What This Bookseller Did When the Pandemic Put Her in a Pickle

Bookstores everywhere are facing obstacles like never before due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but, there are those businesses and creative thinkers who stand out and try something bold to get keep their shop afloat and flourishing. Leigh Altshuler, owner of Sweet Pickle Books in New York City, is among those bright minds, having actually started a bookstore during the most trying time for booksellers. And, as interesting as it is that she chose this courageous time to start up, what really puts her new shop on the map is its most notable and unorthodox feature: pickles!




When Altshuler lost her job at the McKittrick Hotel, and its production of Sleep No More, during the initial heat of the pandemic, she was remiss to let it get her down.

New York Eater reports:

At first, while quarantining alone with no roommates, she turned to reading as refuge with more free time on her hands. But as COVID-19 continued to ravage the entertainment industry, she stopped hoping that her job might return. She instead took a leap of faith to open her first business: Sweet Pickle Books, which opened on the Lower East Side in November.



“People are always like, ‘pickles and books…what?’” Altshuler says. But this sweet combo is not without its reasons. In fact, it’s always been a dream of hers to turn one of her mother’s favorite films, the 1988 film Crossing Delancey, into a reality. Its story of a pickle shop owner in the Lower East Side always stayed with Altshuler, and now Sweet Pickle Books is her unique way of thanking her mother for “encouraging her to be a voracious reader and a pickle-lover.”

What is more brave than setting up shop for your dreams during a pandemic that seems to send the message that you can’t? Why not jump into a business that fills your soul and your stomach? Altshuler did it!

Visit her shop, Sweet Pickle Books, in the Lower East Side, show your support, and chomp into a pickle while perusing a paperback?


feature image via ny.eater.com