New owners take risks to save Christian book store

A Christian bookstore in Springfield was about to close before a North Hampton police officer and her husband stepped in to keep it running.

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Agapé Books & Coffee is one of the few remaining Christian bookstores in the Miami Valley, said Michelle Hinojosa, who recently purchased the business with her husband Anthony. The Springfield book store was most recently known as Beacon of Hope and Kairos Coffee, but the store’s previous owners were ready to retire and planned to close if a new owner wasn’t found.

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Michelle Hinojosa had served as the store’s manager for a year after quitting a job with Miami Twp. police to spend more time with her new born son. If the store closed, she wouldn’t just be losing a job, but also a place she and her husband had enjoyed spending weekend mornings reading.

She never planned to buy the business, but friends kept suggesting it and they started thinking about the possibility. Some churches in the area also expressed concern about where they’d buy some supplies and gift items the store carries, she said.

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“We just sat and prayed a lot,” Michelle Hinojosa said. “I kept saying this is nuts. Finally Anthony and I sat down and we said all right, if this is God’s plan we’ll try and make it work.”

A few months later, they owned the bookstore and coffee shop.

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“We decided to save it, I guess,” she said.

The couple made some changes, including an extensive interior remodel in which they closed the store for just four days.

“It was down to the wire but the results turned out well,” she said.

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They’re also planning to host live music, book signings and painting and coffee nights for customers. The store’s new name, Agapé means God’s Love, she said.

The former Beacon of Hope store had a loyal base of customers and Mrs. Hinojosa said they didn’t want to see that go away.

“We wanted to provide a safe and comfortable spot for the community,” she said.

Even though they never expected to be small business owners, she said the couple have enjoyed running the bookstore so far.

“This was never in the plans whatsoever,” she said. “It’s funny how you think your life is going to go one way and it goes completely differently,”

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