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This trading post for puzzles, based on the Little Free Library concept, is at a home in Manhattan Beach. Puzzle enthusiasts can take a puzzle to leave one for someone else. (Photo submitted)

Before the coronavirus pandemic hit, a Los Angeles couple created the Puzzle Republic, a trading post for puzzle lovers, similar to the Little Free Library, which has gone global since it was started in 2010.

Where Little Free Library has a goal of promoting literacy and reading through trading books in the community, Puzzle Republic, according to its website, has a goal to stimulate the mind and help puzzle lovers unwind.

The Puzzle Republic trading posts, like the Little Free Library, use hand-made miniature houses placed in front of homes where people can “take a puzzle now;… leave one later.”

The first Puzzle Republic trading post, named the Puzzle Palace, was in La Crescenta. The latest, and first in the South Bay, has sprouted up at 1649 2nd St., in Manhattan Beach, and is named the Puzzle Perch.

“Puzzling is a great at-home, screen-free activity, especially now as COVID-19 has us staying home and relying on our devices so much,” said owner Barbara Siegemund-Broka, in an email. “While availability varies, the Perch generally offers puzzles for children and adults. The Puzzle Perch is a fun way to build community and to share rather than shop.”

Siegemund-Broka said she contacted Luke and Jessica Cheney, founders of Puzzle Republic, and they said they were looking for a location for their latest trading post. Siegemund-Broka said they did not charge her, but she gave them a monetary donation to “help them expand their puzzle trading post idea to future sites.”

“They are generous and creative people, and I'm the lucky person who now tends the Perch,” she said. “They refer to me as their first Puzzle Republic ‘ambassador.’”

Other trading posts are located in Culver City and Lafayette, IN.

For more information, visit https://www.thepuzzlerepublic.com/.

Contact this reporter at mhixon@tbrnews.com or on Twitter @michaeljhixon.com.

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