Trident Booksellers & Cafe was opened on Newbury Street in Boston in the fall of 1984 by Bernie and Gail Flynn. They moved to the Boston area in 1983 from Vermont where Bernie had previously owned a bookstore. That store was started in 1976 at the end of the “hippie turned back-to-the-lander, turned Buddhist, turned entrepreneur” sort of era. The immediate motivation for opening a business in Boston was the birth of a son and the concurrent realization that making a living was not optional in the 80′s. The bookstore-cafe idea took shape because at that time in Boston there were very few places to sit down with a fine cup of coffee and linger over a conversation or a book. There were grand ideas and very little capital and a location that was considered the wrong end of Newbury Street. A mixed beginning at best. Now twenty five years later, “the Trident” as we all call it, is still alive and continually evolving. The constant struggle with money continues unabated, but the pleasure and potential of the Trident bring intangible rewards. In a sense, the Trident is trying to redefine what success in business might be like following the Buddhist notion of right livelihood.
So the question is how can a small “Mom and Pop” business survive in a high rent, high traffic, and highly competitive urban center in the face of Big Business competition and at the same time remain true to the principles of right livelihood? The simple answer is You, the customer, because if you like what we do, you will come back and hopefully make the Trident part of your life. The more difficult answer at the Trident is to stay open to You, our customers, to work hard, to take risks, and continue to change while remaining true to ourselves. We at the Trident strive to create an atmosphere of openness and genuineness. A place where people are welcomed and they can be themselves with dignity. Our products, both in the bookstore and on the menu in the cafe, are reflections of our attempts to follow this prescription for success of the right kind. We thank You for all your support.