By Harley Nefe
During Sunday night’s episode of CBS’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert spotlighted the small, locally-owned, independent bookstore Foggy Pine Books in an advertisement that featured the voice of Sam Elliott and the endorsement of Tom Hanks.
While introducing the ad, Colbert said during his show that “big companies aren’t the ones that need our support the most right now. It’s small businesses that have been hurt the most in this pandemic. Of course, a small business could never afford the millions of dollars it would cost to produce and run an ad on CBS tonight, which is why we here at The Late Show have decided to just pick one and just give it to them. Tonight an actual small business that has been struggling during the pandemic will get their very own, very real, high-octane Super Sunday ad.”
Foggy Fine Books bookseller Deion Cooper said The Late Show already planned on doing a segment on small business and about ones that have been struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic and how they have been trying to adapt and survive.
“They have a whole research team for this show, and I don’t know if it was word of mouth or that we’ve had some posts in the past that have gotten a good amount of eyes on them — not necessarily viral, but a decent amount of attention,” Cooper said. “Maybe they saw one of those, but we just got a call from one of their producers out of the blue, and they asked us if we wanted to do the segment with them, and we were super excited to.”
Producers of the The Late Show sent a couple of cameramen to Foggy Pine Books to do the filming of the ad, and they kept in touch with the producers the entire time during their visit.
“They had a clear vision of what they wanted to accomplish, but obviously they hadn’t been inside the store before that point, so they had to plan things out based on what access they had,” Cooper said. “We helped them do all the filming and stuff and adapted to what they were wanting to do, but they had a whole script planned already.”
Elliot narrated the ad and Hanks was introduced as a satisfied customer sharing his opinions about the store.
There are currently three employees at Foggy Pine books, and Cooper said this spotlight meant the world to them.
“The three of us — this is our lives,” Cooper said. “It really means the world to us, and it feels very surreal and almost unbelievable. It’s almost like winning the lottery.”
Last night alone, Foggy Pine Books received over 600 orders after the showing of the ad.
“This means that we have to upscale what we were already doing,” Cooper said. “We’re going to have to hire more people and get more equipped in order to keep up with the amount of orders. But long term, we’re hoping this means that we don’t have to fear not making it through this pandemic.”
On Facebook, Foggy Pine Books has been doing a monthly transparency post in which they announce how many books they sold in the previous month. This number can be compared to the amount of books the store needs to sell a month in order to stay open: 1,350. For the month of January, Foggy Pine Books sold 836 books.
As Colbert said after the showing of the ad, “Now go buy books from Foggy Pine Books.”
Foggy Pine Books is located at 471 W King St. in Boone between The Turchin Center and Boone Saloon. Due to social distancing measures and safety precautions, Foggy Pine Books is not currently open to the public for in-store browsing. However, the inventory is on the website at https://www.foggypinebooks.com/#/, and the bookstore is still accepting orders online, over the phone at (828) 386-1219 or by email at [email protected]. To receive a purchase, Foggy Pine Books has Free Media Mail shipping, local delivery within the Town of Boone, curbside pick-up, and a new drive-thru window available.
Below is the segment of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and the ad spotlighting Foggy Pine Books:
And here is another segment of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert that shows bookstore owner Mary Ruthless’s reaction to the ad: