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CANFIELD -- A few years ago, Brian Palumbo thought it would be a great idea to open a coffee shop



Published: Sun, July 22, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



CANFIELD -- A few years ago, Brian Palumbo thought it would be a great idea to open a coffee shop that sold writing paper so a customer could write a letter to a friend while enjoying a cup of coffee.

"I started looking into different papers and seeing the variety; I just fell in love with paper," he said.

Palumbo decided to focus strictly on a paper store.

He told his friends to be on the lookout for a small space for a storefront. He wanted something like one would see in the Soho district of New York.

When he found a narrow, little shop on the green in Canfield next to a coffee shop, he knew he had the perfect place.

He opened Seleh Paperie nearly two years ago.

"Seleh is mentioned in Psalms, and it means to stop and ponder," he said.

Stopping and pondering are necessary to absorb all the unusual items in the store.

Right atmosphere: Seleh has a 1930s look. Palumbo uses antiques from that era to display his merchandise, and the music of female jazz singers from that time period is always playing in the background.

"I was going for that old-fashion, yet big-city look," he said.

The store has handmade paper from all over the world along with leather-bound journals from Italy and glass pens and ink from France, but some of Palumbo's best-selling items are greeting cards created by two local artists.

Wrapping paper, bags and gift items are also part of the shop's fare.

"I have a full line of custom-made invitations that are totally different from the average invitations available. The invitations and other related paper products needed for a function can be designed by one of the artists that work here," Palumbo said.

He said being in business can be scary, but fun.

"Everything that I sell here has a story behind it, and I love sharing the stories with my customers. I have customers who just live for paper, and they are always looking for something different," he said.

Coffee shop: For those customers who want to write a letter while they are having a cup of coffee, Palumbo said he will sell them a single sheet of paper and they can take it next door to the coffee shop and write their letter.

If Seleh Paperie customers don't want to stop in the coffee shop, they can head in the opposite direction and check out Palumbo's latest venture, Seleh Flora.

The shop, which opened over a year ago, sells live and permanent flowers, gifts and gift baskets.




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