• Sean and Carolette Liburd



Knowledge Bookstore, a Black-owned business in Brampton has been enriching minds since 1997!

Sean and Carolette Liburd are avid readers, community servants, African-centered education enthusiasts, and the owners of Knowledge Bookstore. They sell African Canadian, African American, Caribbean, and Children books. In addition, they also offer Black dolls, greeting cards, DVDs, beauty products, and gift items not readily available in mainstream stores. Located in downtown Brampton, this community-based bookstore has been in operation for 23 years!

In an industry that is monopolized by Indigo Books, and in more recent years has also grown to include online stores such as Amazon, Sean remains unfazed. He explains, “I don’t really think about Indigo. I focus in on my specialty, African-centred books. I know my niche better than Indigo does and that’s my advantage. We stock books that Indigo wouldn’t and our clients know that. Also, we focus on building relationships with our clientele. It makes us more than just a bookstore.”

Extending beyond the products they sell, the Knowledge family is important to Brampton because of their care for the community. Sean takes the time to mentor young Black men every year and provides opportunities for volunteers and co-op students. In addition, they have given scholarships to young men and women going on to college or university. The Liburds are always willing to lend a helping hand, a listening ear, be a sanctuary, or give a referral. Remembering just one example of their impact, Sean says, “In mid-September 2020, a young man visited us to introduce himself as someone that we have spoken to. We sent numerous books that played a pivotal role in his transformation over the 21 years he was incarcerated.” The Knowledge team is an inspiration and example of just how impactful community-minded small businesses are in a city like Brampton.

Despite being in business for as long he has, Sean participated in the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre’s (BEC) Starter Company Plus Program to continue the work of learning. The program offers one-on-one guidance from the BEC business advisors, networking events, and a myriad of business workshops. Sean says, “as a small business owner, sometimes you’re in your head a lot. I enjoyed the training and homework we had because it reminded me to re-implement some key business practices in the bookstore.”

Sean’s advice for anyone looking to start their entrepreneurship journey is to, “find someone that has been doing what you want to do. There’s so much that you don’t know until you start the business and they’ll be able to help you along the way. Also, make sure you have a business plan and consistently take time to evaluate your progress.”

Knowledge bookstore has been in business for two very transformative decades and one thing that remains constant is their dedication to serving members of the Black community and anyone who would like to learn about Black history and culture. They are located at 177 Queen Street West in downtown Brampton or online at www.knowledgebookstore.com. They are also launching a new monthly subscription website focused on providing a wide range of children’s books. Through this new Shopify site, www.encourageyoungminds.com, they hope to help people establish consistent knowledge development at a young age. You can reach them at (905) 459-9875 or sales@knowledgebookstore.com.