Friday, August 8, 2014

Interviews are like wine, better with age: Hero's Emporium (PopCon)

Hello World! I'm so happy to have your beautiful faces back to read the amazing words I place on the web!

I must apologize for the long hiatus, it has been a busy few months with work, trying to socialize, and just have been fighting the extreme urge of wanting to be a couch potato. Luckily I have made a few good friends and have a brother in law that pushes me out of my zone to finally urge me to get in the seat and get back to blogging!

And why not? It's about to get busy in Indy! Let's just consider the last two months my "summer" vacation and class is back in session!

Before I begin my journey of blogging again, I must fulfill an obligation. On the last day of PopCon I had a wonderful interview with the soon to be owners of Hero's Emporium on the north side. This was an interview in the making of a lifetime and we were able to meet up and have an amazing talk on what Hero's Emporium is and what they plan for the future.

Now they have had their grand opening on June 21st but sadly I didn't make it out.
I haven't been totally absent from the world though. Hero's Emporium is now actually where my Brother in law and I take up shop every Tuesday evening to play Netrunner and X-Wings. This has been wonderful because I have been able to get to know Clarie and Danny even more and will be able to add a little amendment to the end of the interview.

Now, onto my favorite part!


1. Why open Hero's Emporium?
Clarie: We wanted to hang out together more and the only we thought we could do this was to open a  business together. I have experience in retail and love gaming for fun in general and he [danny] has had experience with setting up  and running tournaments at a comic book shop in California. Basically between the two of us we have the skills to do this. 
Danny: And really it just comes down to passion for gaming. Gaming is what got us together in the first place and it's what we do. 

2. Why Broad Ripple?

Claire: We picked the spot by looking at a map and looking at the other game stores and didn't want to open up to near to somebody and Broad Ripple really has lacked in gaming since the boardroom closed. We also wanted to be close enough for people to walk, alot of teenagers don't have cars. 

3. What's the Focus?

Danny:Years of managing of a comic book store I learned one thing: You game or you do comics, you don't do both. Each of them requires their own specific focus and if you don't give it that focus you will just bleed money. At that comic book store, we were just bleeding comic book money. It was a comic book store initially, but the draw for comics wasn't there but we sold magic and war hammer which flew off the shelves but we couldn't even sell back issues for a dollar. It's just hard to do both effectively. 

Danny:From the beginning we wanted to create a place where people can come game, its the community that's really important though in gaming.
Claire: Because honestly people can buy whatever they want online.
Danny: That's why we are focusing on creating a large gaming area, with 2 inch thick seats, and just make it a place for anyone to come and play. Especially those who don't have the table space. We want people to come and feel comfortable and have fun. It's all about making a community environment. 

4. Down the Road and Cool Stuff

Clarie: At some point when we are making enough money, we would really like to open some kind of scholarship for local kids who could use it towards college.
Danny: And we really want to think about doing game donations that we could even give to hospitals. It's all about giving back to the community and effecting the community around you.

I missed the opening, but I only need to state one thing from the interview.

Danny: State of Indiana says we can't have a raffle.
Claire: But the fliers say we are doing a raffle?
Danny: That's a typo, it should say waffles. We will have waffles and cookies.

The chat I had with them was just so much fun because both Danny and Clarie are just so passionate about gaming and creating a community that welcomes others!

So since the interview, my brother in law and I have made Hero's Emporium our go to place everyday Tuesday evening. It has been wonderful because Tuesday night typically is very low key. Danny wasn't lying though. Plenty of space for X-wings and enough room to just spread out. They do have the drinks and chips (make sure to vote for your favorite drink,  Tyler from LM studios drink of choice is Tears of your enemies).

What's best about visiting every week though is to see the store grow. Every week new games appear, new additional x-wings to add to the collection, and they always seem to be doing a project for a gaming event.

Additionally, I have to comment on one thing that makes this couple just the coolest gaming store owners ever, the love they have for their daughter. Many of the instances we have gamed at the store, she is there painting her miniatures or just helping out. It's wonderful to not only see inspirational parents but parents who encourage such a hobby as gaming. Kudos to you two!

Also while you visit, enjoy a variety of music to literally rock out to!

Tiding Things Up:

I hope you enjoyed the interview and I really encourage to go visit the store! As a heads up, on August 13th they will be hosting LM studios for their kickstarter party for Super Bit Crawl. I also highly suggest visiting their Twitter page and Facebook for event info, I know that Pathfinder society is a frequent visitor.

If you are a reader or know of local group who loves free publicity, please let me know! I enjoying interviews and want to continue spreading the word on great local groups!

Also be on the lookout for me at GenCon! Especially on Friday!

Thanks to Greg, Danny & Claire, and Tyler!

Until next time Indy!

Kyle Burton

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