the gamer's torch
Posted: Sat Feb 27, 2010 1:29 am
wtf? a gaming store in pb: check it!
San Diego's Roleplaying Resource
mordraine wrote:Uh guys, sorry to burst your bubble but... they're a boutique not a store.
I know. I was disappointed too.
The Gamer's Touch -- I Mean, Torch wrote:a genuine, old school-style games boutique
that's cool. i'ma havta check that out.Skyman wrote:He lterally has one book shelf dedicated to independent press games like DRYH, Penny for your thoughts, poisoned(pirate game), The Shab-al-Hiri Roach, dogs in the vineyard, burping wheel, mouseguard and so on and so on...
niiiice.Skyman wrote:There is also restrooms.
Skyman wrote:BTW I thinkboutiquemeans store in french as Sam alluded.
Skyman wrote:How did you find out about this place?
Skyman wrote:Just letting you guys know that I went there today and I think you will be pleasantly suprised. BTW I thinkboutiquemeans store in french as Sam alluded.
I got to talk with the owner, George, and he is very much along the lines of a REAL dedicated RPG store...So you wont find Warhammer 40k or pokeman teh Gathering CCG. He really likes Pathfinder 3.5 and is really open to our community but don't get him wrong they have D&D 4.0. I got Spirit of the Century today and the portable Settlers of Cataan. He lterally has one book shelf dedicated to independent press games like DRYH, Penny for your thoughts, poisoned(pirate game), The Shab-al-Hiri Roach, dogs in the vineyard, burping wheel, mouseguard and so on and so on...
He showed me a new board game Tower of Mystery and the card game Gloom for those with a dysphoric bent. There are two tables in the middle of the store that can seat around four or five, enough for a rousing game of any RPG but too small for Space Marines. He runs a Pathfinder and Traveller game during the week. I'm kinda interested in the space opera fun to be honest. There is also restrooms.
I would suggest putting this shop on the front page with Game Empire and Gametowne.
So yeah its in PB and you have people in swim wear and surf boards passing by...get over it. Its next to Henesseys Tavern
Sadohara wrote:Has its exceptional cleanliness yet been noted?
george-gamerstorch wrote:Hi! I'm George, and I have indeed opened the shop in PB you are discussing here. Let me clarify my motives and put the discussion at ease a bit, if I can.
I'll try to avoid too much spamming or too many self-serving remarks.
The shop is certainly small. I have a post about why I refer to it as a "boutique" on my blog (blog.gamerstorch.com), but that doesn't tell the entire story. My intent for opening the store was to try and replicate the type of game shop I remember from the 70's and 80's. Since my intent was to run the shop as a solo venture, and since I realized it would have only "niche" appeal, I wanted a small and easily-manageable space.
Why PB? Well, that's easy. I live in PB, so that's where I am. My wife and I enjoy being close to the ocean and, since we no longer own a car, the walkabout life style here suits us. The space is certainly smaller than I'd like, but it's affordable and close to the beach, so I snapped it up. We may move to larger quarters if the opportunity comes along and it makes sense for the business, but right now 400 square feet is plenty.
Even so, about 40% of my floor space is reserved for tables. You are welcome (should I say "encouraged") to schedule a game there: either one of my demo games or your own campaign. I've been known to provide soft drinks and pizza for in-store gamers. Since the beach is close by, that's always a good excuse, too. Parking sucks, but I usually recommend looking for a space a block or two east of the shop rather than north. South takes you into the commercial sprawl that runs down through Mission Beach, so that's less inviting.
The most important challenge of a small space like mine is creating a viable stock list. That's where I need your help. I usually ask customers what I'm missing, given the limitations of my shop. Many of the games and accessories I have on my shelves are there, thankfully, because of generous suggestions by my visitors. Your thoughts are welcome in this regard.
My motives? Well, I don't blame anyone for being suspicious, but let me clarify that point as well: the shop is intended to be a retirement business for me in a couple of years, but right now it's not a source of income for me. My business plan would drive any consultant crazy. I've always felt that the first 2 years of a game shop is all about community building and reaching out to local gamers.
As you undoubtedly know, avid board gamers and roleplaying gamers are scarce. That's why most shops are aimed at broader markets, often as comic book stores or hobby shops that happen to sell games. In order to survive, my concept of a "pure" gamer's shop needs to penetrate deeper and wider into the local community, as well as to reach out to a larger area. The Web is okay for that, but the local community comes first.
Although I usually quip that "everyone knows someone who's a gamer" when handing out business cards, the truth is that perhaps fewer than one in a hundred of the folks you'd meet on the sidewalk are active gamers. It's rare, and something of an interesting observation, to find someone who is avidly interested in non-electronic gaming.
Mass marketing--fliers and ads in the local pennysaver--is a waste of scarce resources. Reaching someone like you has to be much more selective, much more "targeted," to use a marketing term.
My situation? Currently, I do computer development and support for a company based near Chicago. I can do much of that work from the shop, however I generally start my day at my desk at home at 6:30AM. By 11AM every day, I have the shop open and ready for business, and I usually stay open until at least 8PM. Seven days a week. Best to call and be sure if you're making a special trip out to PB, however. 858-598-3505
I'm in my 60's, so that work schedule is not insignificant for me. Not that it's hard work, but it is a long day. I want my shop to be the best resource you have locally, and I want to be a valuable part of your gaming life. That's the ultimate goal.
Transparency? Note that I've said nothing here about profits. Let me address that. I can certainly afford to keep the shop open for a couple of years without seeing a profit from the business. That's one reason it's small--I can afford it. Any revenue I've seen so far I've put into expanding my stock. And no, as some have candidly pointed out, the shop does not yet earn expenses.
But it's the shop I want to have, and I strongly believe it needs to exist and grow. It's always encouraging to see someone come along who "gets it." Someone who understands what the shop is and why it's important. That makes the effort worthwhile.
Here's the spam (stop reading now if this concerns you): take one of the RPG-SanDiego business cards, or just a blank slip of paper if you don't have a card, and write your handle in this forum and "25%" on it. That's your permanent discount off the list price for in-shop purchases. Including special orders. Forever.
Why? Because you are the customer I need to keep my shop open.
Call it advertising. . .
The Gamer's Torch
Skyman wrote:We really appreciate your support with Hyphen Con.