Sonoma Valley Sun


Culinary book sale re-launches Sonoma Community Center lending library

Posted on May 22, 2023 by Sonoma Valley Sun

The Sonoma Community Center will host a special Culinary Book Sale on Saturday, June 10, and celebrate the re-opening of the center’s free Culinary Lending Library. 

The event, coordinated by Sheana Davis, a local cookbook author and co-owner of The Epicurean Connection, is 10am-2pm.

The sale will take place in front of the Sonoma Community Center (276 E. Napa St.) beginning with reading of a declaration making the two on-site lending libraries official members of the Little Free Library, registering them in an interactive directory making books more accessible to the community.

There have been two lending libraries on site for many years. One is a large bookcase in the hall outside of the Rotary Kitchen, filled with cookbooks, and the other is a house-shaped bookshelf in front of the building offering a variety of choices. 

Davis is a long-time renter of the Center’s commercially licensed kitchen for her catering business, decided that the library could use a little TLC. She volunteered to spruce up the culinary library and keep the shelves stocked. In doing so, she found overwhelming support from the local culinary community, receiving over 1,000 books and counting.

In looking for ways to promote this revitalized culinary library, Sonoma Community Center discovered a non-profit called The Little Free Library (LFL) whose mission is to make books accessible to everyone.

Thanks to a donation from the Epicurean Connection and local REALTOR®, Kevin B. Brown of Vanguard Properties, both the indoor and outdoor libraries have been registered as LFL Charter Members which makes them available for discovery in their interactive map. It is a useful tool to build awareness of the local libraries, creating opportunities for learning and breaking down barriers to books.

Davis is a big believer in the importance of the SCC and its commercial Rotary Community Kitchen.

“I have seen many local culinary talents begin their business journey in that kitchen,” Davis said. “From toffee makers to picklers, and every type of caterer, the availability of a commercial kitchen for our community to rent is truly invaluable.”

The kitchen is available for rent by the hour, special events, and private classes.

The sale of the overstock of books on June 10 will help replenish the quality kitchen tools the culinary department depends on for classes. The Little Free Culinary Library will be open daily during the Center’s business hours, while the outdoor library will always be open to take a book or share a book.

Also on June 10, beginning at 11am, local celebrity chef, Lisa Lavagetto, will be teaching her “Italian Favorites” class where students will learn to make (and eat!) authentic Italian dishes. This class is a likely sell-out so please register in advance. Sliding scale is available.

The SCC is proud to offer high quality culinary classes from chefs representing many cultures and skill sets.  

The Little Free Library signs were made possible by donations from The Epicurean Connection and local REALTOR®, Kevin B. Brown of Vanguard Properties. Donors of the books include Sonoma Les Dames, Relish Culinary School, Nancy Cecchetti Sebastiani, Epicurean Connection, Jason Ghiselin, and other Sonoma Valley community members. Most are in new or like-new condition.

Sonoma Sun | Sonoma, CA