For most of their 35 years in business, Women & Children First proprietors Ann Christophersen and Linda Bubon have been two of Chicago’s most prominent and media-covered independent booksellers. They had been considering a sale of their feminist-focused Andersonville staple since 2012, but now ownership is being passed to current store manager Sarah Hollenbeck and her colleague Lynn Mooney.

New Women & Children First owners Sarah Hollenback and Lynn Mooney

New Women & Children First owners Lynn Mooney (l) and Sarah Hollenbeck (r), via Ross Forman/Windy City Times

“Women & Children First is an incredibly important part of the locally-owned, independent business community that has made Andersonville a national model for other cities and towns,” Jason Cox, associate director of the Andersonville chamber of commerce, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that it will continue on not just as a bookstore, but as a vital neighborhood institution.”

Christophersen begins her retirement in August. Bubon will work at the store part-time.

In a letter, the two acknowledged that “these are challenging times for brick-and-mortar stores as well as for print books,” and asked for continued support from the community.

“Together we have created—and will continue to create—this welcoming village that is so important to all of us who have decided to belong and help make it our own,” they wrote.

“This has been an extraordinary, satisfying journey. Thank you all for your support, confidence and love.”