In August of 2016, Dr. Stephanie Gordon was floating in the lake with her Leadership Georgia classmates when she was challenged to state what new business she would start if time and money were no object. She boldly (and maybe foolishly) reported she “would open a bookstore, with a bar, and an event space to hold book club meetings and community gatherings.”
This would have all ended here, except this company is the type to hold you to your word. The more they discussed the bookstore, the more real it became in her mind. That night, Story on the Square was born. The bar, Rough Draft, was named soon after. And the next week, Stephanie and her husband, David Jongebreur started looking for the perfect property.
They knew they had to be on the Square in their hometown for the foot traffic and centralized location, and soon closed on a beautiful historic building built in 1900, originally the Masonic Lodge. The building has proven to be a challenge, but luckily, David has a background in architecture and building construction. The plans were drawn up by Lori Bork who specializes in historical renovations, while David and his friends performed demolition on the entire 12,000 square feet over the three floors.
While construction was underway, Stephanie joined the American Booksellers Association, and attended a meeting for prospective bookstore owners at their annual meeting in January. She engaged at Bookstore Bootcamp in Amelia Island in April, beginning her immersion into a whole new career.
She is navigating a new language, a new tribe, and are excited to bring you Story on the Square as soon as construction is complete.
Stephanie is implementing all of this as she continues to run her private medical practice in Henry and Rockdale Counties. She also serves on the Board of Directors at the Haven House, the domestic violence shelter, and on the Board of the Ferst Foundation, a local literary non-profit that raises money and distributes free books monthly to Henry County children aged 0-5. She is the sponsor of the Reading Bowl team at Union Grove Middle School, plays tennis and kickball, and is a mom to Ella (age 15), Annie (age 14), and Molly (age 11) who attend Union Grove school.
Sarah San Juan is a full-time Manager and Bookseller at Story on the Square. She comes to us from Virginia originally, where she was born and raised. After graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University, she began working as a casting assistant for AMC. In 2015 she relocated to Atlanta and has worked on various television shows for Bravo, AMC and E! Network as a media manager. Recently she moved to Griffin to build a tiny house!
With a degree in Global Film Theory, she thoroughly enjoys “reading" foreign films. In her spare time she is usually found exploring and photographing nature, taking headshots for actors, watching documentaries, or reading a great sci-fi book. She brings to our store her passion for literature, education, and love for local business.
This year she hopes to self-publish her own collection of poems, photographs and drawings.
Deanna is a military brat who moved back to McDonough in 2015. She went to Marshall University in West Virginia where she received her bachelor's in Public Relations and her Master's in Health Care Administration. She worked in human resources for mental health homes and flu clinics with a focus on recruitment and hiring. Deanna enjoys fiction especially contempoary, thriller, and mystery. When Deanna isn't reading she is drinking lots of coffee, traveling to see her friends and going to concerts, running, and hanging out with her family.
Nannette has a Florida heart but has lived in McDonough for over a decade. She graduated from Union Grove High School in 2016 and is currently a Junior at Georgia State University studying Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies and Psychology. If she's not at school or Story on the Square, she's probably watching YouTube with her precious puppy, Zella.
Nannette reads anything written by John Green, Roxane Gay, and Haruki Murakami and will never turn down a Young Adult fantasy novel.
Abigail is a McDonough native, and grew up with a deep passion for books. She has a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, GA, and is pursuing her Masters of Library and Information Science. Through her college and work in libraries, her passion transformed into a desire to connect people with books and to help every person find Their Book. When she’s not reading, Abigail enjoys writing fiction, painting, crafting, and various other Jane Austen-esque pastimes. She loves historical drama films, folk music, and her house-cougar Moe. Her favorite book is Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, and her favorite book series is The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater.
Katlin is the chattiest bookworm you'll ever meet. Growing up, the only way to quiet her down was to hand her a book, and to this day the practice remains the same. Married mother of one (so far), Katlin graduated Georgia State University in 2012 with an English degree that focused on the construction of every type of document. After a brief three year adventure to Walt Disney World where she worked as an attractions trainer, she returned home to Henry County and is excited to help others discover their passion for reading at Story on the Square. When she's not reading or writing, she pretends to be a craft fairy, flitting from project to project in between playing with her son, Bennett, and her two pups.
Everytime she reads a new novel, Katlin has a new favorite, but The Night Circus will always be at the top of her list.
Jane Mobley is a part-time book seller at Story on the square. She has lived in Henry County for the past forty-four years. She holds a BS. in Education, and an M.Ed. and Ed. S in school library media. Jane enjoys mysteries, thrillers, and children’s books. Jane also enjoys writing mysteries and short stories, three of which have been published in the Heritage Writers’ 2nd anthology. She also enjoys hand embroidery, rescuing shelter dogs, and spending time with her grown children.