The next chapter

The next chapter

The Maria’s family: Peter, Evan & Andrea


Booklovers near and far can breathe a sigh of relief. Durango’s beloved independent purveyor of reading materials, Maria’s Bookshop, will not become a trinket shop, bank or mortgage broker.

This week, owners Peter Schertz and Andrea Avantaggio, who put the Main Avenue store up for sale last summer, announced it will be staying in the family. Literally.

Their son Evan, who is set to graduate from the Colorado School of Mines this spring, will take over the family business.

“I grew up with this bookstore. I’m very excited to step in to learn all I can and lead Maria’s Bookshop into the next chapter,” Evan said.

Maria’s, which is coming up on its 35th anniversary, was started by Dusty Teal in 1984. Andrea and Peter have owned it for 21 years, buying it in 1998. “Finding the next owner within our family is extraordinary” Peter said. “While we have, of course, dreamed about family ownership of the business, we weren’t sure the timing would work out or the interest would be there.”

Evan recognized this as an opportunity he couldn’t pass up and said since going off to college, it’s become clear his heart is in Durango. “I value the quality of life and the community,” he said. “I intend to get involved and contribute to making this place even better.”

Andrea and Peter will continue to work at the store while Evan learns the ropes. “Evan is passionate, smart and eager to learn,” Andrea said.