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Haven has a rich history that spans over a decade. Originally the business was designed to sell academic student textbooks. It was founded by two Carleton students in 2007; this independent bookstore, originally named Raven Books, quickly became a beloved hub for the student community at Carleton University. Over the years, Haven has evolved to meet students and community needs, including the addition of a consignment program, e-books, and a cafe.

In 2019, Haven (formerly known as Haven Books) underwent a major renovation, adding a new café space that not only provided the community with delicious food and drinks but also created a warm and inviting atmosphere for reading and socializing. The café also served as a space for local musicians and artists to showcase their talent, further cementing Haven Books as a cultural hub in the city.

In 2023, Haven Books launched Haven Connect, a coworking space for working professionals and students alike. The addition of Haven Connect has helped the bookstore and cafe reach a wider audience and adapt to the evolving needs of the community.

Through all these changes and additions, Haven has remained committed to supporting the student community of Old Ottawa South and beyond. With a wide selection of textbooks, a welcoming atmosphere to work or study, and a dedication to showcasing local talent, Haven continues to be a staple in the Old Ottawa South and Carleton communities.

History of Haven Timeline

September 2001

Kevin Bozzo and C.K. Chang became roommates in Renfrew house at Carleton University.

Summer 2002

Bozzo and Chang invested their own money into buying the property at Hopewell and Leonard ave., and completed renovations and created advertising materials.

July 2002

Raven Books was registered as a business.

September 2002

Raven Books opened and operated on a consignment basis, where students could bring in used textbooks and sell them through the store. The bookstore took a 20% commission and in turn, students would be able to buy cheaper books.

September 2002

Raven Books was changed to Haven Books to avoid copyright infringement by Carleton University.

Summer 2003

Due to growing business, a new space at Sunnyside and Seneca was purchased to expand Haven Books’ offerings.

2008

The Carleton University Students’ Association acquired Haven Books and business continued to grow.

2019

Renovations took place which turned Haven Books into Haven Books and Café. The store expanded to have seating options and food and beverage offerings.

2020

After the pandemic hit, Haven Books shifted their focus and energy towards the online store. Haven Books offered e-textbooks and curbside pickup for physical textbooks, an ice cream counter, and continued to serve coffee. 

More extensive renovations took place to enlarge the café. The top floor was purchased, renovated, and changed from apartments to a coworking space and a creators studio.

2022

The store returned to regular business with in-store and online shopping, along with an updated and bustling cafe. New additions to Haven were introduced, including art consignment from local artists, vendor markets, and poetry and open mic events.

2023

Haven Connect was officially launched!

Reference links:

Article: Haven Books wanted to shine by Elizabeth Howell at the Charlatan. September 16 2004 

Article: Op/Ed. Editor: Jacques Krzepkowski from the Charlatan, September 23, 2004

Article: Coursepacks cheaper off campus by April Fong from the Charlatan, September 23 2004

Article: Students stick it to the bookstores by Allendria Brunjes at the Charlatan September 30 2004 

Article:https://charlatan.ca/2019/03/07/haven-books-unveils-new-cafe-addition/

Article: Students flocking to Raven Books store by Stephanie Parrott at the Charlatan, September 12, 2002

Article: Campus no haven for Raven Books by Robert Todd, Charlatan staff. October 10, 2002

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