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Our Story

Happenstance Books & Yarns has been a mainstay in the heart of downtown Lakefield for over 35 years. The store began as Eleanor’s Yarns and Books under the stewardship of Eleanor and Richard Hayden. As an avid knitter and yarn sales rep, Eleanor’s and Richard’s natural focus was knitting and crochet yarns. Later a small section of the store was devoted to Richard’s other passion, books. Over the years and through successive owners Edna Whitehouse, Julie Dillon and Martha Whatley, the book inventory gradually increased to occupy 50% of the floor space. Julie and Martha changed the name to Happenstance Books and Yarns in honour of one of their favourite books, Happenstance by Carol Shields.


The current owner, Susan Twist, purchased Happenstance in 2012. She takes pride in continuing the legacy the store was founded on: personalized service, supporting and sponsoring community events, and providing readers with quality books. The store’s inventory of fiction and
non-fiction books is always changing and it is Susan’s hope that you will find books here that you won't find elsewhere. Stop in and pick up the latest bestseller or peruse the shelves for an old favourite or classic.


Oh yes, quality knitting and crochet yarns are still very much a part of the mix at Happenstance.