Home > Uncategorized > Family Christian Bookstore: An Unmatched Selection in the Greater Toronto Area

Family Christian Bookstore: An Unmatched Selection in the Greater Toronto Area

Family Christian - Jack Huisman - Burlington Christian Bookstore

If a customer can’t find it at the Christian bookstore in Burlington, they haven’t looked.  Family Christian Bookstore serves an immediate market that includes many of Ontario’s largest cities: Burlington, Hamilton, Oakville and Mississauga, just to name a few, with other customers commuting in from greater distances to shop the selection.

As a fellow-store owner, it’s hard not to be green with envy. I think their music area alone is almost the size of my entire store, and when you walk in the front door, you’re struck by the generous amount of space set aside just to make you feel relaxed and welcome.

Jack Huisman didn’t know we were coming, but even though it wasn’t our first visit, he took time out of a most busy day to provide a “behind the scenes” tour of the store’s receiving and sorting areas, as well as the storage area they use for giftware and giftware boxes.

The store is just off the Queen Elizabeth Way, just east of where that highway takes a turn to wrap around the western end of Lake Ontario; a curve that earns the broader region the name, The Golden Horseshoe. With 5,200 sq. feet of selling space on the main floor, plus a discount section, a used book area, and a wall decor gallery downstairs, the store offers a great selection in all departments, but especially in their carefully curated book sections.

The picture below is of the plaque wall of the downstairs gallery, there’s also a print wall with larger pieces. I realized later we didn’t get a picture of the new book fixtures upstairs, that were secured from Upper Room Books when it closed, and feature a very clean, very logical lettering that lets customers know exactly what they’re looking at.

In addition to running the store, Jack heads up the production of marketing pieces for The Barnabas Group, a collection of stores which pool resources to produce a catalogue containing elements from the Cook and Foundation catalogues, the best on offer from Augsburg-Fortress Canada and HarperCollins, along with some unique products as well.  (We’ve done a previous story on this buying group here.)

Family Christian - Downstairs Gallery - East Side

If you happen to be a consumer reading this, the store is located at 750 Guelph Line (on the west side, opposite the Burlington Mall). It’s worth a visit, and an inspiration to those of us in Christian retail in other places.

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  1. November 7, 2013 at 8:37 am

    Here’s a little-known fact: Under the previous ownership, I maintained their computer network which, back then, was running a DOS-based POS solution and a Windows NT server all running through old-school coaxial cable. It was rudimentary but worked surprisingly well.

    Another little-known fact: When I lived in that neck of the woods, I probably spent more of my money at Family Christian than at any other store…

    • November 7, 2013 at 8:50 am

      DOS is going to make a huge comeback. Remember you heard it here.

    • Jack
      November 7, 2013 at 7:59 pm

      We are still using the DOS based POS system – the company that produces it – Bookmanager – does a great job of keeping the program up to date and adding new features, and they host and run our website as well.

      • November 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

        Ah yes, Bookmanager. That’s the one!

  2. Jack
    November 7, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Thanks for the great write up Paul – it was good to see you and Ruth again.

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