Big Apple Attorney Buys Local Bookstore on Great Falls’ Central Avenue

For more than ten years, Millie Whalen made an annual pilgrimage to Great Falls, MT to escape the hustle and bustle of New York City and visit friends in America’s backyard. Over the years, it became tradition for her to stop at Cassiopeia Books, Downtown Great Falls’ local bookstore to grab a paperback mystery to read during her travels back to The Big Apple.

When the bookstore went up for sale in 2019, Millie’s friends in Great Falls teased that she should buy it. Eventually, those tauntings started to become a reality. As it turned out, buying a bookstore was a bit more complicated than selecting a good paperback mystery novel.

“That kind of assistance for someone who knows nothing about business, is just incredible.”

Millie turned to the business advising team at Great Falls Development Authority for assistance in acquiring the business. “Jason Nitschke was so helpful. He walked me through – looking at the statements from the previous owner, what was important, what I needed to think about, how far out to plan in terms of this initial purchase, and how to think for the future. That kind of assistance for someone who knows nothing about business, is just incredible.”

“The support I have received from the community has been overwhelming. It was not an easy transition, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

After a move across the country, a global pandemic, and a change in business location, Millie is happily operating Cassiopeia Books on Downtown Great Falls’ Central Avenue. “The support I have received from the community has been overwhelming. It was not an easy transition, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

To learn more about the SBA 504 loan program and how it can benefit your business, email or call Jolene Schalper at JSchalper@GrowGreatFalls.org (406) 750-4481, or Jill Kohles at JKohles@GrowGreatFalls.org (406) 590-1056.