History

Orca Books is the largest independently-owned bookstore that is located in the heart of downtown Olympia, right next door to City Hall on 4th Avenue. We stock new and used books, cards, and journals, and are proud to carry many locally-produced items by Olympia artists and craftspeople. The bookstore has been around for nearly 30 years, when the current owner Linda Berensten purchased it from her father, William (Bill) Foster. 

The decision to form a cooperative was made in early 2019. After almost 3 decades of running a successful bookstore, Linda is ready to retire, but wants to ensure that the store stays open long after she’s gone. After discussions with her employees, everyone decided that the best course of action was to transform into a member-owned cooperative, so that the store can remain open and continue serving the needs of the Olympia bookworm community.