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Time to Think


I’d like to share something with you which happened to me today. Before I begin, I want to say that this is not a moan; it’s just a reflection on the realities of what it is like to be a ‘bricks and mortar’ retailer.

A lovely customer came in, looking for Christmas presents. Two titles had already been decided upon, and the third was chosen following my recommendations. One of the titles was David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang. We sell it for the RRP of £12.99. Amazon (…) currently sell it for £5 – we can’t even buy it for close to that!

Oh dear, says the very sweet customer, explaining that Amazon sell it at a far cheaper price. I nodded and agreed that yes, indeed they do. But, we pay our fair share of taxes, as well as our workers a reasonable wage…and we recommend books for individual tastes.

Nevertheless, she was about to buy the other two books, leaving The Midnight Gang to an internet purchase. I then stamped up her loyalty card, which made it full, cheekily suggesting that the David Walliams’ book would now be discounted, so she purchased it! 1-0 to Chicken and Frog, on this occasion at least.

Whilst I understand that discounted prices appeal, surely customer service and care, knowledge and a diverse High Street are far more appealing? Am I the only person on the planet that doesn’t possess an Amazon account?

It’s just something to think about. If we truly want communities, then we need to support local businesses. And if buying online is a must, surely supporting companies who have questionable ethics is not the way to go.



Posted in blog

Book, book, book

English: Stack of books in Gould's Book Arcade...

It’s so busy I barely have time to breath, let alone write a quick post, but here goes!

We now have shelving in and today, the majority of the wonderful, personally selected books will be arriving at Chicken and Frog.

That is all!

N.B. I told you, I don’t have time…

Posted in blog

Thirteen days to go…









The keys were finally handed over on Friday, which is great because we can get in there at last. It’s also a little terrifying, because we can get in there at last!


We keep on saying naive things like ‘Oh it doesn’t need much doing to it,’ to convince ourselves that the two week deadline we now have is not completely crazy. But it is; it’s doable, but slightly unhinged at the same time.
If you happen to find yourselves pootling along the Ongar Road in Brentwood, you may spy a lovely little shop which now sports splashes of purple and green. That’s us. And if you happen to see a tired looking woman with similar splashes of paint in her hair, that’s probably going to be me. I should qualify the ‘tired’ with ‘happy’. Yes, it is exhausting working full time, being a mum to three radishes (four if you include Mr Frog) and starting up a new business, but it’s also totally exhilarating. After years as a dream, we can see Chicken and Frog Bookshop becoming a reality and it feels good.

The shelving should be in and up by Thursday, ready for the books which are due to be delivered on Friday. Our sign is coming early next week, we’ve got loads booked in for our opening day and the painting is almost done.
I don’t mind admitting that I’m feeling pretty pleased with myself right now. I love the fact that all weekend I have heard people making positive comments about a new bookshop as they walk past and see us working away.


The next couple of weeks promise to be crazy busy. I’ll keep you posted.

Green Paint Splatter Clip Art