TL;DR: We’re opening a family game store in Lewisburg!
I know the game store didn’t work out the first time: lack of capital and time being the biggest contributors to that failure. The low margins and high labor hours of a game store was just something I couldn’t get past with a new house and warehouse that both needed to be paid off as well as very young children I wanted to enjoy. (Not that I don’t enjoy my now older children!)
4 years later, our life looks a lot different. My girls are now 5 and 6. We’re firmly established in a church; we have some great friends who support us in all our crazy endeavors. Unlike many businesses, Corona was a huge boon to ours (we sell a product used by preppers and survivalists). We’re recently debt free.
The game store now is a chance to be a positive force in our community. My wife and I feel called to a ‘ministry’ but we’ve had a hard time figuring out what that meant for us (no, we’re not pushy, please don’t let that worry you). Our young people are incredibly underserved here in Lewisburg, and so a family game store for us is a chance to reach folks with wholesome hobbies. We don’t want to be a ‘gamer only’ store (nothing wrong with ‘gamers’, I am one; but I hope y’all know what I mean). We want to be a family place where folks don’t feel weird playing checkers or Uno at our tables. We want to offer fun games to folks of any background. If that means Chutes and Ladders to some 4 year olds, checkers for 2nd graders, D&D to some pre-teens, and Games Workshop for our hardcore folks, we think that’s awesome and a vision of what we’d like to see.
We’re under contract to purchase a building on the square (123 W Commerce). We plan on having our store part all on the first floor (1500 sq ft), and gaming and event space on the 2nd. The plan is to offer some light concessions (self-serve K-Cup coffee, snacks and drinks, and on the weekends and during events something easy like pizza). Our initial inventory plan is to carry the top family and light-mid weight board games, the full line of 5E and Pathfinder, and whatever miniatures game is most popular here. Plus dice, paints, battlemats and accessories for your favorite games.
We’re not retail experts, so our opening day is beyond our ken to estimate, but I am hopeful for at least a soft opening by Black Friday, and a scheduled grand opening in December. For anyone that wants to see a game store thrive here, we’ll need your help. Tell your friends. Hang out on our Facebook page. Fill out our survey (coming soon!). Let us know what you want to see. Help us come up with our name, that’s something we’re really struggling with! I always pictured us being called Outcast (a throwback to my youth), but I don’t want to scare away the moms and dads of Lewisburg; I want them to there playing with us, not just dropping folks off. So something that evokes family, community, and good times.
Thanks y’all, God bless!