Two Katonah stores, NoKa Joe's and Little Joe's Books, have been sold to a local husband and wife with entrepreneurial experience.
The sale, which closed on Wednesday and was announced the same day, is to Bedford Corners residents Peter and Gretchen Menzies. The sale is coupled with a consolidation of the businesses. The combined name is Little Joe's Coffee & Books. The two shops are in a 2-story building in downtown Katonah.
“We were looking for a local project," said Peter Menzies.
His background includes having worked as a producer at MTV. More recently he was a co-owner of Table Local Market in Bedford Hills but sold his stake in the business earlier this year.
Gretchen Menzies has a parenting website called EssentialMom.com. Her biography on the site notes that she has held volunteer groups in various groups, including Westchester Land Trust, Northern Westchester Hospital and Mount Kisco Child Care Center.
Asked about the purchase, Gretchen Menzies said they were “thrilled.” She also noted that they have loved Katonah and the book store.
Their sons are both readers and one of them, Tucker, was an intern at the bookstore, Peter Menzies noted. It was also an early job for Tucker, who is an eighth grader at St. Luke's School in New Canaan, CT.
Joining the Menzies family will be Wendy Mitchell, who will be a general manager. She lives in Bethel, CT and her background has included writing for Patch.
The couple purchased the businesses from Jennifer Cook. She first announced her intention to sell in an email that went out to customers in October. It was soon after that an offer was made.
Cook, who had a presence for more than a decade, said the sale was “extremely easy and cordially” and added that they will be a “great addition” to the community.
Cook is also making a job change. She explained that in July she joined a group called Pro Mujer, which is located in New York City and has a presence in five Latin American countries. It provides small business loans, health care and empowerment training. Cook, who is serving as chief marketing officer and joined in a part-time role, will become full time in February.
Noka Joe's was the older of the two businesses and Little Joe's Books was founded in 2011 due to the closure of Borders Books and Music in Mount Kisco, Patch reported at the time. In the 2011 Patch story, it was noted that Cook took over a flower store called Enchanted Florist and a few years later sold coffee and gifts.