Dear Treasured Friends and Customers,

After 26 glorious years, 14 of them spent happily inside Aroma café, Portrait of a Bookstore is gracefully retiring. How could we say goodbye after 26 years of such success? In the words of Orson Welles, “If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story.” This is our happy ending. Our official closing date is May 17, 2012.

On May 17, 1986, Julie and Frank von Zerneck, along with their children Danielle and Frank, Jr., gave birth to this bookstore, which grew to be a haven, a home-away-from-home, for so many members of this community. One of the smallest bookstores in the world, “small but mighty,” as we’ve always been called, our selection of books was impeccably curated, worthy of the praise of any astute bibliophile. Our gift shelves were always laden with the best greeting cards in town, beautiful toys, jewelry, gifts for the home, gifts for readers and writers, gifts for the heart and soul, even gifts for people who had no more use for gifts. Each of these was chosen with the utmost care, with our beloved customers’ tastes and needs in mind. “Everyone who walks in through that door is a guest in our home,” has, for all these years, been Julie’s mantra. And, indeed, this was our home and you have been our family.

Over the years, we have watched local writers work in our garden on their manuscripts, get published and arrive on bestseller lists. We have watched babies come into the world, learn to read in our children’s nook and grow up to start families of their own. We have cherished every moment of our time in this community. Surrounded by love, support and inspiration for the last 14 years inside Aroma Café, we have loved, most of all, being here to listen to each person passing through share the details of their lives with us. Each of you has been incredibly special to us. We will remember forever and ever the years that we were blessed enough to live at 4360 Tujunga Avenue.

Thank you, each and every one of you, for the years, the memories and the love.

-- Julie and Frank von Zerneck, Danielle von Zerneck, Frank von Zerneck, Jr., Lucia Silva, Aida Chaldranyan, BJ Hegedus, Donna DeLacy, Lilly Holden, Jane Goe, and the rest of the POAB Staff