Yes, someone willingly went into a dark room alone with Mr. Black.
Mr. Black here, dear readers, and this week I sat down with one David Finn and his wife Tanya Finn, an Irish couple who for the past four years have successfully operated their own game store and cafe’: Gigabites Cafe, located in Marietta, Georgia; a rare feat in this day and age of recessions and failed businesses. They have done so well, in fact, that just this month the couple finalized the move-in to their new store location, effectively tripling the space available as well as expanding the business exponentially.
What is their key to success? What does it take to reach such a level of success in what many (including myself) consider a dying store-breed*? Well let’s sit down for a chat and see if these questions get answered…
**Note: When I say “dying-breed” I mean specifically that in this day and age I believe game stores as a whole are on the decline, myself personally witnessing three being closed in my time. It’s a sad fact, but one I believe to be true.
So then, let’s begin.
It is also worth noting David, an avid tournament attendee, has won more Sportsmanship awards than most anyone else I know combined. I don’t know if that’s due to him just being a “likable” guy or just speaks of the kind of people I usually associate with…
You don’t really believe that do you.
“Yeah I do! I could have stayed in the smaller store, but people wouldn’t have had as much fun. It was definitely for the customers and for the people, definitely not the business… Definitely.”
“They treat it like a hobby, not a business. Don’t get too high on your own supply…too much…”
“I die a little inside every day…Someday I’m just going to turn to dust…Also, the secret is to hate everyone that comes to your store…(he laughs). Of course I don’t mean that… Much…Copious amounts of coffee help, though.”
“The ones that always talk in character…Oh yeah, those are just the weirdest…”
Employee: What? there is nothing wrong with that.
Employee: There is nothing wrong with that.
“Oh! The creepy ones that follow me around and don’t say anything (turns to patron sitting next to him, who has been silent the whole time). No, not you. You say stuff… Oh! Or the ones who stand in complete silence then just start talking about random stuff… Creeps me out… And gingers. (turns to patron- a redhead) That ones for you (winks).“
Noticed a lack of gingers around here, congrats. What is your biggest struggle?
“We need to become the biggest and bestest game store in Atlanta! And carry a full range of EVERY game!”
What games do you play?
“Mind-games. (smiles) Just mind-games. But back when we had computers I joined in those.”
What opinions of yours have changed since Year 1?
(Tanya to David): “You said that too?” (David) “Yep.”
The moment holds as he thinks, I am beginning to get bored waiting.
He notices me still typing, despite him having said nothing for nearly a full minute or so.
Tanya gives me an annoyed look as David places his head in his palm, shaking his head.