A YOUNG couple from Chard have become the town’s newest business owners after taking over the bookshop.

The store was previously owned by Chard North county councillor Amanda Broom, but has recently changed hands.

Now, Ryan Whittaker and Stevie Kesham have taken on the challenge and look to be embracing it head on.

Over the past 12 months alone, the shop has hosted book signings with the likes of Paddy Ashdown, and organised a tour of primary schools with author Emma Carroll.

Since taking on Chard Bookshop, Stevie and Ryan have continued that work, playing a role in organising for 20 authors to visit Chard Library at the weekend.

“I have been here since pretty much the start of Amanda having the shop,” said Ryan, 21.

“It was only a Saturday job to start with, mostly just helping out Amanda where she needed it.

“Then the opportunity arose where she asked if I wanted to take it on.”

Ryan has been working in the store for three years, and said that he has been a keen reader most of his life.

He is hoping to expand on the book signings and similar events in the town.

He added: “It is good for us, and it is good for the community too.”

The pair already have a few plans in the works for exciting events, but don’t want to give away too much just yet.

“We have had a few chats with different local authors,” said Ryan.

“We are looking at doing a question and answer session, and then also a children’s reading.”

Stevie and Ryan are also continuing to work with schools after visiting Manor Court recently, and said they would ‘love to do more things like that’.