More than a Bookstore

With a dream of enriching the life of the Amelia Island community through the arts, Story & Song Bookstore Bistro launches its next chapter with a new non-profit foundation.

Something exciting is happening at Story & Song Bookstore and Bistro: the formation of a new non-profit foundation focused on the creation of a center for arts and culture. Founders Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman are inviting the community to participate in growing the foundation. To kick things off, a generous donation from Betty Berkman allowed the foundation’s Board of Directors to hire Robin Cormier as its first Executive Director. Cormier brings broad senior executive experience to the foundation.

“Because Donna and Mark have so many devoted fans who want to contribute to the mission, they will be able to expand their impact throughout the community,” says Cormier. “The generosity of donors has shown how much support Mark and Donna have in their work. What started as a retail business has grown into a community service organization that has helped people in so many ways.”
Mark and Donna Paz Kaufman have always been grounded in the arts, and when they relocated to Amelia Island in 2005, along with their bookstore training and consulting business, they immediately started “An Evening of Story Song” at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, a concert series that was a huge success.

Their experience helping people open bookstores ignited their dream of the perfect bookstore, a vibrant social center that would be more than a bookstore. They envisioned a community hub offering not only a state-of-the-art bookstore but a variety of experiences, including concerts, performances, lectures, author events, luncheons, and so much more.

When a property offering the perfect combination of space opened up in Amelia Park, they grabbed it, and Story & Song Bookstore Bistro opened in 2018. The two-story building offers a dynamic bookstore with a busy bistro serving brunch and lunch, as well as catering for special events. On the second floor is a flexible performance space seating 125. In addition, the second floor offers gallery opportunities for local artists.

The “Wings Mural” courtyard is a favorite place to meet up with friends and enjoy a tasty meal. Inspired by the bookstore’s favorite cookbooks, the Story & Song Bookstore Bistro menu is a celebration of the culinary arts. There is always a quiche of the day, unique salads and delicious soups, or a glass of one of their signature wines.

Saturday morning Story Time attracts children and families. Conversations are inspired by book group discussions, TED Talks, and independent film nights. Musicians from around the world come to perform. Story & Song has become a venue for the Community Jazz Band, Amelia Island Jazz Festival, Amelia Island Opera, Amelia Island Chamber Music Festival, Dance Festival, and others.

Robyn Lamp, founding member of Amelia Island Opera, shares, “Without the support, guidance, and passion of Mark and Donna, Amelia Island Opera might not have had such an easy time weaving itself into Amelia Island’s cultural fabric.”

Story & Song Bookstore Bistro is now adding another chapter to its already proven success. Through its new foundation, the Amelia Island arts community will enjoy even more opportunities to showcase its talents. Donations to Story & Song Center for Arts & Culture are tax deductible.

For more information, visit Story & Song’s new website at or contact Robin Cormier at or by phone at (703) 635-0730.