FARMINGTON — Andrea Kristina's Bookstore Kaf in downtown Farmington closed Tuesday after eight years in business.

The business' end came swiftly. Co-owner Kolbjorn Lindland posted a note in the caf and on Facebook on Tuesday thanking customers and staff for their support.

Lindland said he decided to close the store instead of hire more staff as Christmas approached and employees asked for time off. Book and food and drink sales weren't enough to keep the business open.

"It wasn't an easy decision," he said. "It really wasn't. It's just time."

The caf 's closure leaves a void in Farmington, where it served as a meeting place downtown. Farmington has other bookstores, including Hasting's and Amy's Bookcase, but Andrea Kristina's was the only locally owned bookstore that also sold coffee and food.

Andrea Kristina's opened in 2004 at 218 W. Main St.

The caf served breakfast and lunch and coffee drinks throughout the day. Many of the menu items had literary names such as the Hillerman Breakfast Burrito and the Bronte Turkey Delight.

Andrea Kristina's had a small selection of books and gifts. The book inventory focused on niches such as gay fiction and poetry.

In the end, the bookstore met the same fate as many brick-and-mortar stores that have struggled to compete with online retailers such as Amazon. Andrea Kristina's recently launched an online bookstore backed by wholesaler Baker & Taylor, but sales were slow.

Lindland said he was proud he had created an atmosphere where customers felt comfortable lingering for hours.


Asked what he meant to create with Andrea Kristina's, Lindland looked around before simply saying, "This."

"We've had tremendous support," he said.

Andrea Kristina's held weekly open mics on Thursdays, missing only a few that fell on holidays during its entire eight-year run, Lindland said.

The sudden closure came as a surprise to customers, who began trickling in to see it for the last time. One was Harry Kassakhian, an attorney from Gallup who often comes to the caf while in Farmington for business.

"It's great to go to a place where you can get a book, drink coffee or tea," he said. "This is somewhere where you're not going to get chased out."

It's unclear what will happen to the location. Lindland and his wife, Margaret Cassidy, own the building. At least one man inquired Tuesday about leasing the building.

Lindland moved to Farmington in 1998 from Norway. Before opening Andrea Kristina's, he had a career working on offshore oil rigs in the North Sea. He thanked his wife in his note Thursday for "her financial and emotional support, making this place possible."

At least for now, Andrea Kristina's closure will leave another vacancy in downtown Farmington. The area has suffered as businesses continue to locate in east Farmington.

Lindland said the location proved challenging. He said downtown doesn't have enough residents or traffic, and the area's recurring problems with public drunkenness deterred some customers.

"Downtown has never received the attention," he said.