The name of the café / newsstand is Magpies, a creative take on the two primary products on offer at this Durango storefront.
“There’s only one independently owned business in town at which to find literally thousands of magazines on every topic from advertising to farming, poetry to economics,” writes Jessica Pace in the Durango Herald.
A town favorite since it opened in 1989, the owner chalks up his success to simply offering what people want.
“I believe magazines are very tough to beat as far as a news source. They get more in-depth than newspapers. I consider it the best form of current information,” Tom Mulligan said to Pace.
Magpies offers an eclectic mix of 2,500 publications, ranging from mass market titles like Rolling Stone to niche and small-press titles that have a tough time finding shelf space in typical retail racks.
Not immune to the double whammy of the growth of digital and last decade’s recession, Mulligan saw his share of lean times, and says they haven’t “completely rebounded” to pre-2006 levels yet.
So they sell pies too.
“To combat the ups and downs of print sales, the newsstand markets food and other products,” Pace explains. “But despite having entered the irreversibly digital age of news, Mulligan touts the idea that content distributed by social media will always pale in comparison to the newspaper or magazine in front of you.”
He’s pragmatic about the solution for people who lament the challenges facing print publishers.
“People complain about the decline of print, but the answer to fixing it is buying it,” Mulligan declares.