Dayton Innovation: Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop only Ohio bookstore to focus on food-related titles

Kristina Heaton, Owner of Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop
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Kristina Heaton, Owner of Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop

Business Name: Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop

Location: 3491 Dayton-Xenia Road, Beavercreek OH 45432

Owner’s name: Kristina Heaton

Years in operation: 2 years

Number of Employees: 1

Describe what your business does: Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop is Ohio’s only bookstore that focuses solely on cookbooks and food-related titles. We offer all genres of cookbooks (new, used, and vintage), foodie fiction, as well as food memoirs. Special gifts and unique kitchen finds round out our really fun space.

What inspired you to start this business? My love for books and learning inspired me to open a bookstore. When I started to research the business, I knew I needed to make it special. I found out that there are only 14 cookbook stores across the country, and I feel like the Miami Valley is a prime location for a cookbook store. People are eating and creating at home more all of the time and cooking is a fun way to experiment. Dayton is becoming a food and beverage destination with these emerging restaurants and bars.

How has your business embraced innovation? Learning and experimenting is an integral part to cooking and while I might not know “how” to do something, I usually know where I can find it. I like being a conduit of knowledge.

What’s your biggest challenge right now? Honestly, online shopping. While I do have an online shopping platform on my website, it’s hard to compete with the bigger places. Also, just coming out of being closed for 2+ months and relocating, it’s been hard to get people back in the door. But, I promise it’s worth the trip!

What’s your biggest opportunity right now? I am reinventing the store. I’ve had to adjust my business model (as so many other small businesses have had to do). I want to expand to more titles and fun kitchen gadgets. But, we’ve got to have the interest…

What do you want readers to know about your business today? Once Upon a Thyme Bookshop is a fun destination, come and explore our bookshelves. You’re sure to find something fun and interesting.


The coronavirus pandemic is no match for the Dayton region’s innovative spirit. The Dayton Daily News is profiling small businesses in our region as they navigate through these challenging times. To nominate a small business, email Rebecca.Mullins@coxinc.com.

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