Photo by Marti McHugh-Curtis

Illustration by Jenny Campbell

Illustration by Jenny Campbell


The rumors are true! Fireside Book Shop has new owners. Jean Butler and Lori Muller-Zaim purchased the book shop at the end of August 2017.

Fireside has been an important staple in downtown Chagrin Falls since 1963. Sisters Barbara Lewis and Muriel Stoner opened the doors across the street from its current location. In 1968 they purchased the building at 29 North Franklin Street and moved the book shop. The site had been an auto supply store with an apartment above. The space underwent major renovations including reversing the staircase, incorporating the apartment space into the store, and closing the back windows to allow room for more bookshelves.

Mrs. Lewis passed away in 1991 and her son James T. Lewis (Jim) inherited the business and had owned it since then. After over 50 years in the same family, Jim made the tough decision of selling Fireside. He was delighted to find two employees with years of Fireside in their blood to take over. He feels their ownership keeps the shop in the family, so-to-speak.

Jean Butler has worked at Fireside for 20 years. She has held every job in the store and therefore has a vast knowledge of the book business. The store mantra is “Don’t worry if you make a mistake. Jean can fix anything!” You may not recognize her because her desk is in the basement (or the “nerve center” as Phil, the manager, likes to say). Jean is a graduate of Chardon High School and Miami of Ohio. She and her husband have three young children, all of them avid readers.

Lori Muller-Zaim has worked at Fireside for nearly six years. She was hired as the store receiver and her desk is also in the “nerve center.” She and her husband moved to Chagrin Falls in 1985 and raised three daughters in the community. FBS was always a favorite spot for her family. You may know her from her volunteer work with Girl Scouts, CF PTO, and the Case Continuing Education Program. Lori is a graduate of the University of Illinois.

All of the current staff will continue to work in the store: Phil, the floor manager, Robert, Marcia, Nancy, Ann, Carole, Valerie, Lisa, and Susann. Our hours will remain the same: Monday through Saturday 10:00 am to 8:30 pm, and Sunday 11:00 am until 6:00 pm. On Farmer’s Market Sundays we open at 10:00 am.

Jean and Lori have a long wish list of projects for the store. Look for some cosmetic changes in the next year. They also created a new logo and an updated website. Please follow us on Facebook and Instagram!

Jean and Lori would like to thank you for your past and continued patronage. They are very fortunate to have a business in this wonderful and supportive community.

Fireside's new owners, Lori Muller-Zaim and Jean Butler