Love of reading & community leads to new Osakis bookstore

Heather Neal, Owl books & brew

Heather Neal is a lover of books.

So much so, that she purchased an empty downtown building in Osakis, renovated it, and opened The Owl Books & Brew in July of 2017. And why not? “I love all the books; my children are also avid readers,” she says.

The Owl Books & Brew bookstore and coffee shop offers new books of all genres, locally made gift items, jewelry, and best of all, good coffee! But why Osakis?

“Osakis is a community that is caring and supportive. It’s a great place for families,” Heather says. Although she moved often after graduating from high school in 2003, she chose to settle down in Osakis with her two children and purchase her first home less than 40 miles from where she grew up.

Heather notes that Osakis is a fast-growing community, but there seemed to be a lack of space for events or gathering places for the younger crowd. This was one reason the large retail space appealed to her.

“I wanted to not only to share my love of books, but also be able to offer that space for the community,” she said. “There is a meeting room available for rental, a large seating area with a small stage for poetry, story time, small bands, plus a small play area for kids.”

“I really want The Owl Books & Brew to be the ‘go to’ place in Osakis for locals and tourists alike,” she continued. “They can meet up, show their talents, hold events, gather with friends, enjoy a cup of coffee, or find their next great read.”

Heather says the decision to not only start a new business, but purchase the building, renovate it, and create enough space for events in this small community was challenging. “It’s been a little overshelming at times, but I am extremely grateful for the wonderful support of the community.”

Heather hopes to continue to grow the business as well as the friendships she’s made since beginning this new adventure. Recently she has been working on organizing events for the upcoming summer season and is also on the lookout for local talent.

So the call is out: small bands, musicians and artists to display/sell their work are wanted at the Owl Books & Brew in Osakis.

Steve Henning