Our Story

Who we are

We're really cute

Joe & Kelsey

We are Joe Chevalier & Kelsey Hammond, a husband and wife team who have always dreamed of owning a bookshop:  a little place where poetry readings, children’s story time, art receptions, and author readings could thrive in a supportive community.  We believe in the importance of books and their ability to transform the minds and lives of readers, as they have transformed ours.  By supporting our dream, you are continuing the life of downtown Columbia’s only bookstore and contributing to the cultural life of the city.

We met in 2001 while working at Kepler’s Book & Magazines in the San Francisco Bay Area after not meeting for several years.  Joe first worked there in 1995 and then left for graduate school in August 1999.  Kelsey started working there in November 1999 but left for the summer in 2000… just the time that Joe briefly returned only to leave again by the time Kelsey came back.  We finally worked at the store at the same time in September 2001; we went out on our first date at the end of September, and the rest is history.  We have a combined 14 years of retail experience, mostly in books, and we’ve worked in every area of bookselling.

We love the idea of raising our kiddos, Sally (7) & Atticus (4), who are already book lovers, to help out in our family-run small business.  Also they can tell you lots about dinosaurs and dogs.

What’s in a name?
Why Yellow Dog Bookshop?  Glad you asked!  When we first moved to Columbia in 2006, we made a deal with ourselves that after we got a routine down and felt more settled in our new surroundings, we would adopt a dog.  In March, 2007, we visited the Second Chance Shelter and saw a calm yellow lab mix sitting with her legs crossed among the excitedly barking dogs.  We knew she was the one for us, so we brought the yellow dog home and called her Scout, after one of our favorite characters in literature. She’s our wonderful, mellow, yellow dog who will hopefully be hanging out with us at the bookshop every day.

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