colorado for her BA in Spanish Literature and Communication. She completed her MSc. In Organization Development from Loyola University Chicago in 1997. She immigrated to Canada in 1998 with her Canadian husband. Since 2011, she has created and operated a unique secondhand bookstore that also fosters kittens and serves delicious coffee. Her mission is to bring others joy. Ellen speaks Spanish and teaches four classes per week through the bookstore. She has two teenage children who work with her at the bookstore, and in her spare time she does yoga with her daughter and crossword puzzles with her son.