When you first meet owner of Hearthfire Books and Treats, Kappy Kling, you might suspect that she isn’t a local. After all, her Dalton-Georgia-with-a-touch-of-Dallas-Texas accent gives her away. But stop and hear what she has to say and you’ll instantly recognize that there are few with more of the local spirit than Kappy.
“I used to always joke with my brother that I wanted to move to the mountains and own a bookstore. Well…” she said with a smile, followed by her warm laugh. “I remember going to a local book store when I was growing up. It was a real community gathering place, and that’s what I wanted to do with Hearthfire Books and Treats.” She’s off to a great start!
Kappy has opened the Treats side of the business to school and community groups for parties as well as fundraising events and craft days. She is a major sponsor of the Bergen Author Fair, the Young Writers’ Conference, the upcoming Rocky Mountain Literary Festival (to be held at Mt. Vernon Country Club, October 17th) and, more immediately, will host the Evening for Mountain Reads (May 7th) that will feature local authors to celebrate literacy. “ Twenty percent of sales that evening will go to Mountain Reads, an adult literacy program.” She is generous is hosting book launches for local and regional authors, which enables the Evergreen community to stay current on the latest publications.
During the summer, Kappy and her staff continue to build community through special features during the Farmers’ Market each week, and by presenting the very popular ‘Where’s Waldo’ challenge at the Center for the Arts Summerfest art festival. “Waldo is placed throughout the festival and while families are shopping the festival, the kids keep an eye out for Waldo,” she explained. Leave it to Kappy to bring even more fun to the festival.
While sharing her “life-long love of books” with children, she hasn’t forgotten the adults. “We have great coffee and smoothies, and welcome regular book groups, or just friends who want a place to gather,” to Hearthfire. She designed a separate, closed-off area specifically so that people can hold meetings and not be disturbed by other activity.
Before her move to her ‘dream’ of running a bookstore in the mountains, Kappy had quite another exciting life. She worked for a consumer package company, and then did market research for A.C. Nielsen. She then accepted a two-year contract to work in Australia. “I was based in Sydney. I was completely by myself so whenever I had time off I would find some place outside of Sydney and I would go exploring. I loved every minute of it.” Kappy “got to travel all over the country. It was fantastic.”
Just when Kappy thought that life couldn’t get any better, she had her daughter Katie Ann, currently a fourth grader at Bergen Valley. “She has a safe place to come after school. She and her friends can walk over here and hang out. We’re very happy here.”
In addition to her love of reading, she also loves to explore new areas, travel and hike. Running is a ‘little’ part of her life as well; she has run no less than 20 marathons, and has done the New York Marathon four times.