Buffalo Bookstore/I Love You Food Market

A bookstore that promotes reading culture in remote villages and empowers disadvantaged children.

Education | Food & Agriculture

Enterprise/business philosophy and objectives of the founder 

Buffalo Bookstore and I Love You Food Market is a multipurpose space combining agriproducts, food, restaurants, coffee, and books. Buffalo Bookstore can’t be discussed without first mentioning Buffalo Book Co. After Luo Wen-jia quit his political career and took over Buffalo Book Co., he moved all the books to the warehouse of his old home located in Xinwu District, Taoyuan, and started to run a not-for-profit bookstore that allowed rural kids to borrow books. In order to achieve business sustainability, he opened another bookstore in Taipei and, hence, began the diversification of his bookstore business.

History of development/business model 

Buffalo Bookstore sells books and farmers’ markets sell vegetables. At Buffalo Bookstore, located on Rui-An Street, customers can drink coffee and read books, as well as buy agriproducts or enjoy French cuisine at the neighbouring I Love You Food Market. Customers (readers) are provided with a variety of choice.

I Love You Food Market sells environmentally-friendly agriproducts and uses its profit to support English and percussion classes in the rural districts of Xinwu and Guanyin. At the moment, the farmers’ market, bookstore and restaurant each account for 30% of total revenue.

Creating social value/mitigating social problems 

Luo Wen-Jia first tried to set up the not-for-profit Buffalo Bookstore aimed at providing more reading opportunities to rural children in his hometown. To make sure that his plan could be securely executed, he later started another bookstore in Taipei, where not only smallholders’ agriproducts are sold but also creative French cuisine. People who want to read a book, contemplate life, have a nice meal or buy fresh vegetables all gather at this bookstore that overturns general perceptions about bookstores and raises public awareness about the value of locally grown produce.

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