Downtown game store invites public to 2-year anniversary event


Customers continue to show up for daily games in the store and to buy games.

More than a year into The Castle Games opening in downtown Seymour, a second location opened in Columbus.

Within the next year or so, the hope is to have a third location.

For owners Tara Hunsucker and Hutton Baird, that’s cause to celebrate.

Today is the Seymour store’s two-year anniversary, and they have planned a special event during regular business hours of 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday at the shop, 210 W. Second St.

“We’re so community-driven. That’s the backbone of our business model, so our two-year anniversary is a giveback to the community,” Hunsucker said.

There will be a storewide 20% off sale and free events that customers usually would have to pay a significant amount for and will be rewarded with store credit, she said.

“Honestly, I’m looking at it almost like a customer appreciation thing than a celebration of the business because without them, where would we be?” she said.

There also will be a free draft event, free food, free demonstrations and a werewolf event.

Hunsucker said the demonstrations will include “anything and everything that is in the shop,” including Warhammer board games, trading card games, Dungeons and Dragons and other role-playing games.

For the werewolf event, she said, “You just get assigned a role, and you have to find the werewolf before they kill all of the other villagers is basically how it works.”

“Our big thing is to connect people with the community that fits them, so we’re obviously like a big community, and then we have smaller groups, so we’re always working to provide people with a play group that they want to have,” she said. “Particularly with D&D and Warhammer, there are so many people out there that want to play it, but their friends group or their family has never done it, so that’s kind of the point of it.”

Hunsucker and Baird also had a one-year anniversary celebration last year, but it was smaller scale with a raffle, food and smaller sales.

Given the continued growth of their business, they wanted the two-year milestone to be a bigger event.

“The response has been humbling,” Hunsucker said. “People tell me all of the time how grateful they are for this shop. They’ve wanted to have a space to go like this for a long time. One of my big things is a safe space for everybody, and we want to make sure that we foster that environment as much as possible.”

Along with selling games, The Castle Games has events every day with Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, Warhammer, Dungeons and Dragons, Yu-Gi-Oh! and board games.

With the success of the Seymour store, the second shop opened in Columbus at 2191 State St. in January of this year, keeping with the owners’ goal of three stores in five years.

“We’re projected to hit that,” Hunsucker said, smiling. “The purpose is to expand our community. The more people that you have within your network, the more that everyone is going to have access to certain things. There are events all over the country, so if you’re able to expand your reach, then your community has more access to those things. We can host larger events, as well.”

Hunsucker said they had a lot of people coming down to the Seymour store from Columbus because they liked the environment there, so it only made sense to open a second shop 20 miles to the north.

“It’s pretty common in the game industry to have what I would call clubhouse game shops,” she said. “They are not very welcoming, they are not very inviting and they tend to be male-dominated, and so people have appreciated what we’ve offered and the inclusivity. We’re a giant family, and we consider everybody who is a customer our friends, so to be able to expand that there (in Columbus) was something that people were asking for.”

Hunsucker said she likes the environment at the Columbus store, too.

“Stores have their own personalities, and our community in each place is a little bit different, and you have overlap, of course,” she said. “We had only been open (in Seymour) about a year and a few months when we decided to open the second location, and it was the right choice, but it definitely still surprises me to this day that it has happened.”

In the past two years, The Castle Games also has added employees, now up to five.

“We do some smaller gigs for people, too, so if someone is looking for some internship experience or some community service or anything like that, we offer that to kids so that they can get their foot in the door and start building up their résumé,” Hunsucker said.

The staff members are more than willing to explain games to anyone unfamiliar with them.

“If you have any interest in learning games, we will love to explain it to you,” Hunsucker said. “Games, to me, have been a lifeline throughout my life. It’s one of those spaces that you can go into and you can just have a good time regardless of everything going on around you.”

As a female business owner, Hunsucker said she wants The Castle Games to be a space to pick up the community that needs it and utilize what they’ve created for the greater good.

For instance, they have helped homeless people find a place to live or helped people when their car breaks down by fixing it or finding a new one.

“This community has done so much to build each other up. … We’re really like a pay-it-forward type of place. If you have an issue, we want to be able to help you and pick each other up,” Hunsucker said.

“This is a community space. We want you to know that it’s for you,” she said. “People become afraid to go into new environments, especially when they don’t know anything. It’s so hard to take that first step, and once you do, it opens up so much for you.”

No posts to display