Excellence on Main Award

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Moonraker Books

Award: Legacy on Main

Year: 2022

City: Langley

Everyone can probably point to that most special place in their community—the place that you go back to when you visit your hometown, the place that some of your core memories are attached to, the place that feels like it is the downtown. A small business can be our sharpest connection to a place, especially when it has stood the test of time and embraced generations of community members. When its impact reaches outside its four walls.

Josh and Glenn Hauser opened Moonraker Books—which is named after the top square sail on a boat—on a shoestring budget in 1972. They fixed up a former thrift store on First Street in downtown Langley, and Glenn converted the upstairs loft into a second floor to accommodate twice as many books. Moonraker is a booklover’s dream shop. And, as any local would tell you, from the moment they opened their doors in that turquoise building, Langley was never the same.

It is clear just how much affection the community of Langley has for this magical business and—probably especially—for Josh herself. Just one example: Langley mayor and the city council declared June 2022 to be Josh Hauser Appreciation Month.

Josh is known as the welcome wagon, a small business mentor, a person of joy who doesn’t take things too seriously. She has built spontaneous social groups to work alongside other merchants, for the purpose of welcoming new people to town, and probably also just for fun. In so many ways, Josh lives up to her reputation of being “The Heart of Langley.”

A business can contribute to the economy, activate a storefront, and provide jobs for people. But a beautiful business—one that leaves a legacy—does those things while also serving as a launching off point, and a warm environment, for building community.