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Exploring Life & Business with Jesi Gutierrez of Libelula Books

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jesi Gutierrez.

Jesi, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
The idea for the bookshop had been in our minds for years. My family has always wanted to open a coffee bookshop and dreamt of it often. Living and teaching in Barrio Logan for years means you become very familiar with the beautiful iron building across the street from cafe moto. It is a building with so much history, heart and style and we had always joked that that would be the place for us to open up if we ever did. A couple years later, the space became available and we went for it.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
We are a poc, female, queer, and ex-felon owned business, the road has not been easy but it has been completely worth it. Without our friends, family and community we would have not made it thus far.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
We are a small independent bookstore started by two queer Latinx folx, Araceli Hernandez and Jesi Gutterriez, in the heart of Barrio Logan, a predominantly BIPOC Arts District in San Diego.

The shop features both new and used books to ensure accessibility for all. Our intention behind the space is to cultivate a place where people of all ages, but with an emphasis on youth and young adults, can gather, communicate, celebrate and connect in a space that is centralized around knowledge and books.

Additionally, Jesi’s love for books and bookart has inspired a unique bookish environment to encourage folks to view the book from different vantage points. With a letterpress studio (Athenaeum Studio) just a few blocks away, creators of all kinds have another place to gather, share ideas, and talk shop.

We also host community events and have a full community calendar ranging from workshops, poetry readings, music nights, literacy classes, peer tutoring, and private events.

Take a peek inside our small shop and you might be surprised by what you find- anything from the latest best-seller, to letterpress printed books, ephemera, to handmade Zines, or maybe even a rare vintage find. You just never know!

Hope to see you all very soon!

How can people work with you, collaborate with you or support you?
Book donations, financial donations, volunteering…

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: Libelula_books_co

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