Patrick Neale and Polly Jaffé met in the travel section of Waterstones Bristol, not as romantic as it sounds as they both were Waterstones employees at the time. Neither of them guessed that their meeting in 1992 would lead to an award winning Independent Bookshop in Chipping Norton, now celebrating its 15th anniversary and their three strapping sons.
Polly, Patrick and sons moved to Chipping Norton in September 2001 taking on the long established and much respected Bookshop Chipping Norton from Elizabeth Sleight. After 5 enjoyable years they moved the shop to it’s current ocation in the middle of the Market square. It was here that they developed their dream bookshop; opening it with a café serving Aga baked cakes by their friend Ceci Magee. It’s a source of joy and frustration that the cakes arouse greater social media celebration than the book reviews. The Bookshop developed a strong events program that, over the years, has seen Michael Palin, Ian Rankin, Jeannette Winterson, Jeremy Clarkson and many more wonderful Authors cross the threshold at the Bookshop. More recently they have enjoyed a brilliant partnership with Chipping Norton Literary Festival helping the town come alive with Literary and celebrity goings on each April.
Patrick’s BA Presidency and Polly’s Chairing of the Children’s Bookgroup and time served on the World Book Day Executive, along with her eye for useful and beautiful non book items, mean that they have been happy to broaden the appeal of the Bookshop selling numerous useful and beautiful gift items, including reading glasses, Lamy pens, candles and even slippers (to embody this year’s delight in the Hygge lifestyle phenomenon). They’ve been keen to lead the field in setting the standard for the Bookshop of the future, maintaining that it’s the books that are always Jaffé & Neale’s first passion.
Patrick and Polly have developed a dedicated and thoughtful team who are delighted to recommend their favourite reads while serving a delicious cappuccino or flat white.
In a world of high street homogeneity, lacklustre customer service and internet drudgery Patrick and Polly have devoted their time to build an Independent Bookshop and café that celebrates the individual and applauds the stylish and quirky. Be it the book recommendation, the cake or the gift they aim for it to be of quality while carefully and lovingly prepared.
With this in mind Jaffé & Neale are delighted to celebrate their 15th anniversary on 8th October 2016. They intend to celebrate throughout the autumn championing many of the great books being published. Also as a gift to themselves and as an indication of their confidence in the health of the physical book trade they are opening a second Bookshop & café, in Stow on the Wold, this autumn. More to follow about that.
Championing books that may not be on the bestseller lists and marrying modern technology with good old fashioned face to face conversation, they aim to make the time spent at Jaffé & Neale time enjoyed and well spent. The goal is to cement a healthy future for real books in a high street environment for many years to come.
Happy Birthday Jaffé & Neale.