A secret behind start of the store

By FATHER ALBERT S. SAM

It was with a measure of sadness I read the article in the commentary part of the OBSERVER on May 8.

The Book Nook started as Abood’s Book Store in 1966. It, as most businesses, has a secret or two and a wonderful background of effect that is not public information. Our mother, Mary A. Sam, was killed in a car accident on March 22, 1965. I had a very difficult time allowing her to go home to God and on a visit to our family doctor, the late Edmund Tederous, was told I should find something to dive into that would bring my life back into a healthy balance. After much thought and searching I left our family business and we mortgaged our home, signed a lease Dec. 2, 1965, and started Abood’s Book Store in the D&F Plaza.

We were very blessed with the acceptance of our store and having grown up in our family business, A. Sam & Sons, knew that no matter what product we had to sell it really was and is about service.

Our focus was on books and service to the students and faculty at the college. We were always better and quicker getting books wanted than the college store. We were very fortunate when Gov. Nelson Rockefeller visited our store and then gave us his support, which encouraged the college to deal with us. I had always had a quiet awareness that I was called to the ministry.

After a time in the business we were able to save enough money to support our four children and graduate school tuition. I was talking with Mr. Phillip Pelletter one day about maybe selling our store and going into the priesthood. A few days later he told me to let him know when I made my decision as he might be interested in buying the store, even though he did not know much about book selling.

We talked a short time later, and he was interested, so he began to find himself at the store very often and I began to share all the details unique to the book business. We both knew that basic business skills were the same in all business; it was the product that was different, and you must learn your product and then apply the basic principles. He was a very good businessman.

There was just one thing that I struggled with and that was the name of the store. Abood is my Syrian baptism name and means “One who worships and serves God.” We decided everything was up for sale except the name, so he and his wife came up with the name “The Book Nook,” and the rest is history.

The people of Dunkirk and Fredonia and outlying places made it possible to get well and also have the resources to respond to God’s call. I am and have been grateful for the wonderful things that can happen in a small town because of mutual relationships. We gave a good product and extra good service and our customers gave outstanding support and success.

The business gave much to us and then to the Pelletters. Thank each one of you, and the many who have gone, for making so much possible.

Father Albert S. Sam is a Buffalo resident.