Loading articles...

Vancouver bookstore trades book for sugar for friend in need

Last Updated Apr 15, 2020 at 9:56 am PDT


A Vancouver bookstore owner accepted sugar as payment for a book after finding out a woman had more than she needed

Sara Bynoe had a lot of sugar on hand after a friend bought a bag from Costco

The owner of Pulp Fiction Books says he accepted the sugar after finding out his friend couldn't find any

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Vancouver bookstore has taken the unusual one-time step of accepting ingredients as payment as an uptick in home baking during the pandemic has made groceries like flour and sugar hot commodities.

No, Pulp Fiction Books is not doing it for everyone — you should still support local businesses with actual money. But Sara Bynoe happened to have a lot of sugar after a friend took a trip to the store.

“She got this 10 kilogram bag of sugar because that was the smallest thing Costco had, and then I took a bunch of silly photos,” she told NEWS 1130. “I’ve been trying to get rid of this sugar for a while ’cause I’m like I don’t want to be a hoarder like I don’t need this much sugar.”

Those photos went on Twitter and Instagram, with Bynoe offering sugar to those in need.

It soon came to Christopher Brayshaw’s attention — who owns the bookstore on Main street.

“My colleague says ‘My wife and my little boy are trying to make cookies, but we can’t make any cookies because we can’t find any sugar to save our lives.’ And this lightbulb went off in my head,” Brayshaw recalled. “For a while around Mount Pleasant it was very hard to find flour, but I live in the West End. Flour was readily available there, but there were no eggs to be found.”

So he reached out to Bynoe and worked out a trade: two kilograms of sugar, for one brand new book that she’d been on the waitlist for.

“Most of the people in the neighbourhood know my name, I know most of the people in the neighbourhood’s name who’ve been here for a while,” Brayshaw said, adding what he did was the kind of thing you do in a tight-knit community.

Brayshaw says while he’s happy he could help a friend out, as well as a customer, this situation comes down to a lucky coincidence.

“My landlords will not accept barter goods, and my creditors wont either.”

As for who got the better end of the deal

“I think I came out as a win in this,” Bynoe said, jokingly. “I really wanted that book.”