‘Like hitting the lottery’: Local bookstore sees sales spike after Super Bowl Sunday ad

BOONE, N.C. — Foggy Pine Books, a small bookstore in Boone, was saddled with hundreds of online orders when it opened for business Monday morning -- a day after the store was featured in an ad that ran Sunday night after the Super Bowl on the “Late Show with Stephen Colbert.”

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When the owner, Mary Ruthless, came to work Monday, the store already had 500 online orders -- which is nearly half of the books they sell in a whole month.

“It has been a difficult 12 months, but the ad last night was like hitting the lottery,” Ruthless said.

The ad features the voice of actor Sam Elliott and the endorsement of fellow actor Tom Hanks. Colbert said a small business could never afford the millions of dollars to produce and run an ad on CBS Tonight and said big companies are not the ones that need the most support right now, but instead, small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.

At one point in the ad, Hanks plugs the business, saying Foggy Pine Books has books he likes to read about World War II.

Ruthless told Channel 9 the store has not been open to the public since last March because of the pandemic, instead it has had to take online orders and use a drive-thru to get customers their books.

>> In the video at the top of this page, reporter Dave Faherty speaks to the owner about how the business was selected for the commercial.