Hi. I’m Walking Bob, and I can always discover something unique to browse through at Newsbeat when I’m downtown. Terence Lott bought the business from three women who had started the newsstand in the University Mall and later moved it downtown. Terence decided he had enough of graduate school and was ready to run his own business, so he took over Newsbeat and began the process of moving the inventory to a new spot on E Street. He asked the people in a church choir he sang in if anyone would be willing to help him move, and his future wife, Janis, was one of the first to volunteer. The business opened on April 1, 1989, which is 22 years to the day from the initial posting of this blog entry.
Terence and Janis were married in early 1992, about the time that they opened a second location in downtown Sacramento. Both stores have since moved and the two Newsbeat locations are now 1050 20th Street in Sacramento and 514 3rd Street in Davis. Their current Davis location is starting to really feel like home now that they have been there since 1999.
Newsbeat is a classic newsstand with a huge selection of magazines, journals and newspapers along with greeting cards, many kinds of candy, cigars, cigarettes, and they are one of the few locations in Davis where you can pick up an “It’s It’” frozen treat.
You will find the typical bestselling magazines at Newsbeat, but you’ll also find hundreds of magazines you won’t find at any other store in town or even at large newsstands like those at the Sacramento Airport. The selection is largely customer driven, and new titles are added as customers request them. While other stores might carry, for example, two or three literary magazines, you’ll find dozens at Newsbeat. Like the outdoors? You’ll find whole magazines devoted to whatever you enjoy doing. That’s true in many categories where you’ll find a multitude of options addressing a wide range of specialty areas within each genre of magazine.
Their card selection at Newsbeat is unique and thoughtful, going well beyond your standard Hallmark collection. Janis takes pride in keeping this section fresh and filled with innovative options that thoughtfully express just the right thoughts with humor or with heart. Some cards even have local photographs to give that unique Davis angle.
Newsbeat is a major supporter for local concerts, plays and other activities, and their front window usually shows most of what is happening in town at any given time. They only use earth-friendly biodegradable bags that are made of recycled materials and only given out if someone really feels the need for a bag.
Terence took his commitments to another level this year with the annual St. Baldrick’s Foundation benefit for childhood cancer research where men of all ages, and even some women, let their hair grow and then shave it off as a fundraiser. Terence went even further and dyed his hair and beard green, which helped him raise $1,000 for the charity when he shaved them off.
The Lotts have a strong commitment to Davis, rooted back in the time when Terence’s parents were key planners in making Davis bike friendly. Newsbeat has been a central place to go for both local and international news for many years and as a result; Janis and Terence sometimes feel like unofficial concierges for the city. As their sign says, Newsbeat provides “Essentials for the Modern Urban Oasis.”
I guarantee you will find magazines, treats and cards that you can’t find anywhere else in Yolo or Sacramento County. Check them out.