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Sponsored by: TD Bank
April 25, 2022

SBA Winner: Atticus Bookstore & Cafe

Atticus Bookstore & Cafe
Book store/cafe
Top Executive: Charlie J. Negaro
Headquarters: New Haven 
More Information

Category Winner: Family-Owned Small Business of the Year

Atticus Bookstore & Cafe operates a bookstore and cafe on Chapel Street in New Haven. Charles Negaro opened Atticus in 1974 initially as a used bookstore on the first floor of the Yale Center for British Art. His son Charlie J. Negaro now oversees the business, which employs 30 full-time and 20 part-time workers. 

Can you describe the products you sell? 

Thoughtful books and gifts, specialty groceries, baked goods with locally-sourced ingredients.

Looking into the future five years, where do you see your business? 

We hope to open complementary Atticus concepts here in New Haven. Our recent addition of pizza to our menu has been well-received by our customers.

What has been your biggest accomplishment? 

Staying in business for over 40 years and providing jobs to many New Haveners.

Can you tell us a little bit about the culture of your business?

We strive to be a responsible business for all of our stakeholders. Our sister business Chabaso is currently finishing up its B Corp certification, and we plan to pursue a similar path to help strengthen our commitment to our workers, community and environment.

How have you handled strategic change in your business in the past?

A huge example is how COVID motivated us to pivot away from opening a full-service restaurant to instead opening a specialty grocery store in the East Rock neighborhood.

What advice would you give to other small businesses, especially during this difficult time?

Being committed to the people in your city can be a strategic advantage for partnerships, hiring, and other factors, and can contribute to the longevity of your business.